the size of the fight

Posted on Posted in designing, home and family

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
– Dwight D Eisenhower (former president of the United States)

hello doggie fans, i’m back!
anne was telling me that some of you have been asking and asking how i’ve been doing and that you miss my posts and since she was gone to a teaching gig the last couple of days, i decided it was probably time for me to dust off my paws and type up a blog.

first—thank you so much for thinking of me these last few weeks; i have been doing really well. this is a picture from the morning that i got my fixator out; i didn’t know it was THE DAY, but anne was up extra early, telling me we were going on an adventure.

now, i don’t know about you, but i’ve come to be a bit suspicious when she starts throwing around that word—it could mean something fun, but it could also mean something i’m not quite prepared to do. i mention this because i see her using it to describe some of her “work”, so i think you know what i’m talking about.

anyway, i also found out that the “adventure” would involve a ride in the car—i love the car! so far, so good. it was very cold that day, so we bundled me into my puffy vest and cowl and brought my favorite blankie along.

next thing i knew, we were back at the hospital where i spent a few days in november.
RUH-ROH—i told you there was reason to be suspicious!

that said, the waiting room was simply filled with interesting creatures! and SO many of them were doggies; i couldn’t get enough. we walked the whole place several times to introduce myself around, even to the ones i could barely see, hidden inside their carry boxes (i love other doggies; more on that later).

pretty soon a really nice vet tech came out to see us and chat a little. she took all of us into an exam room and then she took me by myself into the back room and there was dr. collins (he’s a REALLY nice man who calls me “cutey-patooty”—a little geeky, but i might have a bit of a crush, hee-hee).

i don’t know what happened next because they put me to sleep, but while i was going under, i heard them talking about an x-ray.

anne and david waited for me long enough to start a sweater and knit the hem! to be honest, i’m not sure what happened to me for the next 45 minutes or so—i was knocked out cold, but i’m always happy to find out that somehow i helped with getting some knitting done.

the next thing i knew i was stumbling around, following dr. collins. anyway, he brought me back to exam room and everybody swooned over me. they were all very excited and i got nervous because i could only see double like; i tried to follow him back inside but i bumped into the door. then i heard anne’s voice and i went to her instead. she took some pictures and cuddled my face and that’s when i realized that the stupid fixator was gone—woo-hoo! my head felt two pounds lighter.

it must have happened while i was sleeping, because i don’t remember giving anyone permission to touch me. and also, my nails were cut and i definitely didn’t agree to that.

what happened for the next few hours was a bit of a blur; i couldn’t walk straight to save my life and my face felt funny and was puffing up like a football. i was leaking blood where the pin tracks were opened up again and i remember everyone laughing because i pooped and peed in the waiting room three times while we were leaving (SO embarrassing; i never do that at home).

and the next thing i knew, we were home and i was in my bed. and also on the sofa. anne stayed very close by the whole time, watching me; i guess i was acting pretty dopey.

man, i was so high. i did NOT feel normal. but then everything about that day was not “normal” as i had come to know it. for instance, i was not at all hungry.

anne and david had to go out for a couple of hours in the evening so i slept and slept and when they got home i surprised them by being mostly back to my old self. i jumped out of my bed and did a dance and drumrolled my feet in front of my food bowl. they were so happy they fed me a nice big meal.

by the next morning i was well enough to go to work, even though my face was very swollen. dr. collins had explained that i still had a couple of fractures showing in the x-ray which needed to heal, but that they would mend without the fixator, as long as i continued on soft food and was careful about playing with friends and toys.

my face was very puffy and tender for quite a while actually; i was starting to feel sad that i’d never be back to 100 percent again. but little by little it healed. and in a couple of weeks i was ready for the paparazzi.

here’s my “before” photo . . .

you might not notice this, but the surgery actually corrected a little overbite that i had and now my lower jaw is set a bit further forward and my teeth line up the right way. this makes eating much easier and much less messy; no problem picking up tiny bits of food now. it’s a small change but i’m glad they took care of it while they had the chance.

and here’s my “after” photo

my favorite thing about having my mouth free again? we got right back to to regular toothbrushing at night!! a lot of people who know me might assume i’d hate toothbrushing, but i actually love it and i really missed it those last couple of months; i am not proud of having stinky dog breath . . .

i had to continue eating a soft diet for quite a while though after, i was able to eat it on my own. i didn’t mind—anne makes some pretty yummy combinations with all the new foods i now enjoy. she promised to continue those delicious soft snacks and also my soft food mix along with the crunchy food when the time came.

we never stopped our long walks, even when it snowed a lot. but they sure felt lots better without that freezing metal brace weighting down my head! and that week after the removal surgery, we had some spectacular weather for february.

that made me feel well in a jiffy and soon i wanted to begin visiting friends. we started with the gentlest and smallest ones . . .

here i am with my friend zippy, who is a cairn terrier. can you believe how warm and sunny it was that day? 73 degrees!

zippy’s mom, linda, is one of my favorite humans. she can pet me any time, because she knows not to go over my head and to start along my back. her real talent lies in ear scratches though—she’s got something special there.

plus, she is SO entertaining! her house is a treasure trove of doggie delights; all sorts of bones and toys that zippy knows how to play with. i’d be jealous but i honestly don’t get the toy thing; i just love watching zippy go crazy with that stuff. the games involving treats though, are definitely interesting—zippy tries to teach me how to use them, but i always end up retrieving the rewards she forgets about and being happy with that.

sigh, i wish it would get that warm again, but actually it’s snowing like december right now. it’s hard to get around on my short legs in the snow, but we always go out anyway.

there’s plenty to sniff and i don’t want to miss any of it.

having my nose and mouth completely available again is like heaven.

which reminds me—i have finally figured out that treats are highly desirable and that a great way to get some is to work on my new year’s resolutions, which are challenging.

as i mentioned, i just love other doggies and especially my neighbors, like booker here and emily, his human. that said, for some reason i had developed an over-excited reaction to seeing them. i am fine indoors, but once we leave the house, i become a wild, unrecognizable creature upon seeing a dog or person from blocks away. it was making the walks not so much fun for anne, with all the pulling and barking.

she would try to take me someplace nice and i would be unbearable! plus, i still wasn’t really down with being petted, even by friends i see all the time. so we started working a lot harder on that, which is where the treats come in.

now, when i see booker and emily from down the block, i still get excited, but anne tells me to look at her and holds a treat up and if i can walk all the way to them without going berserk, i can have it!

of course i ham happy to share.

this has led to meeting SO many more doggie friends. this is macy; she is actually even crazier than i am, but lots of fun. and we have coordinating jackets, which i find completely cool. she lives at the end of a road near a lake and doesn’t get to play with many other kids so our visits are much appreciated.

my best friend casey still likes me too, but lately, he’s been acting somewhat aloof and i’m wondering if he’s jealous when he smells macy or booker or zippy on me. i know i can win him back when the weather warms up and we get to see each other more often.

when i’ve had an especially good walk, i get a big treat like a trip to the dog park, where we can walk in the woods which are fragrantly sniffalicious.

of course i didn’t just magically take a turn for the better; we actually started working with a new friend named jerry, who is a dog trainer that barb knows. we’ve only seen him a couple of times and already his method is helping us a lot.

at first he came to our house to get to know me, because he heard i was so shy. after two times, he invited us to his place, which is in the country. i didn’t know it, but he has a kennel and when we arrived, there were about TEN dogs there, including a wolf dog!!

oh my, it was like being at the dog park, but in a house. the other doggies were so friendly and we had the best time running around and playing chase, which is just about the only game i know well.

then we went to a dog park that’s not our usual one and it was amazing.

our park isn’t open in the snow season, so this was loads of fun; it had been months since i was off-leash to run around with the other guys. i always chuckle a bit when the big dogs realize how fast i can go; i sure can give them a run for their money—except of course, the one that got me that time, but he came from behind which was no fair and he wasn’t playing around.

after the park, we went to the hardware store to walk around and see how i reacted to the people and carts and displays. we opened and closed cabinets, talked to the store workers, and went up and down stairs. i helped pick out seed potatoes.

some of the people wanted to pet me and i let them. i’ve been enjoying that more and more at home and at work—lillian, ellen, and megan are all very patient and generous about it and i love to go over there for a visit. doug is rooting for me too, though he prefers not to pet me if possible (hee-hee!). i completely understand—it’s not personal.

and a couple of weeks ago, our friends from pittsburgh came to visit and when they arrived, i braced myself and ran right up to the man to say hi and then to the lady; OMG, i was scared, but i did it!! and without treats, too! we didn’t get photos, but it was a red letter day, nevertheless.

even at home, where i feel the safest of all, it has been a process. while i’ve been enjoying lots of scratching and petting and face cuddling with anne at arm’s length, i was still pretty skittish about hugging real close. that, however, has changed.

now we have several times each day when i go in for the hug and each night before tooth brushing, we have a few minutes of close embraces. and i actually like it; when i get pulled in, my body relaxes and i can see what the attraction is. it feels warm and soft and loving.

well, i’m afraid i have to stop now—we are going to visit a new vet today and i have to get ready. i hope you enjoyed my update story; i’ll be back in a few weeks with more; spring is coming and i’m sure there will be plenty to report.

anne says to tell you that she finished her sweater and will be back tomorrow with an update; i gotta tell you that i really like this one, so don’t miss it.



26 thoughts on “the size of the fight

  1. Ben dog is the author of this comment. You are so fortunate to have such a nice person as your people mom (and dad). Sometimes they do things you don’t understand, but, like me, you have learned that the stuff they do is for your well being. I bet your humans are like mine and will always love us. And, we love them back!

  2. Yay! I am so happy that Cardi is better and appliance-free. I am so happy for your whole family.

  3. I have been wondering about Cardigan and was so happy to read this lovely post. I am so happy for you all!!

  4. Hey Hiya Cardigan! It’s great to hear from you again and see you star in all these photos! I am so glad your fixator is off and you are getting to go out and play with friends and actually eat real, altho soft, food again. Such progress! You are a brave dog! If we ever get to meet, I remember that you like your back scratched, not your head. Keep getting better!

  5. So glad to hear that Cardigan is doing well and enjoying life! It’s going to be so much fun for her family to discover how she chooses to express affection as she feels more and more secure in doing so. Our rescue dog’s interpretation of cuddles is to put her head down and push it back and forth gently but firmly into your side or stomach – head hugs!

  6. Hi cardigan, George here. Glad to see you’ve got rid of that fixator. You look beautiful!
    Playing with friends is always good fun. I also get all overexcited and woofy, but we’re working on that too. And hugs are the absolute best. I love snuggling with my Evie whilst she’s knitting. She doesn’t mind as long as I don’t steal the yarn. She spoils my fun like that! Keep getting better, and keep warm!

  7. Cardigan’s blog entry was charming. Thank you for posting it. So glad to hear he’s better.

  8. Hi Cardigan! Thanks for the update— you have a real knack for the narrative; and as a bonus, you look MAHvelous without the fixator!

  9. Hi there Cardigan! Thank you for the wonderful update to your amazing journey. You are such a brave dog and have come a long way. Keep up the good work!

  10. So great to hear that Cardigan is on the mend and is happy and healthy!!! I missed hearing about her.
    She is adorable

  11. Cardigan–you are the best! I was ridiculously happy to see your post (what a good dog). I can’t let my J.R. read your post–had to just tell him about it–because if he saw the kinds of yummy things Anne cooks for you, he would be trying to hitch a ride to Ohio. Snuggle with your family, and keep us posted.

  12. Hi Cardigan, Rudie here! So glad to hear from you and that you are doing well. Snuggles are the best. I love snuggling really really close to my mum when she’s knitting on the couch. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times), I squeak at her while she’s having dinner because It Is Time for snuggles on the couch.

  13. So happy that Cardigan is healing! Cuddling up and dog parks are the best with some knitting on the side, of course!

  14. So good to hear from you Cardigan! i’ve been thinking of you as you healed up. so glad you were able to get that fixator off! and you’re getting out and about doing fun things 😃 glad you have learned snuggles are good things. i’m so happy you found your mom and dad!

  15. Hey Cardigan, I’m happy that your fixation is gone and the vet fixed your overbite at the same time! My mom hugs me all the time but she won’t let me on her lap ;(. She says that a Golden Retriever is a little too big to be a lap dog. On weekends, I take her for long walks and I get a treat when we get home. Hugs, Tilly.

  16. (From Shaggy – another scared-of-people-pup). Glad to hear of Cardi’s healing! Sometimes getting used to new humans is scary and your misadventure sounded scary on top of that!

  17. I’m so glad to hear that you’re doing so well. Best wishes for your continued progress!

  18. It’s so good to see Cardigan without her brace. She looks like such a wonderful family member and I read the blog for updates on her progress! (I’m also a fan of her mom and belong to her Knitspot Clubs!)

  19. Lovely reading about your progress . Thanks for taking the time to share . Think about you often and your amazing story.

  20. That was a fun update to read. You surely have been and will continue to be, I can tell, very patient. It takes people very, very long times to get over major traumas…why would it be different with our pets? The lake picture is beautiful!

  21. Thank you, Cardigan, for taking the time to update your admirers of your ongoing recovery. I loved reading that the fixator has finally come off, and you have healed so nicely. I was especially glad to read that you are enjoying cuddles w/Anne, and making so many new friends (both two and four-legged). I hope you will continue to enjoy playing, learning, and thriving!

  22. We are so VERY glad to hear from you, Cardigan! Nicki is hoping for warmer weather too, so she can go sun on our deck. Keep us updated – awesome work on being more social!!

  23. Oh happy day—so glad you are ever so much better! You have the best, most caring parents!

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