Daemon’s Travail, Chapter 2
June 1 PM
Ken went in to see Daemon this evening. The dog is being totally spoiled by everyone at that facility. He’ll probably weigh 300 pounds when he comes home! Yesterday afternoon Dr. B had Linda call me to say that Daemon’s limbs were now stiff instead of flaccid, and he said that to him that was a good sign. So if it’s a good sign for Dr. B it’s a good sign for me. Hoping for continued improvement!
When I visited Daemon in the evening of June 2, he was bright and alert, quite happy to see me. He was lying sternal and could move his left front leg very well, and the others (at least two of them) some. Hard to tell, since he was down in a cage. We played a shaping game: he’d move a foot or leg and I’d “yes” and feed. He caught on very quickly and was twitching and jerking his front legs and feet quite actively. He kept slamming his paw on my right hand(oh boy do his toenails need cutting!). Very sweet pain indeed.
Having him there at VSRP with friends was comforting; communications were easy and information easily obtained – and I knew they were all spoiling the old guy to pieces.
Thursday, June 3
He got into a sit when he saw me, and then tried to get his hind legs under himself, tried to stand. Didn’t succeed, but he tried. Very bright and alert and keeps pulling out his urinary catheters. Ken said he was up on all four when “they” were working on him this afternoon. Not especially steady, but up and not supported by anybody. Dr. B says he should be able to come home on Saturday.
He was in a run (indoor, air conditioned, but bigger than his “cage”) when I went to see him. He’d yanked out yet another urinary catheter and had to be bathed, so he was out there drying. He got up and lurched out of the run to see me. Dr. Bradley asked if I’d like to take him home. OF COURSE! So soon we were off and running (not really running, but leaving), me with a sling under Daemon’s belly, leash in hand, and him staggering around, out to the car. Bless VSRP and Dr. Bradley and the techs and other employees there!
My report to VSRP: Daemon is doing OK. I’m a little discouraged because I expect (want?) more now, not sure how to assess improvement. He’s still toeing under quite a bit, not doing much for himself. I’m ready for him to run races, and he’d rather crawl, or fling himself around in circles. I’ll get over it.
I can say that the circulation to his rear legs is good, as evidenced by the amount of bleeding when I quicked him this morning. Poor guy.
I carried him out front this morning to lie in the grass out there (our back yard isn’t so nice; besides, the other dogs were out there to hassle him). He had a pleasant near-two hours out there with me. I think our front hedges and so forth will be prettier for all of this. I cannot just sit there and look at it. Lots of bennies to this, if I think about it.
He’s eating great, peeing every time we take him out (his bedding this morning was DRY!), and pooped a big poop this morning while he was lying out there. I was wondering about that and hoping it would happen soon.
Later that day: I had him out an hour or two ago in the back yard. Harness up front, sling in the rear (he’d already peed) and we wandered around the back yard a bit, at his instigation. Much of the time I was there for emergency use only, since the devices were basically slack. His turning isn’t too good, and he definitely has no stamina. His strength lasts about as long as his interest. But I was pleased; he did more than I expected he could. We were late getting him out, so he did pee in his enclosure.
This morning he was standing *four-square* in his ex-pen and moving around while I put the other dogs out! He then walked all the way through the house and out the door without any help from me (sling on him but not engaged). Helped him down the stairs. He then peed and fell down. Got him up and he basically dragged me almost to the agility field, pooping on the way. This is huge! There’s still some neglect in the rear, but oh my is he doing better! There will be no leaving him out on the front lawn today. Of course, the rain is a deterrent with that, too.
I have chronicled Daemon’s progress in such detail in the hope that others with dogs with a similar ailment can see that there is hope.