There was Misty, ball in mouth, begging for me to throw that baby so she could retrieve it (rinse and repeat… and repeat… and…) Those heart wrenching whinings. The pleadings. Please, please, O please coming from her eyes.
I’d been reluctant of late to throw her cherished ball because of recent worrying signs: a sort of hoppy gait, even when she’s in her cart/wheelchair like she’s compensating for some hurt somewhere, slowing down on our walks which I’d shortened because all that hopping made her breathing puffy. And on our last tour of duty – attending stressed out university students at UOIT with our pals, Team Mica and Julie Powers and Team Daisy and Brigitte Balling, Misty was more inclined to sit and rest in between laying on the lovin’ to the students (some were repeat customers from our last visit during Christmas exams).
But on the other hand there are the quality of life considerations: what is Life for a retriever without the opportunity to fetch the joy-giving ball? I sighed and lobbed the ball a short distance – but that was all it took. Misty ran to the ball, plunked down and simply could not stand up again. For a four legged dog, blowing out the knee’s cruciate ligament is a problem. For a three legged dog, it means immobility – and for Misty it was severely painful… once again, we were beginning a journey, with the tender loving care of familiar friends – and a very important new one.
SPOILER ALERT! Misty is recovering astonishingly well – no need to fear tragedy here, so it’s safe to read on…
Returning to our long time pals at the Clarington Animal Hospital, we didn’t require a leash – merely a sling under Misty’s belly to elevate that out-of-commission rear end, but Misty scrabbled her feet to hurry inside and see her friends: Dr. Ursula and the amazing staff. First up: an xray. Results: the bone cancer has not returned (Dr. Vlad at the Toronto Veterinary Hospital said it would be uncommon for The Enemy to invade her legs again, especially the surviving rear leg. If It’s coming back, her chest would be the likely target.)
No, this time the xray showed severe inflammation and swelling of the knee (stifle) joint. Armed with prescriptions for pain killers we headed home to seek out holistic help (the prospect of more surgery being something beyond my means).
Our first home visit was from dear friend, reiki master and pet nanny, Lillian Miller, who sat on the floor moving Healing Energy about Misty’s knee… an interesting scene to observe, not only because Misty was so comfortable, just relaxing into the therapy – but also because whatever current was swirling about, it drew in the normally reserved Delaney (who went silly with licking and lolling about on the floor). After Lillian left, covered in golden retriever hair, Misty slept deeply.
Then new to our lives, Dr. Sarah Silcox, mobile vet and practitioner of holistic and Chinese Medicine. Dr. Sarah bridges the centuries, arriving as she does, with acupuncture needles as well as a laser (and there’s other goodies visible in the back of her travelling office!) After Dr. Sarah’s first visit, Misty was able to scoot her butt around the back yard more effectively and seemingly in less pain. Before her second visit a few days later, I had to run out to the back yard yelling, “No! No! No!” as Misty was rolling her ball out through the fence for our neighbours to throw.
A day after Dr. Sarah’s second visit, I dashed into the house trying to get my camera to photograph Misty eating her supper -- standing. Alas, before I got out there, she’d plunked her butt back down… but clearly, that’s only going to be temporary.
Misty is only on hiatus from her duties – I know she’s anxious to get back to work (right now, she settles on licking Dr. Sarah nonstop through the treatments.)
The Red Vest awaits. It’ll only be a matter of time until Misty’s back at work, sharing her Mighty Spirit and Heart filled with love.