As I left for a cell phone dead zone in Canada for work, we started to second guess our future decisions. Grover was back to Grover after radiation. Was 3-6 months of life like this better than potentially getting more time with 3 legs? Radiation impressed me … I didn’t expect to see such a positive response. Who was I doing the amputation for? Was it for me, or for him?
For better or for worse, Grover made the decision for us, and while I was out of the country (Canada … so close, but so far away) Grover suddenly became very lame again. Repeat radiographs revealed that he probably felt a little TOO good with radiation and unfortunately his ulna had fractured. Unable to take calls and only get texts while hooked up to internet connections we made the decision to stick to the original plan and send him to surgery, except NOW instead of after I got home. It wasn’t fair to him to wait in pain just so that I could be there.
All the people on our team told him how much I loved him and off he went into very capable hands. Only time would tell now … would he be able to walk after surgery? Could the rest of him hold up? Or, were we asking too much of his already old and worn down body.
It was wonderful news to hear that he made it out of surgery with no major complications but we all knew the biggest battle was yet to come. Could he walk? Could he do so comfortably? Would the rest of him hold up? Only time would tell…
At the advice of a hospice veterinarian we made a “quality of life check list”. A list of things that we felt “made Grover, Grover” and indicated to us that he was happy. We also looked up quality of life assessments from Ohio State University and the hmmmmm assessment. These decisions are never easy but we wanted to be prepared with realistic goals and assessments so that if things didn’t go well we didn’t “drag” them out by saying “just one more day” only to find “one more day” had turned into weeks and he was none better.
A picture of Grover right after surgery recovering — snug as a bug in a rug (remember those great veterinary students … they kindly sent this worried out of the country pet parent a photo of “proof of recovery” so that I could see for myself that he was awake and safe)
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