From all that you've said, I really can't see the wife situation being a problem. I know, I'm not there to see everything, but if you were laid up for all that time after the accident, your DW would have been doing everything for your dog, right? That would have formed a bond, even if there was not much of one there beforehand.
Carrots are great, but sometimes you'll get better (faster, lol) results by upping the ante. And if it's something that he only gets at certain times, he'll make that connection and you can use that in your favor.