Day 4 after surgery
This is long because I am just bored and rambling, enjoying putting my thoughts down and trying to stay sane
Things have improved greatly. We are starting to get our groove.
A few things that helped.
#1 Got a ramp. - Thank you so much to SunFlowers (I hope) for the advice. After Haku starting trying to bolt when I went to pick him up or down the steps I knew we had to change things. Got a nice thick sturdy plank, about 2 feet wide and nailed in a non slip mat but in reverse. So the rubber non slip side faces up. Its perfect and now I just have to hold Haku back from launching up and down as he thinks its great fun. He has always loved climbing on things. Thank goodness he already knew a solid "wait" and "go on" command. He is now learning "slowly" haha. It's a bit tough going up as there was not too much room to make a more gradual incline so I really hope it's not going to hinder healing. I am using the sling for support.
#2 Started a routine. - I realized that Haku is most likely completely confused over our loss of routine. I was pretty rigid with one before the surgery due to his energy levels and restlessness so I am not surprised he is backsliding. With all the meds, hot and cold compresses and instructions, setting up a routine has worked pretty well. He is slowly starting to realize the recovery room is the new place of residence and that no matter how much he whines we are not playing fetch. I must admit that I have a serious problem with this one as I get guilty thinking " I have a GSD he is whining, I have not done enough with him today." While it's good he had an active life and I got plenty of exercise, I definitely did not do him any favors in the calm or relaxed state of mind department. I think for the first time ever he is truly learning that he needs to chill sometimes. We will see how long this lasts :O Routine now includes scheduled crate time. I thought he would be okay with me in the room but it honestly was making things worse. In his eyes I am his entertainment system so he sees me and thinks, walk, fetch, ball, training. To practice for going back to work I started bringing back our before work routine. I put him in the crate and went shopping for myself. I watched on the camera. He cried for 15 min which sucked but then fell asleep and stayed soundly asleep. I think we both needed the break. He was used to this before the surgery, no crying, fast asleep till I got home from work but I think he is unsure with all the changes. Even more clingy than usual. I honestly might go back to work early though. I think it may be better for him.
#3 Training. - I know people say it over and over but I guess I have been lazy or unsure what to do. So today as Haku is feeling pretty good. (his goofy smile is slowly coming back and his lazer eyes of "I NEED TO DO SOMETHING" stare into my soul) I decided to make a long list of things that I can teach him lying down. I found an awesome video:
Today we worked on pushing a ball with his nose, resting his chin down and putting a toy in a basket. I did these with shaping so his brain worked extra hard. He gets easily frustrated but I didn't stay on one trick too long and with 20-30 min of this he curled up next to me and SLEPT! unbelievable. And he had only been awake about 1.5 hours. Hope it was not a fluke. I think he was so craving the mind work.
#4. Scheduling interactive playing with me and puzzles. - My parents (bless them, life savers during this truly) stopped by to bring me some apocalypse essentials that I was missing and a variety of stuffed toys for Haku (Halloween themed of course.)
I try give him one new thing a day and then I will rotate them out hopefully keeping them fun. I started getting more creative with every little thing. Food, treats, toys. I don't just give him the new toy. I wrap it in a shirt so he has to take it out. Put it in a box. Place it under a cup and make him choose the right one. It's all quick little things but I think they are stacking up and making his day more interesting. I also just lie with him and do silly things like make his squeaky toy "run" from him under the covers. We did this pre-op and he would wait for the squeak under the couch pillows then pounce on it like a fox in snow (never gets old, its adorable) so I took most of our games and made "recovery versions"
Fetch? - roll the ball to him. Make him catch it lying down (only tiny throws)
Tug? - lie on the bed with him and tease him with his stuffy and play gentle tug
Nose Work? - Sniff Mat and wrapping food in towels, under bowls etc. Glad he knows this, in a few weeks I can set up proper stuff and hides which he loves. Nice and low impact.
Flirt Pole? - This was hilarious. I was lying in the floor with him just teasing him with his toy making it all animated and I thought, I bet I could make a mini flirt pole...So I did. It was awesome. I will post pics of his ridiculous face. Nothing crazy, I pretty much just swing it back and forth over his head while we are lying down. It's a two foot pole with some string and his toy. He seemed to enjoy it and I think it satisfied a bit of his prey drive.
I have no doubt it will get much harder as JonRob says when he starts feeling good. But hopefully we survive. We are allowed to start 10min leash walks at day 14 I believe if everything looks good. I think that will help as I can let him sniff some stuff out on the lawn. Also Physical Therapy week 4. That will blow his mind.
Incision looks great. Almost no redness at all now. Just normal skin and a nice dark line where the skin has joined. He started limping more heavily on the leg day 3-4. I think the local pain meds wore off. I keep him on his pill ones regardless of if he seems to be in pain or not as he has cried out sharply a few times randomly when he moves too abruptly and that worries me. He still puts a fair amount of weight on it though. He tries to drag me when we go out to potty...He seems to have forgotten all his leash manners!
I don't know how I end up exhausted and I am literally doing nothing. It's insane.