Friday, February 5, 2010

My Big Adventure

On Wednesday Mom took me with her when she went to play with the poor, homeless dogs at the shelter.  And the reason she did this was because I had an appointment with Dr. Lineberger, who was the surgeon who fixed my knees, back when they both had to have surgery because of luxating patellas.  Dr. Lineberger does all his surgeries on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which are the days when it would be easiest for us to go there, but he only sees patients on Mondays and Wednesdays, which are the same days that Mom goes to the shelter.  And he isn't there at all on Fridays, when it would also be convenient for us to go visit him.

So Mom made an appointment for a Wednesday afternoon, after she finishes playing with dogs at the shelter, and she took me with her so she wouldn't have to drive back and forth so much because the place where Dr. Lineberger is is about halfway between our house and the shelter.  Mom did this sometimes back when I first had the knee surgery, so I had already been to the shelter before, but not for a long time.

Anyway, I didn't get to play with any of the homeless dogs.  Instead, I just stayed in the conference room, and there was another dog there named Penny, who is a basset hound.  Penny was very nice, most of the time, and I only had to snark at her once, when she got a little too much in my face.  Penny's mom is named Lauren, and she's very nice, too.  She only just started working at the Humane Society in January.  Her job is to organize the events that help raise money to take care of the poor, homeless dogs and cats until they can be adopted.

I also got to see Aunt Jo and Aunt Robin and Uncle Charlie and Aunt Karen.  I had met all of them before, I think.  But then Mom brought Dr. Regan and Dr. Michelle in to meet me, too.  Oh, and Aunt Barb was there playing with the homeless kitties.

So mostly I just hung out there and snoozed a little on a dog bed until Mom got finished playing with the shelter dogs and said it was time to leave.

Then we drove to Mission MedVet, which is where Dr. Lineberger works.  There are a bunch of other veterinarians there, too, and they are all called "specialists" because they just do certain, special things for dogs and cats.  And since they had to have special training to do the special things, they can charge more money.  Barry goes to see the allergist at Mission MedVet, and Gabe has been to see the allergist, too.  And Gabe goes there to visit the doggy eye doctor, and also Gabe went there after the Greyhound Incident, and Dr. Lineberger operated on him, just like he did on me.  So the special thing that Dr. Lineberger does is surgery.

Anyway, when we got there, Dr. Lineberger watched me walk down the hall, and then he felt my knees, and he stretched out my legs and scrunched them up again, and he wiggled some of my other joints around, too.  And Mom told me I was very good because I didn't screech or try to bite the doctor or try to jump off the table or anything like that.

Next Dr. Lineberger brought my x-rays in and put them up on the wall and told Mom all about them.  And what he said was that I don't have much arthritis, just a tiny little bit.  He said he had seen dogs with lots more arthritis than I have.  He said maybe the pin in my knee is catching on something or else maybe it gets cold when the weather is cold and makes my knee hurt.  Then after he said all this stuff, he told Mom that there were three different things we could do.

1.  I could have a little surgery on my knee to take the pin out because I don't need it anymore now that my knee is healed up.
2.  I could get injections of some kind of stuff that helps make the joints more cushioned, except since I don't have much arthritis, this might not do much for me.
3.  I could get physical therapy.

Mom chose option #3, although she told me later that there was an option #4 that Dr. Lineberger did not mention, which was to do nothing at all.  I think I would have liked that option the best!  Anyway, the real truth is that Mom thought the surgery might be best, but if the physical therapy worked and was cheaper, it was better to try that first.  Also Mom wanted to see what was involved in physical therapy for a dog because it might be good for Gabe to get PT to help his back, but he's more likely to bite the therapist than I am.

So now I have an appointment for Tuesday morning with the physical therapist.  And the therapist is going to see if I would like to swim, which Mom told her she doubted I would like to do.  I think Mom is very right about this!  But the therapist said she shows Norwegian Elkhounds, and that Norwegian Elkhounds do not like water either, which surprised me to learn.  So she understands about dogs that don't like to get wet.  And if I don't enjoy the swimming, there are some other things I can do or maybe that Mom can do with me at home, which would be cheaper, since it turns out that the physical therapy costs $75.75 for each session.

Well, okay, I wrote way more than I meant to, but that's the way it goes when you have a Big Adventure to talk about!

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