It's been a long night. Bailey is hanging in there, but oy....long night. She didn't sleep well, and whimpered all night. She needs stronger drugs, which Ken got today. But this morning, she seems better. Here is a little tale of how we made it from the vet and into the house. It seems every action I have a story. This is no exception.
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Now, to the blog post already in progress. When we returned from the vet, I had quite the work-out just trying to get her out of my car. Her incisions are in such odd places that I have to be very careful where I grab her. Then add a big-ass "cone-of-shame" that barely fit in the side door of my car and what do you have when you get home? Frustration and a sore back. If that isn't enough information for you, let me bore you with some details.
Luckily, one of the sweet girls at Hillsboro Animal Hospital lifted her into the car after surgery late yesterday afternoon. I requested help because Bailey weighs well over 64 pounds and in a dead lift from the ground, there was potential that my knees would lock up. I didn't want to take the chance of dropping her or grabbing her in the wrong place. The only way Bailey can get into the backseat of my car on a normal/good day is with her putting her front paws up on the seat and then I wrap my arms around her hind quarters, lock my fingers together or grab each of my wrists, then grunt and groan while I lift her ass into the Toyota CRV. I know from the sound of it you'd think I was driving a damn Ford F-150 or a Hummer or something high off the ground. No, just a little Toyota and it is a BIG struggle. With Bailey unable to help me, I was in trouble. For some reason I did not think about that piece of the puzzle. Ken wasn't going to be home to help me get her out, so I was havin' me some troubles since Bailey couldn't do her usual jump out.
I tried to assist the vet tech as she struggled to lift my chubster of a dog. She succeeded, thankfully, but bless her, she was grunting too. As a side note, not that you asked, Bailey comes by her girth naturally since Ken and I both are too heavy for our own good. If you see a photo of us with Bailey and Birdie near us, it is clear that Birdie is adopted and Bailey, being much slimmer, is a natural Sanderson. However, thanks to Birdie's age and newly found slow thyroid, she too is looking more Sanderson these days. But I digress.
Poor Bailey whimpered all the way home. I knew she was in pain and the anesthesia was wearing off. This bumpy drive wasn't helping her. I used my soothing voice and talked to her as I drove. Finally we made it home. Now the fun begins.
I pull up in the carport, tell her to stay, and start looking for something I can use to make a ramp. I was racking my brain while driving trying to visualize a contraption I could assemble to extricate her from the vehicle. When I arrive, I started implementing my haphazard ideas - Spoiler alert....None worked. First there was the 6' ladder with a thin sheet of plywood. Nope, that is a negative. Then there was just the thin piece of plywood that I knew wouldn't support her weight fully, but I thought it would hold long enough to get her out. It was too wide and too short, so....Nope, that is a negative. I try to use the blanket in my backseat as some sort of wrap or swaddle...or....I have no freaking clue. I realized my creativity was not going to work here. I had already sent Ken the SOS text on the way home so he would leave work ASAP and get home. I thought if things go really bad, I guess I'll leave her in the car until he gets home. Wasn't my first choice, but me crippling myself or dying wasn't going to help anyone (accept maybe Ken, because I am worth more dead than alive....again, I digress). Let me add, that with all these ideas, Bailey was not having any of it. She backed away from me each time I tried to coax her out of the backseat. Thanks, dog....you're such a helper.
So, with Bailey firmly rooted in the middle of the backseat of the CRV, I had one more idea up my sleeve. I opened the big back door and emptied out the back of the car. I managed to lower one of the seats while thinking....c'mon dog....move over so I can get the seat down so you can get on it to come out back! Of course, I said all this in my head while I was cajoling her in my sweet voice and telling her, "It's OK....it's OK....". I'm not sure if that sweet voice was for her or for me. She seemed unmoved. I was not soothed either.
Having finally emptied out all the crap from the back and lowered one side of the split seat in the back, I grabbed her collar and leash and tried to be very gentle, but pulled her into the back of the car. Of course, the freaking cone-of-shame kept getting caught on EVERY-FUCKING-THING. Once I had her in back, I realized that the door to the house was locked! Fuck me in the eye! Luckily she stayed on command and I ran to open the carport door to the house so we could actually get in. Then I went back to the car, wrapped my arms around her shoulders and hind quarters (with her legs dangling in the middle) and took a deep breath, held tight and picked all (over) 64 pounds of her up and started maneuvering my way to the open house door. I knew from my days of handling 200 pound margarita machines (one of the many lives I have had...and will share as time goes on) it is all about leverage at as close to waist height as one can manage. Once she was in my arms from the height of the car, she wasn't nearly as heavy as she is from off the ground. Luckily there are only 2 steps from the carport up into the house....another handy elevation. Therefore I didn't have to bend down to lower her to the ground. I had a 2 step elevation to help with the transfer. I had SUCCESS! But I was bent over for a few minutes panting trying to decide if I could straighten up my back. I did. All was fine-ish.
On to the next problem....that big ass CONE OF SHAME scrapping on everything....the walls, the floors, the grass, the concrete, the door frames, the furniture...... NOPE! Can't do this. Luckily we own an inflatable C-Collar. It is a lifesaver. Keep in mind, that if they wear one of these while having this many incisions, you have to keep an eye on them to be sure they can't hurt themselves. But, every time we have used this, it has been fine. The dog can more easily maneuver and can sleep more comfortably and actually get a drink without having a bowl full of water all over your floors. I understand the design of the C-Collar or E-Collar or Cone-of-shame...or whatever they are calling it now. But, this is one device that needs a re-design! Until that day, I highly recommend an inflatable. They come in all sizes, are well made and get the job done much easier than that plastic cone.
They make these with soft fabric covers, but I do not recommend those. It is too hard to keep them clean. This one, with the nylon cover will wear better over the years and you can easily wipe it off with a sponge or paper towel.
This, of course, is just one old-broad's opinion, but I've had our #inflatabledogcollar for years and years through a few dogs and it still works great.
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For your viewing pleasure, here are a couple of pictures of poor Bailey. BTW that ramp-ish thin-ass plywood, did not work. I removed it shortly before picking her up.
That is all.
L-R: 1.) Yesterday, late afternoon, Bailey firmly rooted in the middle of the back seat of my car sporting her sexy cone-of-shame, 2.) Bailey and Birdie relaxing on this rainy Saturday. Bailey wearing her lifesaver of an item...Inflatable Dog Collar (see link to buy above)
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