Have you ever given much thought to what it must have taken for you to stabilize your legs that first time and then plant your feet one at a time, just hoping not to fall?? Honestly, until Tuesday I took it all for granted...one foot in front of the other, always hitting the ground, never painful.
Well I will never take it for granted again. Late Last week Paul and I started to notice that Daisy wasn't putting her leg with the cast on the ground to use it as much as she had. So, innocently, during her cast change I asked if I could take her for a little walk before they put her cast back on. Words cannot describe how ill-prepared I was for how my sweet girl reappeared in the waiting room. Her leg, with scars up and down, was completely deformed. She was hopping toward me not understanding on 3 legs. I walked her outside, and before I could gather myself I came in a sat on the floor of the vet's office with her in tears. The surgeon came over to me and said that she was a little concerned, but felt like physical therapy was a good option for us. She had no answers, and God I wish I had my wits about me to ask the right questions.
I was handed a card for the PT, Sandra, and we were finished in that office. It felt horrible...here I took this risk of a surgery to save her leg, and look what I had left her with.
I must have sounded a little panicked when I called Sandra because she phoned me back and told me I could come right over to meet with her. I called Paul; I was desperate.
I would like to say that I went over to Sandra's office and magically Daisy is back to her old sweet self. No, but I see the road we will have to travel. Dog's are amazing creatures, Sandra explained: They hold no baggage; they don't hang on to what happened yesterday; they start new everyday. The only challenge with that is that as the time passed Daisy just starting living as though she wasn't going to be able to use her leg. So now she will have to re-learn. We will have to teach her how to place her foot, how to use her leg, how to walk...
Sandra said this more than once, and it keeps sticking...everyday from here on out is a GIFT with Daisy. I am a gift to her and she is a gift to me. She said that she will not over-work Daisy to make her better, but take it slow and let her lead the way.
Watching Daisy learn how to place her foot; slowly massaging the muscles in her paw; watching her fierce determination as she is in water on a treadmill...just trying, trying, trying. (next week I will take pictures of her at PT, but it was all just a little overwhelming yesterday and today) All of this makes me appreciate every step I can take, every run I can go on, and my two feet that land flat on the ground.
It's become so much more than these gifts of strength that my sweet dog gives to me. It reminds me that there are human beings out there with these exact same struggles, and I feel for them in a way I never could. I now can see a glimpse of what their fight must be like, and just how exhausting the will to walk must be.
I have faith...