In her youth, Josie played like there was no tomorrow. She loved fetching and running around. But one day, she stopped giving it her all. I’d throw the ball and she’d turn and look at me as if to say “Really? Do you see how far that is? I have to run a whole 50 feet!” It was around that time I started treated her like a senior dog.
Funny. I bet that was seven or eight years ago – long before the senior moments set in.
I still remember the time she hurt her CCL (similar to a human’s ACL).
It was the weekend (why do dogs always have problems on weekends?) Bear tried to get her to play and this time, she decided to play along. She went sprinting at top speed.
And then stopped.
She lifted one of her back legs and refused to budge.
“Crap.” I thought. “Why? Why does this always happen on the weekend?”
Good thing it was a Sunday afternoon.
I picked her up and carried her inside. First thing in the morning, I gave her old country vet a call and set up an appointment.
His diagnosis was simple – she had strained her CCL. His recommendation: drugs and rest. Complete rest. No stairs. No jumping. No running. If it is just strained, it will heal. Worst case – it tears. Really worst case – the other leg goes out too.
Later that night, I turned on my google-foo to learn more. Apparently, it is a common injury with dogs, especially “weekend warriors”. Overweight dogs that don’t run around much, but one day they do and hurt themselves. Textbook Josie. At that time in her life, she was overweight (weighed more than Bear). And she was lazy – except when she decided to play.
The biggest fear I had was once one leg goes, the other does shortly after – since it is compensating for the bum leg. My dog was officially old, and suffering from old dog symptoms.
I worried a lot about her. She love jumping on the bed, on the couch, running up stairs. It hurt to confine her, but I did. I bought a crate (remember, Bear had destroyed the original one). And for a few weeks, anytime I wasn’t home, she was confined. No stairs. No jumping. All rest.
And she recovered. Good as new. Within a few weeks, you never knew anything was wrong.
Weekend Warrior: 1. Bad CCL: 0.