First: A Story About My Own Foot Surgery
In March of 2005 I had surgery on the subtalar joint in my foot to un-fuse what’s called a tarsal coalition. I still don’t really understand it, but I know that before the surgery I had so much arthritis that I could barely walk at times (much less run or play soccer) and many years later I’m able to do almost any sport I want (although I have to ice and stretch a lot.)
I bring this up because my surgery was scheduled for my senior year of college spring break, and I was going to have 10 days at home with my parents. We made plans to go to the movies, to the mall, out to eat, and enjoy other fun leisure activities. We knew I’d be on crutches, but that wasn’t going to stop us from doing some fun things!
Boy were our expectations wrong. I was so sick and totally knocked off my feet (literally) it was hard for me to even get to the bathroom and back those first few days. The painkillers made me nauseous, and I barely moved from the couch that whole week!
What does your surgery have to do with Gus?
Gus did really well with his ACL surgery. We knew he would have limited mobility for a while, but what we didn’t realize until Thomas’s post-op meeting with the vet was that Gus has to be confined to a small room for TWO WHOLE MONTHS!!!
Obviously we knew he wouldn’t be going on any river romps or leash runs anytime soon, but we had no idea that he would have so many restrictions at home. It makes sense – we wouldn’t want him to do any sudden movements, including jumping up to bark at the doorbell, going up and down stairs, or chasing a squirrel in our yard, that might jerk his leg. All of his visits outside must be on a leash as well.
Bless his heart, he probably has no idea why he had to go through a painful overnight vet visit and now he can’t even enjoy his usual nap spot on the rug upstairs!
We converted the downstairs mud room into Gus’s room
We actually have the perfect spot for him downstairs in our basement mudroom. We have a baby gate blocking the door and part of our couch behind that so he is not tempted to jump over the gate. He has his bed, his food, some toys, and a private entrance. Another reason he has to stay in the mudroom is because he isn’t allowed to go up and down stairs, and had we picked another small room on the main floor of our house he would have had to go up and down stairs to go to the bathroom. Thomas built a DIY ramp over the basement steps that solved the stair problem. Lastly, we set up our extra baby monitor so we can watch him if we’re not on that level and at night.
The vibe in our house feels totally different
It’s so strange not to have Gus greet us when we walk in.
But it’s kind of nice that he’s not barking at every single visitor who knocks.
Remember how I was asking you guys what to do about the dog hair while Birch learns to crawl? Well that problem was “solved” overnight. A house’s worth of fur is now collecting in the mud room.
But now all the baby food that is getting tossed onto the floor isn’t getting eaten! Gus used to love that.
While it’s lonelier upstairs, my floors haven’t been this clean for YEARS!
I’m actually really digging our family room with the couch split in two. It’s so much more open!! We’ve been spending a lot of time playing downstairs to keep Gus company.
Overall, he appears to be handling his situation very well. And his walking is improving day by day.
I have two rescues. The fur is a pain but small price to pay for the love! (More brushing means less fur. I do it while I’m watching Netflix) Looking forward to hearing about Gus finally racing around the yard and out for walks!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says
It’s so nice to see more of Gus! Great of you guys to be so accommodating!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Poor leetle Gussie! *insert crying emoji*. 2 months is a long time! Sweet of you guys to shift downstairs to keep him company and wow that living room is showroom clean with all the playing taking place downstairs now. You’ll miss that in 2 months!
Awww poor Gus! He must be so lonely! I bet our dog would be sad whining if we had to do that!
I thought he would be whining too, but I think he’s getting enough attention and also understands that he’s hurt. Before his surgery if we had to put him behind closed doors (if a workman was here or something) he would whine but he hasn’t been down there, so that’s a relief.
Poor Gus! I remember when my child hood dog had ACL surgery and it was rough. 2 months is hard. It was difficult when our puppy was fixed this winter and keeping him calm. For stimulation freeze a Kong with some peanut butter or cream cheese in it. It does provide some stimulation. At least Gus is loved and well cared.
We’re headed to Tranquility Bay in a few days. I read your reviews any last minute advise of items to make sure I have with me (traveling with 3 kids) or advise on the surrounding area?
Nothing I can think of above my post reviews. It’s going to be hot so maybe think about any last minute cooling things? Have a blast!
Paula Smith says
I’ve had two dogs go through ACL surgery. Once Gus is getting around a bit better, it’s ok to let him out of the little room and let him come hang with you guys. As long as he’s on leash, so no jumping or running, or going up stairs, he can visit with the family if you’re just watching TV or whatnot. Dogs are such social creatures, the isolation will get tough for him.
Also, just a suggestion, but do you have an old area rug or runner for the room he’s staying in? Would be much better for him than the tile while he’s getting up and down from a lying position with his bum leg.
Hope he continues to recover quickly!
That’s a good suggestion about the rug. I think we do have one somewhere. Thomas has been letting him out while he works in the mornings since G usually just rests next to him. Only problem with me is the kids, but I think once he gets better we can do more of that. I want vet’s permission though because it would be so sad if he hurt himself again.
I had a big outside dog who because of a surgery had to spend the summer inside. He camped out in my downstairs bathroom. Air conditioning, cool tile floor, it was The Summer of Charlie! In the evenings he got sprung so he could mingle with his Pack (my husband and me). Get better soon Gus.
Poor Gus! He is so lucky to have you guys to care for him. Two months is long but it will fly by. He’ll be back to his usual self in no time.
Get well soon, Gus! Hopefully the time goes by quickly for him. I’m sure it’s an adjustment for your boys, too.
Can you share the details on your blue sectional couch? What style and where it’s from? Thanks!
It’s the Pearce Sectional from Pottery Barn that I got 30% off during one of their killer sales. We LOVE it but it is huge. The fabric is Denim Blue.
Oh sweet Gus. Sigh. Can he maybe be taken out for a ride in a wagon or stroller?
Hugs to you all. My dog is having another surgery in two weeks. It’s heartbreaking when I can’t explain to her why. I just sing her more songs and play with her floppy ears.
We are walking him 3-4 times a day on the leash. A wagon would be cute though 🙂
I feel so bad for him! I hope he doesn’t feel like he’s being punished for something.
Susan Roberts says
Gus is probably doing better than I am! I had a total knee replacement and was thinking positive for a speedy recovery – boy, was I wrong. I’m about 2 1/2 months after surgery and finally seeing some improvements. I have extra PT. It’s all going slower than I imagined and there were soooo many things I was not aware of that would happen. For one, the meds made me feel “off” as well as dizzy and upset stomach. We have a two story house and I couldn’t use the stairs for awhile. Anyway, it’s getting better and I’m glad to see Gus is too!
Oh man best to you!! My foot surgery took me a looooong time to recover from and it was not a total replacement of any kind.
My heart breaks for poor Gus. It’s so hard when they don’t understand. Hopefully he’ll heal quickly!
Kimberly Marcus says
Glad to hear all is healing for Gus and he’s on the mend. My lab (who has since passed) had the same surgery years ago. I remember her being confined to a crate for awhile (can’t remember amount of time ) and no jumping on furniture or jumping at all for awhile. It’s a major surgery for a dog…I guess for anyone, but take heart in knowing that he will heal and be good as new. I remember our vet recommending us to take her swimming and walking up hills to build her leg muscles up again…which were lost due to a long recovery period.
Wishing Gus a pain free and speedy recovery.
Dogs are amazing creatures..they love will all their being a treat and belly rub are always appreciated…along with a long walk, but Gus will have to take some IOU’s for those.