Its Linda here behind the keyboard again, back to give you an update on Alfie after his accident with the stick. First of all I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s reached out to wish Alfie a speedy recovery – he is one very lucky dog with so many friends around the world!
Alfie is a real trooper and there is not much that can faze him. His energy levels, and pain threshold are so high that he needs to be really, really sick before you can notice it. That’s why it was terrifying to see him in so much pain last Sunday – because if he is showing any signs of pain, then its real bad.
Keeping Alfie Quiet
The vet told us to keep Alfie quiet for two weeks, and he was not allowed to get any sand in his mouth or go swimming to avoid getting any more bacteria in his mouth and throat. That means walking him on the lead. No games of fetch. No tug-o-war. Basically everything Alfie loves, he’s was all of a sudden not allowed to do.
And of course he wasn’t feeling too good. In addition to that we bought him a harness to avoid any pressure on his throat. He hated the harness and it made him walk as stiffly as an eighty year old man. As if that wasn’t bad enough, its been raining for two days in a row and he hates going walkies in the rain.
See where I’m going with this? Alfie was recovering well and was happy and bouncy indoors, just being his usual happy self. But he was not keen to leave the house, and we had to lure him with treats to make him step outside which is very unlike him.
I took him for a walk to our local pet store yesterday so he could sniff around and have some safe fun without going to the park. On our way back home he started lagging behind, walking close to the buildings and eventually he snuck into a doorway and refused to move.
The wound in his throat makes him drool a bit more than normal, but all of a sudden he was drooling like crazy and just looked at me with his big sad eyes. I tried luring him out with treats, but he wasn’t moving. So I panicked and called hubby who of course couldn’t do anything because he was at work. Then I called a cab and luckily they agreed to take us both home in the car.
As soon as we got home and the harness came off, Alfie was happy and bouncy again – just like normal. So weird. After a long discussion later in the evening hubby and I concluded that he had probably started to associate going out in the harness with being in pain and feeling miserable – the drooling could have been because of pain in his throat or stress. It almost seemed like some sort of induced agoraphobia. It also didn’t help that we had just lowered his pain medication earlier that day.
So what to do? No way we could continue like this – if we left it any longer he might develop some real issues going outside. I also didn’t feel like getting stranded with a dog refusing to move in the middle of town again.
Alfie’s Happy Place
We decided to increase the painkiller dose again to make sure he was definitely not in pain and I took Alfie to his happy place for his walk today. The beach. The sunny beach. No harness. And oh boy did his eyes light up when he smelled the sea and felt the wind in his fur. He was allowed to run off lead for a while and I have never seen a happier dog. I didn’t see any signs of him being in pain and it was great to see him bounce back to enjoying his walkies again, even though we didn’t go to the water but stayed on the path that runs along the beach.
Seriously though – the clever pup hadn’t learned much from his experience though and tried to grab a couple of sticks from the ground – but (I know his dog trainer is reading this) you will be pleased to hear that his ‘leave it’ and ‘drop’ commands are very reliable. I bet he can’t wait for a good game of fetch though!