Canine Convalescence Day One In Which All the Other Pets Make Me Crazy

Cone of Shame
Xander was happy to land on his bed


Xander came through his surgery like a champ. We picked him up around 7 PM. Well, technically the vet staff half-carried him to the car where he drunkenly sank into the back seat and sighed with what I hope was contentment when I petted him.

The vet told me that everything went smoothly. They removed the tumor completely and sent it off for lab assessment. No complications, no problems. The major challenge would be recuperation – limited activity, no dashing or prancing, and possibly use of the “Cone of Shame,” etc.

Xander, however, has anxiety for which he takes Prozac. He’s jumpy and nervous over everything. He must keep things that make him anxious in his line of sight. So the “Cone of Shame” would potentially be a disaster, especially when you factor in his equally elderly brother and one very ancient slightly demented cat. Crating Xander is out of the question because his crate is down a narrow flight of steps. Thus, we are going to do a 24/7 schedule of one human having eyes on Xander at all times to reduce the need for the Cone of Shame.

Getting him out of the car was not easy. It was cold and dark. Ledcat went into the house to establish the perimeter – other dogs outside, cats in the basement, etc. I tried to persuade Xander to get out of the car. And tried and tried while he just lolled there, looking at me with dilated pupils in that sad way of his. Eventually, he decided to cooperate and join me on the sidewalk. We got some momentum as we lurched down the sidewalk listing slightly to the right while I tightly clutched his harness to help him avoid putting too much weight on his leg.

The front steps were a challenge, but we took a deep breath and made that final lurch up and into the house. With our last burst of enthusiasm, we got to the dog bed and were down for the count.

Then I had to get up from the floor and do other human stuff.

I decided to sleep on the sofa the first night just to make sure he didn’t get the munchies and roam the first floor. He didn’t. He slept and didn’t move. Fortunately, our sofa is very comfy so I figured it would be fine. What we didn’t plan for was Boris. He’s been ensconced in his cat bed (formerly Ana’s dog bed) in the middle of the sofa for months. He loves it because he’s snug but has a great view of the entire living room. We thought (foolishly) that we could move his throne upstairs to the human bed and he’d relish the full attention of his human, Ledcat.

Wrong. Oh so wrong. Boris wanted to be on the sofa in his spot. So we spent the night in an endless struggle of him perching on me, me rolling over and him sliding off me while I desperately reach for his little body before he slid onto the floor. Finally, I put a blanket and pillow on the floor.

A few other cats visited me as well. I’m pretty sure Simon bit my foot. I shivered without the blanket. Then I had a dream about the Gilmore Girls.

Meanwhile, Xander snored through the night and didn’t wake until 7 AM when my alarm went off. He got up on his own, visited the backyard and then he stumbled and fell down a bit. I ran to get him in my pajamas, bare feet and winter coat. He recovered on his own and came into the house under his own power. As I feared, this was the hard part because I had to make sure Xander maintained a reasonable pace heading out the door while simultaneously urging Amadeus to pick up his pace, fending off the darting cats and keeping Ana from illicit activities such as unauthorized consumption of cat food.  All before coffee!

He drank, ate, took his meds and fell back asleep. Everyone fell back asleep except me. I sort of slumped on the sofa counting the drips until the coffeemaker produced enough of that precious liquid gold for me to consume.

OMG, I suck at this. I clearly should have set the coffee to autobrew before I want to bed sofa. I also need to sleep in slippers or shoes so I can dash into the yard and leave some sort of wrap right next to the back door. Plus, we ran out of milk and I’m stuck until Ledcat gets home.

Ledcat accuses me of exaggerating these things. Thus, I’m chronicling the convalescence for accuracy sake.


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