First thing this morning I carried Odie outside and set him down so he could do his business. He walked over to a post and lifted his left leg so he could pee. That felt like another small victory.
Then after he was done with the pee and the poo, he started heading back toward the house. He only traversed a couple of feet before he stopped and wanted me to rescue him (pick him up). But still. That he even attempted to walk back toward the house is more than he’s done in days.
I picked him up and carried him to the front stoop and set him back down. He climbed over the entrance way into the kitchen and then promptly stopped in his tracks. I did manage to get him to stay on his feet for several minutes as he happily licked away at his breakfast. It feels like I’m tricking him to stay on his feet a bit by tempting him with food. His food naturally slides all over the floor as he licks at it, which naturally causes him to have to move around in order to continue eating.
As he was happily licking away at his food, an idea struck me. I quietly slipped out of the kitchen and walked past the living room into the hallway so that I was completely out of sight. After Odie finished his food I heard him walk a few steps and then stop for a minute or two, possibly listening for me. When he didn’t hear anything or see anything he plodded his way from the kitchen into the living room and over to his doggy bed. It was then that I poked my head around the corner and made eye contact with him. His ears were alert, on point.
So the question is he scamming me for attention, coddling and adoration or is he doing what he has to do to survive? His vet said he will force himself to move when it comes to life-sustaining efforts like eating, drinking and going to the bathroom. But if that were true, and he could only bring himself to move for life-sustaining efforts, would he make the effort to leave the kitchen to walk to his doggy bed? My dad and I always marvel at how intelligent he is. So I wouldn’t put it past him to exaggerate how he’s feeling in order to get more attention out of me. Honestly, how can you say no to these sweet big eyes begging you for help?
We picked up his grandpa from the airport about two hours ago. When we pulled into the driveway, I set Odie down and he walked from the car nearly to the front door, stopping at the steps, perhaps intimidated by them. The last time he met them he sort of ran into them and fell back unable to climb up them.
I set a ramp down over the steps, picked him up and placed him at the bottom of the ramp. He immediately walked up the ramp into the house. I then coaxed him from the kitchen to the living room with treats. My dad and I cheered him along the entire time.
After I gave him a bath this afternoon I set a pretty big plate of food down in front of him because my dad said he looks like he’s lost weight and part of me wonders if the diuretics were flushing nutrients from his body causing him to become weak/malnourished.
After he scarfed down almost half a can of chicken and brown rice dog food, he got up a bit unsteady on his feet, walked out his doggy door, hopped down the steps and went to the bathroom. From the plastic flap through his doggy door I watched as he made his way back to the steps. I could see him struggle to get up the first step and my mom instinct kicked in. I stood up, opened the door and there he was on the top landing poised to walk in through the doggy door. Had I not overreacted, he probably would have walked back in through the door.
My dad is second set of eyes observing his movements and actions. He says he’s a lot better than he pictured he would be (having been reading my blog posts) but that he’s definitely unsteady on his feet. We both feel this has to be a result of the drugs as he gets stronger and stronger every day he’s not taking them. The stronger he gets, the more peace of mind I have.