For the last ten weeks, If it falls on the floor, it’s mine! has been dark. Seventy plus days of total radio silence. 1,680 hours or more of being closed. Over 100,800 minutes of being turned off. In all that time, the girls have been fine, Malcolm has been wonderful and moi…. ?
Moi has been recuperating.
In early January, I had surgery. Nothing earth shattering. Nothing from the hips on up north, nothing close to the heart or anything above the shoulders. It was however, a very serious and major surgery. Recovery has been long and arduous. I had a donor tendon attached to my previously ripped off hamstring and pinned to the above bone, recreating a single length of muscle/tendon. Due to the condition of the muscle and extensive scar tissue on my sciatic nerve, my surgery went several hours past the expected norm.
And there you have it, why my blog has been so quiet.
The good news: I had a very difficult surgery that went brilliantly. I also had a wonderful husband that took the absolute best of care of me. And, I had two, sweet as sugar dogs and one cat that instinctively knew I was in pain.
Upon release from the hospital, Malcolm’s and my concern was keeping Amore and Dolce at a safe distance from my leg. I was under strict orders to keep my knee in a brace, bent at a 90 degree angle to avoid stretching the muscle/tendon off its moors. Most importantly, I was NOT allowed to put any weight on my leg. For nine long weeks. Crutches, walkers and wheelchairs were my mode of transportation. None of which I was very proficient at. I worried the girls would knock the crutches out from under me in their frenzied excitement to see me. The wheelchair didn’t fit through some of our door ways and had to be abandoned after the first few days. For nine weeks, I was one-legged and at my most vulnerable. I could not afford to have 100 lbs. of canine jumping on me.
What were we going to do with the dogs? They were use to cuddling with me on the couch. Jumping over my legs, only to land between the back of the sofa and my torso, stretching their legs out, then positioning themselves on their back for the ultimate belly rub. They were allowed on the bed for some night-time loving, hopping up and over to lay their heads on my legs as they fell asleep. Dolce loved to push between my legs to get some special petting, coming from behind. Amore liked to give hugs, lifting up on her hind legs and hugging my waist with her front paws. How were we going to keep them away from me? How were we going to contain their eagerness, their jubilee, to see me after being gone for three long days in the hospital?
We needn’t have worried.
Dogs are amazing creatures. They sense when their family is out-of-sorts. They know when their humans are happy, sad, excited or, as in my case, in pain. Dolce and Amore knew immediately something was up the minute Malcolm pushed me through the door in the wheelchair. Though still enthusiastic to have their family back, they were cautious. Impatient as they were to have us home, they were both careful and curious. They knew.
Dolce approached me first. Carefully tip-toeing up to me to sniff the wheelchair, her nose fiercely wrinkling as she took in the new smells. She moved her muzzle down to my leg, taking in the brace. For a few minutes, all we heard was Dolce breathing in the new scents. Unsure of this moving contraption, Amore hung back, a look of nervousness passing through her eyes as she took in the wheelchair. With some encouragement, Amore came up to my side for a quick pet. She inhaled a deep breath as she took in my leg brace, and slowly stepped back. They knew.
And the cat, our most independent feline, never left my side. Gordita stayed curled up in my lap from the moment I came home. She slept by my side at night, never moving. She followed me from the bed to recliner and back to the bed, only leaving me to be fed. She offered me warmth and comfort. She knew.
For nine weeks, neither dog jumped on the bed. In the mornings, their cold noses would press up against the covers, sniffing for my hand to offer some love.
Their paws staying on the floor. For nine weeks, neither Dolce or Amore jumped up on the recliner as I rested to sit in my lap. They would show up for a little petting, a little scratching on the ears, and move on. Not once did they get underfoot as I hopped on my good leg with the walker to the living room. Not once did they get in they way as I slowly made my way through the house. They knew.
I am now in physical therapy to strengthen my leg and to relearn how to walk. The day I was allowed to take off the brace was the day Dolce leaped up on the bed from the other side and placed her paws and head on my stomach. Still avoiding my leg, she knew it was okay now. Gordita started to disappear from my lap for more than just food. Hours would pass before she would make an appearance. She knew I was healing, getting better. And, two days later, Amore carefully climbed up into my lap, as I sat in the recliner. Paws and head hanging over the arm of the chair, her body stretched across me. She instinctively knew it was all right. Mama was getting better.
With the aid of a cane, I can hobble along pretty good now. I went with Malcolm to walk the dogs today for the first time in three months. And, for the first time today, Dolce came from behind and pushed through my legs to finagle some extra love. Amore hasn’t given me my special hug yet but I’m confident it will happen.
When the time is right, she will. They just know.