|Abbie and Cleo - a bond formed years ago|
Well the first days are the hardest days
Don't you worry any more
Cause when life looks like Easy Street
There is danger at your door
Think this through with me
Let me know your mind
Wo, oh, what I want to now is are you kind?
Uncle John's Band
It's difficult to judge what Abbie's thinking after waking up to find her leg gone. It is obvious her new life is a complete shock. What Abbie needs most now is a little "are you kind". This isn't going to be easy for me or Abbie but together with the bond we've formed over the past eleven years will help make this transition go forward. It will take lots of time but hopefully we now have the advantage of having that time.
Everything Abbie does from this day forward will be different. She'll need a new place to eat and get her water, she'll need a new routine for going outside to take care of her business, she'll need to learn that life will still have everything she enjoys doing but will simply be different. What won't be different is the amount of love and support she gets from both me and some of the other hounds.
Last night I saw the hounds like Cleo, Agnes, Beagle and Poe all step up and form a circle of love around their long time fellow pack member. Cleo and Agnes stayed by Abbie's side throughout the night. I've never doubted the therapeutic effect that packs have when one has been injured or falls seriously ill. Of course as alpha leader in our pack I reaffirmed the role the "elders" play in helping bring things back to normal for Abbie. I count on the help from some of the older hounds in helping keep the newer members of the household in their place.
Over the next five days Abbie will be heavily sedated in order to help allow her wound to start the healing process. The wound itself looks clear. She is quite painful so her schedule will be broken down into little steps we will take. She did go out this morning but turned around and wanted back in. I offered her breakfast but at first she wasn't interested. So I sat there and hand fed her a few bites and left her alone. When I came back she was eating some of her breakfast. Then she went back to sleep. We'll try again with taking her out and encouraging her to eat every few hours.
Later today I'm going to move a large cage in the bedroom and use it only to put her food in. Hopefully I can teach her that when she's hungry there will be food in the cage where the rest of the hounds haven't had access to. It was kind of funny when the staff told me they tried to feed Abbie but she turned her nose up to everything but a few treats. I was going to mention that Abbie has a thing about her food - she really wants to watch you prepare it or she takes this attitude you must be trying to poison her and won't touch it. Besides, only dad knows what she likes.
As we move forward on introducing Abbie to her new life we'll just take things real slow and take things one day at a time. Days we are now blessed with thanks to a whole bunch of Abbie's dear friends and we thank you all.