I think my exact words in Friday’s blog post were something along the lines of how we were going to have a super low-key weekend and how giddy I was about it.
Ha! What a joke. Oy. Low key is the last word I would use to describe our weekend as our lives came to a halt bright and early Friday morning when we noticed that something was terribly wrong with Teddy, our beloved 10.5 year old rescue chihuahua-pug mix.
Thursday was a very relaxed day for us. The girls and I oddly stayed home all day except to eat dinner and swim with friends for a couple hours that evening. Teddy is my shadow and follows me wherever I go, and I never witnessed any kind of hard jump or injury on Thursday.
Later that night, when we crawled into bed, I said to Jamie that Teddy was shaking. We knew this meant he probably didn’t feel well and that something was up. I was concerned, but he was otherwise acting fine, walking normally, etc. He’d walked up the stairs and into our bed just like normal.
When I woke up at 4:20 to go to my 5 a.m. OTF class, I saw Teddy sitting up in bed shaking again. Now I was super concerned. I tried to get Teddy to go outside with me to the bathroom so that I could evaluate him, but instead he jumped off the bed and hid under it. I woke up Jamie to tell him, but he said that it wasn’t abnormal for Teddy to sleep under the bed after I leave for my class.
When I came back home around 6:15, I saw Jamie in the front yard with Teddy. He said that Teddy could barely walk. From there, everything went from 0 to 100 rapidly. His back was horribly hunched and his back legs were giving out under him. We picked him up, brought him inside, and I just knew something terrible had happened.
They always say that there’s never a good time for these things to happen, but the silver lining in all of this was that this actually wasn’t a horrible time for this to happen. I’d already made plans to spend the day with my mom (we hadn’t had a chill/run around together day in a few weeks), and Jamie only had to put in four hours of work that day. Plus, like I said, we had zero weekends plans (like, ZERO, which is very abnormal), so all of this was a huge blessing amidst sudden chaos.
Anyway, I texted Mom to rush over so that I could take Teddy to the vet at 7. Teddy is up to date on his shots, so we hadn’t found a vet here in Madison yet. I ran to the one that opened the earliest, which ended up being such a God thing in itself (more about why later). They were so incredibly kind and asked if I could leave him there since I didn’t have an appointment, but they mentioned that he would likely be seen almost immediately since he couldn’t walk. I agree no problem and went home to wait.
The call from the vet was tough. She confirmed that Teddy had a spinal issue and was already beginning to lose feeling in his legs and feet. She suggested taking him to a surgeon in Huntsville who could evaluate, but she gave me a heads up that the surgery would be a small fortune.
I held it together until we hung up, and then lost it, calling Jamie to please come home.
I felt faced with two options:
- A very expensive surgery that would leave our 10.5 year old dog in pain for months while he recovered (we guessed that back surgery would be way worse than hip surgery, which Teddy had 18 months ago that took a full six months before he was back to his normal self.)
- Choosing to end the excruciating pain he was in (the vet said he screamed bloody murder multiple times during his evaluation) and not make an elderly dog go through what we thought would be many months of crating and recovery.
To say that Jamie and I were beside ourselves would be an understatement. How do we even begin to make a decision like this? It wasn’t about the money. It was about Teddy. What was best for him? He doesn’t understand this excruciating pain. How can we put him through something like this again? How did this happen? Our perfectly healthy dog was fine yesterday! I was such a wreck. Thank the Lord for my mom being there to take care of the girls so Jamie and I could sort this out.
We talked with the vet on the phone a couple more times, and she was so amazing. At this point, we still hadn’t met her. She was just a vet at the first place we went to. She encouraged us to go see the surgeon before we thought any further about euthanizing, so we headed to the vet to pick up Teddy and head to Huntsville.
As soon as the vet (Dr. Brown) came out and started talking with us, I recognized her as someone who has spoken a few times at the church our hearts have been leading us to. I interrupted her and asked if she went there, and it indeed was the same person. 🙂 We had heard her speak about her faith, and I was immediately comforted that this strong Christian women was the one who had been guiding us and taking care of our baby all morning. She couldn’t have been more wonderful.
From there, we headed straight to see the surgeon, Dr. Harriman. (It was only about 9 a.m. but it felt like dinnertime by this point.) He did an immediate evaluation and sat with us for 20-25 minutes to go over what was happening. Jamie and I were in awe of the time he spent with us answering our questions, being patient through my nervous tears, and sharing as much as he could about what was happening with Teddy.
Basically Teddy had two slipped disks in his spine – one that was fresh from a recent injury and another that was hardened and been there for a while (this broke our hearts). He said that the full recovery rate was 85% for Teddy’s breed, and that he’d have pain meds for the first two weeks of recovery to keep him comfortable. He said that he should be pain-free after those two weeks. This made a world of difference for us because we did not want Teddy in any more pain. The high success rate was music to our ears. We signed what we needed to sign, kissed our buddy, and headed home to let them do their thing.
We grabbed drive-thru lunch, asked my mom to keep the girls for a bit, and came home to unwind emotionally. I slept hard for three hours and Jamie got out some energy around the house. Mom and I spent a couple hours at the nail salon through dinnertime because I was having a tough time winding down. At the beginning of the day, I thought it was obvious that we were losing Ted to a tragic injury, but now he was in Huntsville recovering from surgery.
We ate frozen pizza that night and crashed hard. Friday was a doozy.
On Saturday, we started the day bright and early at Hadley’s t-ball game.
After t-ball, my mom joined the girls and I for a spontaneous trip to Nashville. I’d been wanting to go check out the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and I figured this day was perfect since Teddy wouldn’t be coming home until at least Sunday. My mom was so sweet and happily agreed to come along for the ride. Jamie stayed back to work around the house some more (Can you believe he didn’t want to drive all the way to Nashville to shop at Nordstrom? Weird dude.), and then he and my dad met up to visit Teddy and have a beer at a local brewery. I was glad Jamie was able to unwind.
I did a fun, quick try-on session for the blog (coming on Friday!), walked around the mall a bit more, then headed to Arrington Vineyard (about 20 miles south of Nashville) on our way home.
My mom and I grabbed a small flight of wine to sip, and the girls had a ball running around the grounds near our picnic table. It was such a perfect way to spend the afternoon!
A crack of thunder straight over head put some pep in our step to call it a day, so we let the girls run through the vineyard real quick before hopping back in the car.
On Sunday, we headed to church and hoped to see the vet to thank her again and give her an update about what ended up happening with Teddy.
We ended up meeting one of the head pastors, which was wonderful. We then found Dr. Brown (Erin), who was so interested in what happened the rest of the day for us. We talked and talked forever before she ended up introducing us to a ton of other people at the church who we would mesh with. Turns out she and I have a ton in common and so do our husbands. Even our kids are the same age. And none of these conversations would have happened had we not ended up at that exact vet at 7 a.m. on Friday.
So now we went from knowing no one at the church to meeting a ton of people who made so much click for us, which was so solidifying that this is definitely the church that God has been leading us to. I think we’ve both known it for a few weeks, but this felt like confirmation. Jamie and I both left there just in awe of how intertwined everything became. We were so grateful.
Once we got in the car, I saw I had a voicemail saying that Ted was doing great and ready to go home. We ran down there immediately to scoop up our buddy!
We have some adjusting to do at home regarding making sure Teddy is doing exactly what he needs to do to recover 100%, but his spirits are good and he was so happy to be home. We know without a shadow of a doubt that we did the right thing with surgery, which ended up being about 25% cheaper than we were fully expecting it to be! This was huge.
The girls have been so good with him, especially Hadley. She has been very tender, loving, and helpful with making sure he’s taken care of.
I spent the rest of the day Sunday in my pajamas resting with him. He can’t walk well yet because he needs to slowly rebuild strength in one of his legs, but he’s already doing much better.
Isn’t it crazy how twisted up a pet can make your heart?! Good gracious! The part that took a toll of me was the couple of hours that we wondered if we were going to have to make a heart-wrenching decision. When I was in my early 20s, my family lost two pets in a way where it was beyond obvious that they were very sick and ready to go, but Teddy just wasn’t ready to go. It didn’t feel right, but we didn’t want him in pain either. All we prayed for was for the answer to be obvious, and thankfully it truly was. We love our buddy so, so much and hope that he’ll recover good as new and have a strong, healthy few years ahead of him.
Have you ever had an experience where your pet was injured and needed a sudden, major surgery?
Can you relate to how bananas we are about Teddy?
Has your dog ever had back issues? How did their surgery recovery go?
Thanks for the link-up, Lindsay. <3
Hi! I’m a proud Army wife and mom to two little girls (ages 1 and 4), and I love sharing our lives with you. I blog all about motherhood, our time in the military, our travels, our meals, my fitness journey, my fashion favorites, and so much more. I truly enjoy sharing it all! I can’t get enough of birthday cake ice cream, weekend sunrise runs, or making my girls belly-laugh. I write almost daily about my family’s lives, and though I like to keep things light, I also share the messy parts too. Welcome! So glad to have you around. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram and would love to communicate with you there!