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Very trying week

It's been an incredibly difficult week, but thank God things are looking up now. Last Wednesday Max collapsed while out walking. He lost the use of his back end completely - didn't know where it was. I managed to get him to a neighbour's, and they (bless them) helped me get him back home and then take him to the vet. They sent us home for the night and said they would arrange an MRI for first thing in the morning. It's when you're on your own all night with 33kg of helpless dog that being on your own feels especially hard. I stayed up all night with him. I tried to get him out for a pee at 3.30, but just couldn't. At 5 am, I managed to get him out with a makeshift sling under his waist, but he was too stressed and unstable to do anything. I spent the night convinced he was in his last day. At 7.30 my neighbour helped me get him out and he peed. He lifted Max into the car and I set off to Bristol. They had to carry him in and I hated leaving him there for his MRI. They didn't find anything on the MRI (eg slipped disc) and the assumed diagnosis was therefore a spinal stroke. Never heard of it before and was amazed to hear that most dogs recover well from this. Of course, Max is 14, so tougher. He came home Saturday with a sling. I was worried whether I would be able to look after him, esp peeing and pooping, but I managed OK with the sling. I put him in the sitting room so he had the carpet for grip and could get outdoors through the patio doors. We sat out in the garden for a while as the weather was lovely. I slept on the settee Saturday night. On Sunday, he was dashing round the garden with me supporting him. He still couldn't stand up unaided, but when I let Nina in to see him, he leapt up and ran round the room after her! He wobbled a lot and fell over a bit, but nonetheless... The physio came and took me through the exercises I need to do. He did pretty well though. By Monday he could get up unaided and walk about the room a bit. This was much faster progress than I expected, and I was thrilled. He even got up 8 stairs to try and find me ... and then got back down with minimal aid from me when the cleaner arrived and was greeted by the other two. More of the same today. Expecting the physio again tomorrow. Can't rightly say how relieved I am. Long may it continue. God is definitely in my good books!

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