Cromwell, my field springer who never hunts, and I are bonded at the hip. When you look for the definition of separation anxiety, you see a picture of Cromwell. He is by my side, literally every day and night. Cromwell has three beds in our home. One bed is next to my desk, one next to my TV chair, and one next to our bed on my side of course.
Cromwell is the most lovable, and the best dog I have ever had. He is my buddy and I am his buddy. We joke that Cromwell has to do everything I do. The truth is he does. However, this time he has carried it too far.
I had to have shoulder surgery to repair some torn tendons and the socket. While I was getting ready for the surgery, I did not neglect Cromwell’s daily romps at the dog park. Cromwell has lots of energy and needs to run every day. He and I take advantage of these trips to the dog park as an outing on the cold dreary days during Wisconsin’s winters.
There are the regulars at the dog park whom I visit with and Cromwell plays with. However, his favorite activity is fetch and he will play fetch endlessly. This day I was throwing the ball out into the snow and Cromwell was quickly bringing it back. One of my throws did not go very far and he stopped suddenly to grab the ball. In the process he tore the crusha ligament in his left hind leg. In pain and yelping he brought the tennis ball back and was ready for more fetches.
The next stop was our vet where Cromwell is well known. He is the only dog to ever be treated for wearing his nails down by running too much. Then there were the several shoulder sprains incurred while playing fetch. This time it did not take the doctor long to pronounce his diagnosis. A torn ligament and he needed surgery.
Our vet is a very good vet but he did not want to attempt the surgery on Cromwell’s tendon. We had to call in a Springer specialist from Springerland. This was becoming too much like me. My shoulder was damaged by a disease not an accident. I had to go to a specialist first to stop the tremors and then have a special surgery done. I looked at my dog when the vet told us he had to call in a specialist and Cromwell was smiling.
Cromwell had his surgery on a Tuesday, exactly one week after my surgery, which was also on a Tuesday. His surgery was at 1:30 the exact same time my surgery was. His after care at home instructions are almost identical to mine with one big exception. Mine said nothing about putting me on a short leash to go to the bathroom. Cromwell needs ice, and I need ice. Cromwell needs physical therapy, and I need physical therapy. He is wearing a big halo collar and I did not have to wear one.
There is one other difference between our two surgeries. The hospital allowed me to go home before I paid the bill. I am depending on Medicare to pick up the tab for my surgery. My wife and I picked up the tab for Cromwell.
The original estimate was $1885.00. This did not include the $450.00 for the diagnostic x-ray or sedatives used leading up to surgery. Then he came down with a rash from lying on his blanket prior to the surgery. This added the cost of special antibiotics. Still, to come is the stitch removal, two more x-rays and physical therapy.
When people ask what did you get your wife for your fortieth wedding anniversary this year? I will point to Cromwell’s leg and say a happy, healthy dog. Cromwell’s surgery and recovery will top the $3000.00 mark. We will not be taking a vacation this year or buying anything new. The garage will be patched and painted, not sided as planned. The roof will just have to not leak for another year. Is he worth it?
You betcha he is! I can think of no one I would rather have sympathy surgery with than my buddy Cromwell. He and I will recover together, take our pills, and do our therapy. We will both recover quicker because we have each other.