Saturday, November 1, 2008

Emma On Injured Reserve

Emma, my Boston Terrier, races through a tunnel at the Maybell, Colorado NADAC Agility Trial in 2007. It was our first and to date, only agility trial, even though we have continued to train off and on with our local agility group here in Steamboat Springs since then.

Unfortunately, Emma required surgery in March for a luxating patella in her right hind leg. In everyday terms, that's a dislocated patella in the knee joint. It's uncomfortable and increases the risk for injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee. Dr. Eggers, the head orthopedic veterinarian from CSU, operated on Emma and reports her surgery was successful. Because luxating patellas are often hereditary, if it occurs on one side, it will occur on the other. So, now that her right hind leg is healed, Dr. Eggers will be operating on her left hind later this month. It is a major surgery and requires 4-6 months of rehabilitation and restricted activity.

Facing these surgeries has been frustrating for both of us. Emma is a beautiful and incredibly athletic dog. She has a high level of energy and it was difficult to offer her enough restricted exercise during her rehabilitation after the first surgery. I empathize with her because I know what it's like not to get out and about to run or snowshoe or even go for a walk. So, I'm renewing my commitment to finding the silver lining in our situation after realizing we have two choices: we can be defeated or we can make something better of our discouragement.

So, when she feels better after this next surgery, we will get deeper into obedience training and add on some easy and quiet dance steps too. I know if she is content it will benefit her healing process. Dr. Eggers smiled at me last time I saw him when he knew I was worried about her in the days ahead. He said assuringly, "Don't worry, Emma will back in agility. We'll get her back."
I walked out of his office believing him. With a successful surgery later this month and some of our adaptive training, I look forward to Emma being off injured reserve sometime next spring, just in time for the 2009 Maybell NADAC Agility Trial.

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