I shared a few photos and videos of Bucky lately, but not a lot of information. Friday will be his six-week recheck after his surgery and we are on pins and needles to see what the surgeon has to say about his progress and whether we can move ahead. Poor Bucky has been in his crate for 5 1/2 + weeks, and that’s hard for any dog, but even worse for a one year old puppy. It has been hard on him, and hard on us living with him as well. His ability to howl for lengthy periods of time has been a test of our nervous systems. We don’t blame him…he is living through misery right now. But it has still been hard on all sides.

There does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel, however. The folks at physical therapy are very impressed with his progress, and I hope the surgeon will be as well. He is putting weight on the leg that had surgery, and even running and jumping up on me at times, though I try to prevent both of those things! I’m told, both by the surgeon and the vet tech who specializes in rehab, that the ability to put the leg/foot down while he is stationary will be the last thing to happen, that it can even be a year before he uses the leg completely. But when he is moving that leg is down, weight-bearing, and he is ready to rock and roll (which makes crate time even harder.) So I am really hoping that the surgeon feels he has made enough progress to start doing the underwater treadmill and such in PT so he can redevelop his muscle mass and be ready for adoption.

In the meantime, thanks to the help of my favorite behaviorist/trainer, we have lots of exercises and activities and enrichments, all appropriate to his physical limitations, that are helping Bucky pass the time. Some training that works on impulse control, which he definitely needs (as do all puppies). Some fun enrichment…he now gets his kibble in 14 ice cubes, with a covering of dog food and green beans that takes him about 8-10 minutes to eat and is fun. Some extra huge ice cubes with kibble frozen in them that I give him when I take Gracie for a walk, so Gracie’s walks now mean he gets something he likes, instead of just being envious that she’s out walking and he isn’t. Some relaxation training that makes him think pretty hard and tires him out. And this week, since temps are closer to 80 than 100, we take him outside to sit in the grass in the front yard where he can smell whatever he smells, watch people and cars go by, and just be out of the crate for a good while…he likes being outside. All of which has reduced the howling level, along with the Trazadone (sedative). He has gotten pretty used to the Trazadone, however. It still works, but it doesn’t knock him out like it once did, so these other activities are helping to keep him from being so frustrated that he loses his mind, and starts howling.

So keep your paws crossed for him on Friday. I’m really hoping we can start moving forward with him and get out of the current holding pattern. I’m also anxious to hear what the surgeon says about a company I discovered that custom makes braces, including elbow braces for front legs. The PT folks speak highly of the company, and I suspect the surgeon knows it too (less than an hour from us), and I’m thinking that suggesting a custom elbow brace for him for times when he wants to go for longer walks or more activity might protect that front leg for longer than it might last otherwise.

Stay tuned…I’ll report back after Friday’s visit!

21 thoughts on “The Fosters: Bucky Update

  1. What a great update……love all the things you’re doing to keep that boy from being bored out of his mind. The ice cube/treat idea is clever. Happy he’s using the leg and is getting outside time. This little guy has been through so much (as have you!) and should make someone a really wonderful companion one day that’s for sure. Hope the surgeon is happy with his progress!

    Hugs, Pam

    1. We’re keeping good thoughts for the visit to the surgeon…all fingers, toes, and paws crossed.

  2. So much good news! Very clever with the kibble and the relaxation training. My fingers are crossed for Bucky’s Friday visit. I think you are on a good road to success. I love the photo of Bucky without the cone. He is a handsome pup! You are all doing a wonderful job. Many thanks for you taking Bucky through this bumpy ride… i can see it smoothing out!

  3. It all sounds good so far. You are so creative–I am in awe of all your ideas to make life easier for Bucky–and for you! Paws and fingers crossed over here, so we will wait for (hopefully!) good news on Friday. You are doing great, little guy.

    1. I’m less creative than you think, but the behaviorist I work with is FULL of ideas and things I would never think of. I’m lucky to have the help.

  4. He is so lucky! Fingers, paw all crossed. This is great news. Locally we have a person who takes difficult cat cases like this that take a lot of time and ingenuity. I’m always in awe of people like that. Like you sometimes do, she often adopts the most difficult cases but many are rehabbed to go on to a new life. My dog experiences are limited but I can imaging having a howling dog is not a fun time and puppies be puppies.

    1. A howling dog is totally not fun, and he is LOUD. Outside you can hear him two houses away…sigh. I’m hoping that out of the crate he won’t have as much need to complain. And hooray for your local person who takes on touch kitty cases. That’s not easy.

  5. Kudos on going the extra mile for that cutie pie. It sounds like his progress is right on track for making a full recovery. Yay, Bucky! That handsome face and charming personality will go a long way to finding his ‘fur-ever’ home.

    1. I’m hoping he will make someone or some family very happy sometime in the not too distant future.

    1. It has definitely been a challenge, but I know the story will end better than it started!

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