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21 October 2011

The Perilous Adventures of Hershey the Aptly-Named Chocolate Lab: Part 3

(Continued from the previous posts, The Perilous Adventures of Hershey, the Aptly-Named Chocolate Lab: Part 1 and Part 2. Be sure to read those for the back-story.)

Hershey didn't feel like pushing it when we got to Veterinary Regional Referral Hospital (which I now highly recommend) in Decatur. I let two staff members pick him up out if the van and put him on the stretcher to wheel him into the area where they'd prep him for surgery. When he got on the stretcher, he perked up and then sat up so he wouldn't miss anything. I pulled my camera out too late to take a photo.

After getting him checked in and waiting for a short while, my son and daughter listened with me as the surgeon, Dr. Mullins, explained what would be necessary if she was to save Hershey's left front leg. It would require two rods going through the bone above and below the break, connected by another rod on the outside of his leg. Recover time would be anywhere from six to a whopping 20 weeks (!).

The other option was amputation -- the medical way of saying Hershey would have his leg cut off.

It wasn't too difficult to decide on the surgery to save his leg rather than the procedure to remove it. My son and daughter and I were apparently each moved by the knowledge that Hershey would willingly do anything at all for any of us, to the point of sacrificing himself for our well-being without a second thought. I'm sure that sounds crazy to some, but it wasn't to us, and in retrospect we'd do it again given the same circumstances.

We left Hershey in wonderful hands as we departed the animal hospital for our house, expectant of the call we'd be getting after surgery to let us know how it went.

The call from Dr. Mullins several hours later contained a shock. When she'd gotten to see the bone with her own eyes, lo and behold, the bone wasn't actually shattered! The bullet had only made a small crater in the bone. Hershey's leg wouldn't require the surgery to put rods in, after all! His recovery time would be four to six weeks, and while it would require some tough love (not allowing him to roam around freely during the recovery time even if he's desperate to do so), the complications of maintaining an external rod going through a bone would be absent. And Hershey wouldn't have to deal with it, either.

Some might say that the X-rays were difficult to read, and that may be true, though I contend that there was little mistaking what the situation was (see yesterday's post for one of the images). However, if we hadn't been praying for our dog and others had not been joining us, I believe that Hershey would have a rod in his leg right now. Sounds silly? Too bad. For the first time in a long time, I don't particularly care about the potential theological complications of an idea -- that God would not do such-and-such unless we explicitly asked Him to. I don't know if He would have or not. I'm just grateful that He did.

Hershey has been enjoying the cushy life of a spoiled inside dog for the past few days. As a matter of fact, he started jogging on Wednesday -- two days after having his leg cut open and about four days after being shot -- when he was taken out to pee. Preventing him from doing so wasn't easy.

Below is a photo of Hershey taking it easy and enjoying recovery, watching Psych and being waited on leg and foot.

I know there are lessons in this whole saga about one's willingness to sacrifice himself for the sake of others, and about the fact that "the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." (James 5:16, NLT) And I'll remember those lessons. Again.


Christy said...

God is so good! He cares for all of His creation. Our pets are great reminders of just that. I know Dixie has taught me a great deal of how I should interact with my Master - always look forward to seeing Him, being with Him and following His every step. Hershey's willingness to do anything for his family no matter the cost to himself is a reminder of God's love and willingness to sacrifice for us. Some might consider the analogies silly. I just thank God for the "little things".

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