May 31st, 2016
I’m back together again with my Newfoundland puppy, Bailey. Eight days ago, I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee to repair torn cartilage. It is not a long procedure – twenty minutes. You spend more time waiting for the surgery which is about 3 years. I was not willing to wait this long. Other provinces like Saskatchewan have less wait times. I opted for a 6 month waiting period. This surgery required me to fly an entire day from Labrador to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan involving 5 flights. The trip back was a little more complicated as I needed a wheelchair to quickly move me from one departure gate to the next. The third flight was delayed due to a seatbelt malfunction in the cockpit. I found myself stranded in Halifax, Nova Scotia for twenty hours. I hunkered down in the airport hotel courtesy of Air Canada to watch endless television programming. I called home to deliver the news. The family was somewhat disappointed that my arrival would be the next day. At this point, Bailey was barely eating and walks were met with little enthusiasm on her part. My girl needed me.
I finally made it back home on Friday night – much later than scheduled. I was trying to think of the best way to greet Bailey. The thought of her wriggling 110 pound body touching the four incision points on my swollen knee was not a pleasant thought. I decided to stick my hand over her kennel fencing for a controlled reunion. Then, I would get comfortable on the sofa. In doing so, Bailey could get near me without bumping up against my injury. I caved and ditched the plan! My hand went over the fencing. Bailey murmured happy grunts and wagged her tail. She appeared on the calm side. I slowly opened her gate while leaning my sore knee up against the fencing. Bailey moved out. Yet, she seemed to sense something was different about me. Bailey was not her usual rambunctious self – more calm. It only lasted a couple of minutes before her enthusiasm began to return. I began to wobble as she circled around me, inching closer and closer. My husband, upon seeing my distress, held her back. I made a quick exit into the house to the sofa. Once in place, Bailey was free to approach me. I could see that she was intent on becoming my special sofa buddy. Over the last couple of days, Bailey has kept me company by sitting or lying beside the sofa. She strategically positioned herself so that I could easily rub her favourite spots like the ears, chin and belly. My pain has lessened not because of medication. I attribute it to Bailey’s pain management program involving constant rubbing of fur. She responds by falling asleep. Her soothing snores lull me into my own deep sleep. Bailey is definitely the best medication. Thanks to her, I am on the mend.