A week ago today, we brought Bowie home from the orthopedic surgeon’s clinic, and settled in to wait, worry and work towards a full recovery. It’s been rough going, to be honest.
Bowie is a big, strong dog, even after having had surgery and being on strong meds for pain, infection, and swelling. Not to mention the sedative prescribed to “keep Bowie calm.” She was bred to be a livestock guardian dog, to make decisions based on her instincts, and to function independently out on the pasture day and night, in all kinds of weather. Being trapped indoors and restricted to leash walks for the sole purpose of relieving herself is driving her nuts.
Not to mention, she was supposed to wear the Elizabethan collar (the “cone of shame” all dogs dread) 24/7. The picture above, from three days ago, was the last time she wore it; notwithstanding the beatific smile she displays in the photograph, she hated the collar – it literally drove her mad, and made her dangerous to get near. So, off it came.
That meant, of course, having to stay close at hand and be vigilant in case she began interfering with her incision, in which case I’d have to present the collar. Just the sight of it was enough to get her to stop and move on to a bone or a treat for distraction – for all her innate wildness, she is also a smart dog and wants to please us.
These weeks of enforced rest and recuperation, I remind myself and Bowie, will be rewarded with a return to the life she prefers – out watching over the farm and her sheep, keeping us safe.