It was 4:00 am this past Wednesday night. Just like the past 3 nights, Ubi was sleeping with me on the couch. I felt this was safe because my couch is so low to the ground. The highest point is no more than 2 feet above the ground. Unlike the past 3 nights, at 4:00 am I woke up to a thud, and then loud screeching. “Oh no! Ubi!”, I cried out loud.
I got up and turned on the light and picked him up. He was shaking violently and yelping. I comforted him as best I could, stroking him, as he looked up at me with those all too expressive eyes. I knew he was in severe pain.
Eventually he stopped shaking and squealing though, and I put him on the ground to see if he was limping. He wasn’t putting any weight on his right rear leg. He limped over to his crate, stepped inside, and lied down and went to sleep. I closed the door to his crate, and decided to wait until morning to take him to the vet since he wasn’t complaining anymore and he was resting.
The next morning I called the vet at 7:00 am, right when they opened, and they got me an appointment at 9:00 am. An x-ray showed a broken tibia in his right rear leg. I felt so bad. I felt like I used very poor judgement and I could never forgive myself.
The picture above was from when I picked him up from the vet a little bit later. You can tell he’s frowning. My frown is fake, but inside it wasn’t. I told the vet tech that I just felt horrible. She reminded me that I’ve never had a puppy before, and sometimes lessons have to be learned the hard way. She said that she had no hesitation sending him home with me because she and everyone else there knew that I would do right by him.
It turns out that Ubi doesn’t need his cone collar because he can get to the bandage anyway. A friend at work had a good idea, which was to spray Bitter Apple on it. Today I am having to slow Ubi down because he doesn’t appear to be in any pain, and he’s flying around my condo like nothing happened. He has definitely learned how to use his peg leg, and it doesn’t deter him from playing. It pains me to stop him and slow him down because I know he has a ton of energy and he just wants to play, but the more he puts weight on the peg leg, the longer it will take to heal.
So I’ve learned a big lesson, and as I finish this up with Ubi at my feet barking at me to play with him, all I can think about is that this could have been much worse. Everyone tells me that he will heal quickly because he is a puppy. I’m looking forward to the day when he gets the bandage off and is released from bondage. In the meantime, I will consider this to be a character building exercise. Not for Ubi, but for me.