I don’t think Jasmine understands just how large her feet are. Sometimes she’ll face plant into the grass because she doesn’t know how to walk. Haha sounds like me. Between the two of us, we’ve eaten our fair share of dirt.
On Wednesday night, for the first time in her entire life, she wanted to play with her tug toy. I didn’t have to demand she put the thing in her mouth. I didn’t have to act like a psycho and squeal in delight to get her excited. She was actually willing to play with the tug!!
So we played and of course Jasmine fell on her face in pure delight like she always does when she gets what she wants. After she tripped over herself, that’s when I noticed her limping. She wouldn’t put her full weight on one of her hind legs.
Jasmine’s limped before, and I’ve always been able to figure out what was wrong. A few weeks ago, one of her shoulders was stiff for a day because she decided to sleep like she was possessed and survived an exorcism. And another instance was when I brought her home for the first time and she had these scabby, pus-filled rashes on the skin in between the pads of her feet—she’s allergic to grass. So that was an easy fix with antibiotics, foot baths, and an allergy shot. I’m practically a licensed doctor!
So when she started limping this time, I assumed she got stung by a bee, or a demonic form of an allergic reaction woke up from hibernation. I went through every possibility in my head and narrowed it down to her spraining a toe.
Come this weekend’s personal protection class, I had messaged the DW telling him Jasmine and I probably weren’t going to go if she was still limping. He suggested we show up for obedience because it was minimal walking and we could target where her pain is actually coming from.
Ple-e-ease, DeeDub. I already knew the pain was coming from her toe, but I’ve learned to trust what the DW says. At this point, her and I had been pretty much sleeping for two days straight. Some walking would be good.
On Saturday, Jasmine and I did our obedience routine for the DW and the evaluator (yes, the freaking evaluator for our final evaluation in 2 weeks just *happened* to be there to check the dogs out).
You can imagine my anxiety, I’m sure. After obedience, the Dog Whisperer had me lay her down and told me this didn’t look like a minor injury and I should get her knee checked.
The rest of the morning, I continued to tell everyone she had a sprained toe. But honestly, after hearing the hesitation behind the DW’s tone, I was scared. I was also embarrassed because my girl possibly had a serious injury and I couldn’t even recognize it! She didn’t whine. She didn’t yelp. She just smelled flowers like usual and had a funny gait. But she wasn’t getting better.
Jasmine sat and watched her canine buddies during the remainder of the class. Immediately after, I drove her to a radiologist for X-rays, or an MRI, or anything to give me confirmation I was right and the professionals were wrong.
I was early for my early check-in. When we finally met with the vet, within five minutes she said, “Well, Jasmine has a torn ACL.”
My. Heart. Sank.
All this time I thought she sprained her toe! What about her TOE? Why didn’t anyone tell me it was her knee?
I can’t believe I waited 2 whole days before taking her in. AND! Her final evaluation is in 2 weeks! The world is concaving in on itself. Thankfully, the DW reassured me it’s not the apocalypse and everything will be okay. I was still horrified, but I remember everything he said in vivid detail. For once what I wanted him to tell me and what he *actually* told me aligned, and I was grateful for that. My following panic attack wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
The vet gave me a 1-month supply of pain medication so Jasmine wouldn’t be uncomfortable until her surgery in early October. She will also be able to do her evaluation at the end of September. But if Jasmine doesn’t want to do anything, I’m not going to force her. If she chooses to sleep during protection class, I’m going to let her do just that. Besides letting her wander wherever she wants, she’s on bed rest (which I don’t think she minds at all). After speaking to the surgical team, they said it would cost around $4000 for an ACL reconstruction. I don’t believe that includes physical therapy which I’m sure we’ll have to do together. Then she’ll be out of commission for 8 weeks.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel right now. When I tore my ACL in 2010, that was the end of my professional dance career. I stopped teaching. Bye bye to dance workshops. And seeing Jasmine have to go through the same thing brings back all of those emotions when I decided to live off Happy Meals and pursue my other passions. I still don’t think I’m over my own mental hurdle. I’ve never admitted that to myself before, but there you have it.
I guess I’m angry and frustrated. Sad about the timing and any pain Jasmine might be feeling (as I’m writing this, she’s snoring next to me in complete bliss).
While Jasmine isn’t scared, I am scared for her. And I don’t want my fears to keep us from growing.
That’s about all I can say about it right now. Godspeed, my sweet girl.