Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Lady Inside My Head

I've decided that there's a problem with caring for dogs for the last 20 years --  It's that (when asked) I think I’ve gotten pretty good at giving supportive thoughts to people who are struggling to care for and make the best decision for their dogs.

But here's the thing when it comes to my own dogs and the foster dogs --  I am not very good at hearing the same kind, reasonable, forgiving lady that lives in my head. Sure, she'll talk to everyone else, but she ignores me when I ask her to weigh in on my problems. When she does finally say something to me, most of the time all I hear is a weepy confused lady running around in panicked circles calling me names for not being a better caregiver to the dogs.  That lady really gets to me sometimes.  And I couldn't help but hear her weepy voice this week when I was discussing Max with the Holistic Vet.  I found myself fighting off those hot-tears when I had to come to the realization that Max may need yet another knee surgery.
-Max after having his staples removed~
Max's recovery from surgery was going pretty well.  When the staples were taken out this week, everyone commented on how well he was doing. That made me feel pretty good because we've been following the post surgical instructions to the letter.  Then it happened. Actually, I don't know what happened.
All I know is that Max was holding up his OTHER (good) leg and not putting any weight onto it. It appears that he may have torn his other cruciate.  I had no idea that it's not uncommon for dogs to have the same injury occur to the other knee after surgery because they're having to compensate and shift their weight onto their good knee. I was told by the Rescue and the Holistic Vet that it was not my fault, and that I shouldn't feel guilty about it.  This is exactly what I may have told any of you if you were in the same spot. And I would have said that to myself if that weepy lady in my head wasn’t busy shouting about how I had failed Max.

At any rate, that's what seems to have happened.  The Holistic Vet recommended putting Max back on anti-inflammatory and pain medications.  She did acupuncture and cold laser therapy which seems to have helped.  Max is to be kept on strict crate-rest, nothing off leash, no jumping, etc.  All this in hopes of turning it around.
By Thursday, he was still tentative when he walked, but he was balancing his weight a little more. On Friday when I got home from work, the note from our dog-walker commented on how Max was "holding his leg up really close to himself when he came back in."  I found out that she'd misunderstood what the staples coming out meant, and she unknowingly let Max out without a leash. The lady in my head said a lot of nice things to our dog-walker, but to me, she wasn't so understanding.
Today, it appears that we're back to where we were earlier in the week.  And whatever happens, I know Max will be just fine.  He's not worried about another knee-surgery because he's too busy thinking about chasing the cat, getting some extra attention and watching what's on TV.
The lady inside my head has been quiet.  At least she is for the moment. However I know she'll be back -- She never really goes away. That's just how she is.  But maybe Todd can scare her away.


  1. Hello, Kim! I am sorry to hear about Max's good leg is not so good. He looks like he is taking it all in stride, good dog Max! Sending you all hugs and well wishes. Have a happy new week ahead!

  2. That inner mean girl is such a witch sometimes. Don't listen to her. You are awesome! I know you will figure out this leg thing with Max.

  3. Sigh, if it isn't one leg it's two.

    Hang in there ...

  4. You have me in tears.
    I know exactly how you feel.
    I was just having a huge argument with the lady in my head this very afternoon.
    I won't go into the details, you have enough going on, but know that you are not alone.
    But I do feel like this, both at home and at work
    and this post has helped me realize we both need to be nicer to ourselves, that we need to remember that we are doing the best that we can.
    Max looks happy, and he's lucky to have you.
    Give Todd some extra hugs and remember to be kind to yourself too!

  5. At least you don't have my problem. When I talk to myself, I'm talking to an idiot.

  6. i'm sorry. when baron injured his back leg, the vet warned me that it was likely he'd tear his other compensating for the injured one. i decided not to do the surgery. poor max.

  7. Oh my . . . I seem to be saying that a bunch lately!
    Poor dear Max and dear Kim too . . .
    Our animals take us on some roller coaster rides!
    Hope Max can be kept quiet . . . not the easiest!
    I'll be thinking of you, Max too . . .

  8. Dear Lady Inside Kim's Head:

  9. Yes, let's be gone with the lady in the head. Sending POTP that everything is OK with Max

  10. My daughter had bunions on both feet. They operated on one. When it healed up, they operated on the other one. My husband had surgery on one knee, when it healed they did surgery on the other knee. Tell the lady in your head it might've been the best thing for the dog to have one done at a time...he's only humane right?

  11. It is strange how you can rationally give advice, but fall apart when something happens to you!

  12. I can relate to the knee problems...not just for myself...but for Chloe as well. She has had problems on and off for years with her knees...but we have treated very conservatively with crate rest, no jumping, and metacam. It is SO hard though. Blessings to your sweet boy...and hope things improve!

  13. Sorry to hear about Max. I'm sure he will be okay with whatever happens.

  14. Not being a better care giver? You are the best care giver I know.
    Todd would do anything to protect you, for sure.
    Rest easy. Be safe, and God bless, Kim. ♥

  15. Max looks happy enough Kim, so he's not worrying, and trusts that you will do the right thing for him. Tell the lady in your head to take a holiday !

  16. Oh, Kim. That lady lives in my head too. I keep having to tell her that "you wouldn't talk to your worst enemy this way. Why do you do it to me?".

    Max looks happy and content. I'm sure he knows you're doing what is best for him.

    You're the best!!!


  17. It is only because we care so much that we constantly worry if we are doing enough. In reality we are doing the best we can.
    You are a wonderful caregiver!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  18. Oh, you are more understanding than I would be with the dog walker! But I've always known you are very kind! So be kind to yourself!

  19. Now I feel awful. When Morgan tore her cruciate,the vet told me that a dog who tears one has a greater risk of tearing the other. It was about a year before Morgan tore the second one. Because of her age and because they weren't total tears, she didn't have surgery, just total rest for six weeks each time. Don't beat yourself up, this is just another bump in the road and you'll get past it.

  20. Now I feel awful. When Morgan tore her cruciate,the vet told me that a dog who tears one has a greater risk of tearing the other. It was about a year before Morgan tore the second one. Because of her age and because they weren't total tears, she didn't have surgery, just total rest for six weeks each time. Don't beat yourself up, this is just another bump in the road and you'll get past it.

  21. GO TODD! you scare that lady out of our kim's head.
    she has no business there.
    kim's life is hard enough without that lady's poisonous thoughts!
    look at angus's sophie. almost the same thing.
    it just is what it is darling bean.
    if ever there was a dear heart who SHOULD NOT be beating herself up... it's YOU!
    here's to strength for the task and for the unbelievable patience that you already have to continue. XOXO♥ and special hugs for that adorable little laughing face that is max ... while putting up with all of it too!

  22. I'm wishing darling Max and you all the best.

    I've lived with that lady all my life, too. I'm trying harder to shut the door when she wants to come in.

    All the best to dear Deizel, too in his new home - I wasn't able to leave a comment on your last post.

  23. Evening Kim, sweet Max, pray all goes well for him and you. Hard living with that lady inside one's head,Hugs Francine.

  24. You are doing just fine Kim. This is so hard on you,, and you feel responsible,, but your not,
    Max will be okay.
    I understand how you feel

  25. That lady in your head is a real jerk, lying to you like that. We know how carefully you care for all the dogs who you take under your wing. One way or another, it will work out for Max.

    I do know a neighbor who had almost exactly the same sequence of events with her Aussie. Two knee surgeries later, her dog is doing great. I hope that Max can avoid that 2nd surgery... and I know you'll give him the best chance with your TLC.

  26. Well. you can tell the head lady that there's an idiot man in France who left the pen door open when taking off a bandage on a Polish Lowland Sheepdogs leg. At that very moment the post lady arrived and the Polish Lowland Sheepdog leapt over him, bounded out of the door and was at the gate before he could do anything. Leaping with a leg in thick bandage requires some determination. Owners can have all the experience and display all the care and attention in the world but a dogs sense of mischief will find a way to wreak havoc. If you find somewhere that sells an extra pair of eys to put in the back of the head will you let me know ?

  27. Oh Kim, I feel for you! The emotions just get too much some times, don't they. I recall a therapist getting me to do "Two chair work" where you sat and confronted the lady in your head..... it might help you see it more clearly if you say it out loud, and reply similarly... perhaps? Cuddles for Max, and for you too.

  28. Awww Max looks like Gracie... What a pretty boy! Oh Kim, you do a wonderful job with all of your kids and they are so lucky to have you. Tell that lady inside your head to start being nicer to you! You are an angel. Hugs, love and prayers for Max. Keep up the good work, Todd :-)

  29. We had a poodle once that had one knee fixed and not six months later we had to fix the other one. The only good thing was that I worked for the vet at the time, so employee discount helped. Those things happen, it IS okay.

  30. Guilt is a useless emotion, so I've been told. It doesn't help you, it doesn't help the animals.

    Try to be kind to yourself. You do AMAZING work.

  31. First, I'm glad Diezel found a good home, or maybe it was that lady, talking inside your head that found it for him? That good lady, who does more for dogs than anyone I have ever heard of. Max is adorable! What a face, so sweet. I know he will be just fine. And you should hear my lady, feeling sorry Samson doesn't get brushed enough, and still not brushing him enough!

  32. It does make total sense that this would happen. Happens to me when I have a injury on one side and the other side protests. I have that same lady when it comes to my own family. That is why Doctors are advised to have others care for their family members...we lose our perspective. None of us are perfect!!!

  33. Just tell her to shut-up!! That's what I do!!


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