Two weeks ago, we had a terrible accident. I was getting ready to take my youngest daughter to preschool and thought I had left Holly in the house. Holly must have slipped out the door to the garage behind my daughter -- I backed into her with the car in our driveway. Words can not describe how horrible I felt, and still feel. I've always prided myself on being so conscientous with my kids and our beloved pets. I knew accidents happen, but thought they could never happen to me as I was so very careful. To say I'm learning a lesson in humility is an understatement.
After rushing Holly to our vet here to be stabilized, I decided to take her to the University of Florida for surgery. Holly had a left sacroiliac luxation, fracture of the right ilium through the acetabulum (hip socket area) and a fracture in the caudal vertebrae. She was seen by a neurologist and orthopedist at the University and had surgery two weeks ago Saturday (the morning following the accident). In addition to having a plate attached to her hip area, Holly had her tail amputated due to the vertebral fracture in that region.
I brought Holly home last Tuesday. She is on strict crate rest for at least 8-12 weeks. The wonderful news is that she is able to go potty on her own and eats and drinks well. Her right hind leg has significant nerve damage, so we are using a sling to assist her when she takes a few steps to potty. My strongest desire for Holly is that she eventually regains full function of her leg as the injury heals.
Holly is doing very well now. Her incisions have stopped leaking and she is recovering from an infection of the hip incision. The University doctors and staff have been wonderful -- I still consult with a member of Holly's team daily. I've set up a couple different areas in the house for her to rest, but still feel as if she's part of our every day lives here. I have a stroller that I plan to use more once Holly has completed this first month of recovery. We have a post-op visit in a couple of weeks when they'll redo radiographs to determine the amount of healing Holly's had the first month. I'm hoping for a very positive check-up so that we can start some physical therapy.
I've learned that however careful I thought I was, it just wasn't enough. I can't stop thinking that if I had just taken a couple of seconds to check that Holly was inside that morning, or if I had been more careful to make certain I was the last person to close the door. Thinking about all of this can kind of drive you nuts, I'm trying to deal with the overwhelming feelings of guilt I have. Holly was a reading therapy dog before the accident, and my hope is that in several months we'll be able to return to that work. I think Holly's "message" now is so strong -- it's truly not what one looks like on the outside, but rather what's on the inside that always stays the same and what matters most. Being "different" can be beautiful and teach us so much. Holly might not have a tail, and she might have a permanent disability if the hind leg does not recover. But she is the same wonderful dog with the same beautiful spirit.
I would really appreciate your prayers for Holly's continued healing. I feel like I need to apologize to this community for injuring one of our beloved cavaliers. I'm sure this sounds crazy, but I know you all understand how horrible I feel.