Thanks again, so much, for all of your concern and support on this one, we are quite incredulous and very, very touched at the thoughtfulness and kindness people have shown.
The patient is in really quite good form, all things considered, and pleased to be home. The trademark cocker spaniel pathos is increased manyfold by the addition of a bandage round the ears and a bucket on the head, and she smells downright funny, but she's getting about all right. I bought some chicken legs and slow-cooked them with carrots and rice (spare me the lectures on spoiling dogs and the starving millions, it was more economical than those prissy, over-packaged little foil containers and sachets of animal food, and I haven't personally added to the global total of human mouths to feed so I claim the right to indulge my dog...), thinking she might want only soft food, then came upon Tom feeding her prawn crackers and almonds - her usual early evening nibble which she shares with him. She ate all with gusto. Then went outside for a pee, negotiating the terrace steps with only the odd collision and stumble, and seemed rather intrigued by the way the smells off the grass were funnelled up to her nose by the bucket, and quite pleased at her achievement of the normal things of life. However, this bout of exertion seemed suddenly all too much, and she set up the same distressed and plaintive wailing and sobbing she did when we first collected her. I don't think this is too much because of pain, but more remembering what a horrible time she's had, frustration about not being able to scratch, roll, move around as freely, and wanting to be in permanent physical contact with one of us at all times to make up for the aforesaid causes of distress. Tom's on cuddle duty at the moment, I did a long stint earlier, we just about were able to take enough time to eat together before giving in. I've managed a couple of rows of knitting and read about 40 pages of WG Sebald, where, with tiredness (not much sleep last night, naturally, and an early nil-by-mouth start, she couldn't have breakfast and we didn't fancy it in sympathy) and distraction, I felt as if I was moving in and out of his extraordinary changing and alternating mental, historical and geographical landscape in a most peculiar and untethered way, which is probably quite a good way to read it. This is the first chance I've had to sit down at the computer.
Unfortunately, we have to take her back tomorrow to have the drain and the dressing removed, so we could not in all conscience tell her it was all over. But we hope she'll be a bit more comfortable after that. I foresee a weekend of sedentary activity that can be accomplished with a somewhat malodorous spaniel on one's lap. It could be worse.
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