Figure it out yet?
Yes folks, I'm talking about Owen.
(And right now, you're going Really?! I know these things...)
Owen is 100% fine. Perfect. Ready to work.
He has gotten the go-ahead from multiple vets and I have all of the veterinary stories from the past week in my email, but I'm going to give you the short-version as I understand it.
A few weeks ago I got an email from Heeling Allies about Quincy, but also saying that Owen was not limping anymore and they were taking him to the vet. The news about Quincy was so-so (that he was doing okay, but not progressing like they wanted him to) but the news about Owen was very upbeat and unprecedented.
And a tiny seed was planted; what a story it would make if he made a miraculous comeback against all odds(!) and swooped in to save the day. And I'm not going to lie, I started to entertain those fantasies; fantastical as they were. But I didn't breathe a word to anyone.
Then, Sunday night I got an email. Much like the one I got back in August, but this one was full of good news. Great news. Owen was going to be okay.
Sunday night's email said that he had been cleared by their vet and a radiologist and that those doctors were fairly certain that there had been no ligament tear and that there would be no reason Owen couldn't be a service dog. Additionally, they told me that Quincy was not going to work out for me; he didn't have the stature or certainty to do what they wanted him to do. Owen was really the perfect match all along.
But it wasn't good enough; Heeling Allies did not want to place me with a dog they were not 100% sure would be suitable as a service dog. So they took him to an orthopedic specialist last week who looked at his x-rays and was able to say determinedly that there was no, and never had been, a ligament tear. If there had been one, even a small one, there would have been evidence of arthritis in his knee. Hooray!
They weren't through yet though. Yesterday morning Owen had a series of x-rays done under sedation on both knees to get the best picture possible and compare the knees to one another. I was told Sunday night that there were two ways this could go. One, there would be something very small they would have to fix surgically, but that would allow him to be a service dog. This option would have set us back to February so he could recover from surgery and reenter training. Two, there would be nothing wrong and we can do team training in November.
Are you excited yet? Curious?
I was on pins and needles for four days.
Yesterday morning I got the email.
OWEN IS OKAY!!!!
(That was what the subject heading was.)
His knees are totally fine. There was a tiny bit of fluid present in both knees (which is what led us down this road in the first place), but because it is present in both knees and it is so minimal, it is normal for him. There is no evidence of arthritis in his knees. Nothing.
He will be fine.
The official diagnosis of the injury is a really bad sprain and the vet recommends he be on a joint supplement indefinitely to lessen the chance of this happening again (which I was already planning on doing).
Owen will be back in training next week and we will just have to wait and see how quickly he relearns his tasks. He was on strict crate rest since the injury, but we hope he picks everything back up quickly. He was really great with all of his tasks, except picking up his leash. :)
Likely though, we are looking at team training in November, which considering it is already the middle of October, means I have about a month to start prepping and getting
I am really happy about this turn of events. Any dog they gave me would have been great; but... I connected with Owen automatically through pictures, before they even told me who my dog was. The first time I saw his picture on their page, I thought to myself, Wow, how lucky the person who gets that dog will be. And then it turned to, Maybe that's my dog... The things I know about Owen have made me fall in love with him more. The fact that he love-nibbles your chin when he does paws up. That he is so in-tune with his trainers that when they have to scold him for something, he makes them feel bad. The fact that he loves to swim. I cannot wait to have this huge smiley goofy dog in my life; and I'm finally letting myself get excited again after two months of trying to not get my hopes up after what happened in August.
I feel like a huge weight is lifted and I cannot wait to start this new chapter of my life.