Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Riley's Saga continues

Sometimes it seems like the bad news just keeps on coming. This looks like one of those cases, but believe me, the good things Riley and I have had happen in his 6 and 1/2 years with me far outweigh the mishaps. Today, I have to report one of those disappointing times. Sadly, this may keep Riley off the chukar mountains for up to 8 months. This weekend, while running, Riley broke his front leg. As soon as I got home I called Riley's vets, Dr. Koob and Katie Wright. They both said it sounded like it needed to be dealt with soon. They both recommended a good surgeon. It's so great to have such great people to rely on with just a phone call.  It was a serious break in three places which required plates, screws, and a bone graph. Because of Riley's conditioning, Dr. Warner, Riley's surgeon, said it took a lot longer to get Riley's muscles to relax so they could realign everything. He actually had to cut off a portion of the elbow bone in order to get to the break and then replace it. Because Riley is not young, they had to do a bone graph from his thigh to enhance the healing progress. It was quite an extensive surgery and I really appreciate Dr. Warner and his staff at All Pet complex for working late last night to get my best hunting companion on the road to recovery. After viewing Riley's xrays  it became obvious why he whined with pain and wouldn't move when he broke the leg. It just hung there limp. Luckily it happened close to the truck and I didn't have to carry my 90 pound companion too far. It is amazing how he and some of my other hunting dogs give there full trust in me and remained steady in my arms as I packed them off the hill. They show a lot of trust knowing I'm trying to help them. As Alan in Alaska mentioned, Riley is becoming the bionic dog. One more leg and he'll be balanced out with metal in the legs. I hope that never happens. I believe Riley has been so injury prone because of his size. He is like a tall basketball player. In great condition he weighs in between 85 and 90 lbs. He is not the dog you would pick for hunting chukars. No one knew he would be this big, but it doesn't matter. The day he entered my home he was family. He has carried on the traits that Tucker taught him when it comes to chukar hunting and has become more than a good chukar dog. In fact I would have to give him a ten out of ten if there was a rating. There isn't a dog out there that can do it any better and with the enthusiasm and love that he has for it. But he would get the same treatment whether or not he had greatness because he is my dog.   The 4th of next month I am having a scope done on my left knee. I tore my meniscus and have a one inch chunk floating under my knee cap. It hurts like hell on the steep hills but feels fine on flat ground. If it wasn't for chukar hunting I would probably let it go. But I won't give up what I love just as I wouldn't give any less to Riley. Last, I have to thank Riley for doing such a great job with Jake. He already points and holds birds, fetches dead birds, and honors. He is only four months and 1 week old and Riley has got him to the point where I can't screw him up too bad. Riley made sure I have a companion to fill in for him while he heals.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Larry,
I hope you never have to go through this again. You are a good man as evidenced by how much you love your dogs.I hope I never have to carry Mays off the hills. I thought about that last year when he injured himself Ptarmigan hunting. I would have done the same as you because I love that dog so much. Boy,what we go through to chase birds.Wouldn't have it any other way though. I believe Riley will recover and hunt the hills once again. You have that young dog to do the work for awhile until the big guy returns. Keep us posted as the information may be helpful to those of us that face the same situation in the future. Take care Riley.
Alan

larry szurgot said...

Alan, thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

Larry,
I switched Mays to a memory foam dog bed which seems to help him with stiffness.You might check with the vet and see if this might make Riley more comfortable during the healing process. As you know Mays is a giant he tends to get stiff after hunting. Good luck.
Alan

larry szurgot said...

Thanks Alan. Riley already has memory foam. It's on the bed with Barb and me. He claimed that spot as a pup and hasn't relinquished it since. He slept the first night after surgery on the floor and is already able to get back on the bed. I usually end up in the spare bedroom after he starts stretching out. Jakes figuring that one out and starting to come in from his living room bed during the night. Probably won't be long before he takes over that bed.