It has been one year since Ellie, aka #EllieTheWonderDog, was diagnosed with IVDD and became paralyzed in the back. The first few months were one of the most emotional times of my life and it was just hard for all of us, not knowing what could happen, but also knowing what could happen at the same time.
One year later, Ellie is doing as well as she can be, and I'm extremely thankful. She still can't use her hind legs like before, but I see her progressing. As pictured above, she would sometimes try to stand on all four legs and walk/run with them. It doesn't last very long, especially since one leg is stronger than the other, but it is so great to see. She has a lot of muscle on her front legs that sometimes can even be strong enough to lift the rest of her body up.
Just as it took me a while to accept it, Ellie did as well. For a long while, even though she was free to run and play, she didn't really want to do much except rest. One of the proudest moments was the time I first brought her to the dog park with her wheelchair. She ran around, chased the other dogs, as if nothing phased her. Eventually, she started to become active at home as well -- playing, chasing, yelling at Kingston. (Poor Kingston!)
One of the challenges of having a dog with IVDD is when they have to pee and poop. With IVDD, dogs are unable to go on their own, particularly with peeing. It took a while, but we had Ellie get into a schedule so that it is more predictable and easier for all of us. When she first came home from the hospital, she was fed wet food because it was easier for her to digest and it also helped her with her appetite. The downside is that it gets messy. Before switching her back to dry food, I remember just thinking, "How am I going to do this everyday?" It was a terrible feeling, especially mixed with all the other emotions. We still get a few "surprises" every once in a while, but it doesn't happen often at all and is overall much more manageable.
As for me, I do still get emotional about it. Every so often, I think about the times before it all happened. I think about the events leading up to it. I think about all the what ifs. And honestly, it still gets hard, even a year later. I don't think I'll ever stop thinking about it, but I'm just glad that she's as well as she can be.
Ellie, it has been one wild year, but I'll always love you and be here for you. Here's to another year + many more to come!