April 28th~~ Three-year-old HayJae heard the conversations about Rowdy's paralyzed leg. Her elder teenage brothers thought it was ridiculous to simply "kill a dog" because he had a bad leg. Her mother tried to explain that Rowdy's size may be a real problem for his well-being if he were to only have three legs. So when HayJae came to visit, and her Grampa and I were talking about Rowdy, she voiced her opinion.
"I don't want Rowdy to go to heaven."
"Well, neither do I, sweety. But it may have to be that way if the doctor says so." She didn't like my response. I explained the doctor might be able to just take Rowdy's leg off.
"But Rowdy needs his leg, Grama! Tell the doctor to put a bandaid on his foot."
"Sometimes bandaids don't fix everything, baby."
Bandaids don't fix a lot of things. When the cut is too deep, it may require stitches and bandages. When the injury is greater than stitches can patch, it may require extensive surgery. Such is the case with Rowdy. The complications most animals face with an amputation is the pain. In Rowdy's situation, there will be no pain. Rowdy's nerves are dead. However, with his 96-pound physique, I worried about the weight distribution he'd battle by losing his front leg. Would it do damage to the remainder of his body? Would he suffer needless back pain? Will his life's quality be greatly diminished? This is a gigantic muscular mass of strength encasing the bouyant personality of a puppy.
Rowdy's paralyzed limb does nothing but flip and flop and weigh his progress down. So much attention must be paid to it, because it is most likely to be injured. And it was. The continual flailing to and fro dislocated the second joint in his leg and caused it to begin swelling.
~~~~May 1st~~I took Rowdy to the vet today to face his extensive surgery. It remains to be seen whether his body is too big to support his weight as days go by. What will his overall health be as a result of amputation? Time will tell.
~~~~May 3rd~~Rowdy is home now. His surgery went well. It's so sad to see his once virile body that carried him with ease to every corner of my daughter's acreage and beyond now making his way across my 10-foot patio with trembling effort. I wonder if I did the right thing with Ole Rowdy. He cooes a kind of throaty noise when I come near him and wags his bobbed tail. He loves it when I rub his ears. He's on a bunch of meds for ten days. I suppose after that, I'll be better able to assess the overall affect my decision has had on him.
As I consider Rowdy's plight, I am reminded of the difficulty we face as Christians when our lives are weighed down with trials and adversity. Sometimes we think all we need to do is eliminate that which we face. Sometimes we think if God would just remove that thorn from our lives we would be better off. And we pray to that end. We seek solutions beyond our control and think they are the best solutions. Ever notice that when the problems are all removed, we find we have difficulty standing as we once did? Life is a learning process.
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you." 1 Peter 5:10 Amplified.
Ah, the God of grace of God! Much better than a bandaid. selahV
[copyrighted, SelahV Today, 2008]