Sunday 14th July
(Mum lives near Monmouth Wales)
Bye mum, thanks for having Bella, love you and see you after the cruise. Love you and bye Bella, mummy loves you too.
Monday 15th July
Phone call that makes your heart plummet and leave your body completely and your blood run cold……
Tania I’ve killed your dog (between hysterical sobs)
Mum slow down, what’s happened…
I’ve killed your dog and I’m so so sorry( more hysterical than before)
Mum stop where are you?
At Monmouth vets and there’s blood everywhere, she not moving, oh my god I’ve killed your dog….
It’s a conversation no one wants with their mother, I promise especially when she’s in Wales and I’m in Slough.
The vet took the phone and made a lot more sense telling me, your dogs been run over, your mum is falling apart and we aren’t sure we can save your dog, however, we are emergency referring her to Alphavet in Langston, Newport.
So worrying sick about my fur baby and my mother I call my sister who’s in Wales to meet my mum as I am at least two hours away even and mach 90…..
Bella, mum and sister are at Alphavets and I get the call from a Russell saying it’s really not good, we need you here. We’ve stabilised her and X-rayed her but both her back legs are completely broken.
So now my son is with a friend and my two daughters, husband and I are charging along the M4 to Wales…..(Not proud but managed it 1hr 15mins)
I run into the vets and completely lose it myself, crying my heart and lungs out when I see her…
In comes Russell, the more than your normal vet, but my saving knight. I’ll never forget what he told me that day. “I have X-rayed Bella completely and her stomach, spine and pelvis are all Ok, however her right leg the bones are all fractured, but they are fractured vertically and the left leg has three breaks but the top joint part of the bone is smashed to lots of shards and we are not exactly sure if that’s it or there’s more because these lumps pointing at x-ray are fragments of bone which have moved down from the top joint…
Tania your options are
1. We repair the better broken leg with plates, bolts and screws. We try with left leg to rebuild it depending what I find and try my hardest for you. Nothing’s guaranteed but if she was mine I would try.
2. We put her down.
Well 2 was never an option and so operations were booked….and I was asked to leave along with my herd (family).
Better leg of two was operated on. Received a phone call all went as well as could be, she comfortable and stable.
Tuesday 16th July
After a night of worry over Bella and my mum pretty much hysterically falling apart blaming herself we are now 10am when I get the call, we need to take Bella down for the 2nd op if I’m going to try and save her leg….
Op 2 happens-7pm phone call comes…..
Tania when we went into the left leg it was absolutely smashed to smithereens and I have managed to pin and plate the rest of the leg but the top of the bone I have put back together meticulously carefully and like a puzzle cemented it together best I can and now only time will tell.
Can I see her please?
I’m really sorry Tania for Bella’s sake, to stand a chance I don’t want her excited or moving her rear end at all, so I’m asking you and your family not to come see Bella until after the weekend…
I go back to Slough, back to work, back home and decide I’m not going on my cruise, I’m staying with Bella.
I can’t see my fur baby, what the hell.
I announced to my family my decision on the holiday and all hell breaks out…..lol
Anyway, long story short we 5 go on our 2-week cruise and I try to relax but was on the phone daily to the vet and my mum….at this point and anxious for Bella willing her better.
Mum calls to tell me she’s picking up Bella, but I had a sinking feeling happen to me and no matter how I tried it wouldn’t leave me….
Throughout the holiday mum takes Bella to the vets every 3 days for cast changes and wound cleans and follows vets rules 210%. Weird thing was throughout the holiday, the feeling somethings not right wouldn’t leave me hitting me hardest at night time.
Saturday 5th Aug
We are back in the UK….Fur baby time-speak to mum and after a long conversation we decide level-headed that I’ll go up Monday for her vet visit.
Monday 7th Aug
I am awake all night and at 05.43 send my mum the following text –
Mum somethings wrong with Bella and I am giving full permission for her to have a leg amputated but if it’s both legs then please mum put Bella to sleep………
Reply at 07.25 —- for god’s sake Tania don’t be ridiculous.
My text straight back – mum please listen to me.
Appointment at lunchtime, vet calls me and asks how long I’m going to be, I told him I was at the Severn crossing…. 20mins later I arrive to a very grave-looking humble man in my opinion and his greeting to me was ” I’m so sorry Tania the bionic legs have started healing beautifully and that’s the good news, the bad news is in the worse leg of the two Gangrene has set in and Bella won’t survive without amputation….
Hence the world has come to end, what am I doing to her? will she manage on three legs? will she be the same Bella? questions all flooded my head but the only thing I did was give the most heart-wrenching decision to go ahead and say “yes please save my Bella”
Again went back to my mum’s awaiting a phone call…..it came
8.50pm – operations a success, Bella is comfortable and I’ll call in the morning.
Tues 8th Aug
Have a call in the morning to tell me Bella (my extremely clever girl, my baby) is standing and is happy, so we have an appointment at 5pm to go through bits with the vet and take her home… All sorts running through my head even…..What if Bella hates me?
5pm bang on the dot I was there, went through everything and every instruction he gave us all with every ounce of me making sure to pay attention. Last parting words were “I’m warning you, she has Gangrene in her blood system, if she manages to lick her wound she will die” – exactly like that he says it, no messing about…already feel I g absolutely the lowest of the low, this was the extra kick whilst I was down and out.
He sends the nurse to go and get Bella and she comes straight to me (her mummy) and starts crying…….omg my heart explodes, I’m gasping for air and my legs are like jelly and I think now I went into shock at the sight/the guilt/ she still loves me/the magnitude of what I’d done to Bella, yet all she wanted to do was lick my face, wag her tail and say mummy it’s you!!!!!
I walk her out to the car, tears streaming down my face, anger/guilt has bubbled up and I won’t let anyone help us or touch us, Bella’s mine, I made the decision, it’s all on me is what I saying to myself.
On arriving at my mum’s house, I carry Bella to her bed and settle her gently down…. I am now bubbling with anger, with sadness, with frustration, with unanswered questions. I have a physical and emotional breakdown inside taking myself away from everybody including Bella to finally deal with my grief, real grief that was eating me up.
I don’t really remember the rest of the evening it’s a haze other than the fact I ran out if tears I cried so much, had a major pop at hubby and didn’t want to even look at my mum, I was so angry/upset with everyone and the world.
05.20am I am wide awake, awoken by a wine which wasn’t a wine, more a “I’m here and need some help over here” type cry.
I suddenly know/recognise that cry, so leap out of bed and it’s Bella Boo, saying mum can you get me out the crate please and help me I need a wee…
I do everything as instructed short lead, don’t let her run, walk slowly, keep her calm…(which is mega hard—she’s a vizsla—my ginger ninja-)
From that moment in time on, she’s completely amazed me:
*working out her balance to wee and poo (people try it when your on your own, you try squatting on one leg to understand and appreciate it how hard it is and yet only 3rd attempt she’s mastered it)
*walking beside me almost immediately
*still being my old Bella, being a cheeky cow bag
*holding not one tiny grudge against me
*loving me unconditionally the same as before.
Friday 11th 10.15am
Vet checks Bella over, sniffing her wound, checking it’s dry etc, he checks her other leg telling us she’s beginning to build muscle around the bolts and screws as he can’t feel the very top two bolts.. he told us to becareful with the rear remaining leg and not let her run or jump as it’s the key to everything…. he then says to me in an extremely serious tone-“blood test has shown gangrene in her system, we are fighting it with medication, remember it’s a one way ticket here if she licks her wound” “She won’t” I say back with the same stern tone.
I have to leave my mum’s and Bella to return home having abandoned my 3 teenagers and husband in Slough.
Bella goes back 21st Aug for staples/stitches on both wounds to be removed……
Bella goes back 25th Sept for her final x-ray to tell us if her back leg remaining has healed properly.
So we are hoping with all our hearts everything turns out good and by the end September we are allowed her off the lead to walk and most importantly to Bella I think—–RUN.
PS. I want to say a really special heartfelt Thank You to everyone on the amputees facebook page, I wouldn’t be at this point without your support and empathy to what I’m going through, also helping me see a good future with Bella. Everyone has been amazing especially when I got rock bottom and couldn’t see a future. Thank you all with all my heart. xxx
PPS. Also check your pet insurance, we’ve been stung big time, so far had to find just shy of £8000.00 and don’t get me wrong, I’d still do it again if I needed to but my insurance is a complete and utter joke….read everything guys xxxxx
Update from Wales-she’s been asleep literally all day. She was so excited to see me she wouldn’t sleep often during the day, but today she really slept and snores.
Last update, had a good day, taken her out in the car and she had a 5-minute walk with new smells. Apparently, the highest her nose was off the floor was about 2 inches…lol
She fell asleep this evening after her dinner and hasn’t stirred at all.
Thank you and updates as they happen….
Photos to follow
Tania Bown (Bella’s proud mum)