When I finally got to go home with mum one month after my amputation I was beside myself with excitement. I raced across the grass to greet her with such proficiency that you’d swear I had always had three legs. Mum took me to my two favourite parks near our house where I proudly marked my territory with the customary pee (fyi, princesses pee like boy dogs, cocking their leg. This must be true because that’s how I pee and I am a princess).
I accompanied my peeing with lots of foot scraping and vocalizing to let all the other dogs know I was back, that I was still top dog and that they better not forget it. The vocalizing surprised mum. She hadn’t heard me do that before. I couldn’t help myself, I was so happy to be back home, to be pain free and drug free AND I wanted to make my return very clear to everyone. The Princess was back!!!
I had a bit of trouble using the ramp to the bed but with mum’s help I managed to get up onto it. It was heaven to curl up next to mum that first night. We had a glorious weekend of walking and long rests in the park. My step dad was away for the weekend so I got mum’s full attention. I spent many hours getting patted and cuddled. I don’t normally like too much fussing but after the last month I could think of nothing better than being pampered by my mum and since she loved being able to lavish all that attention on me who was I to deny her that pleasure?
After about a week of mum’s caresses I was feeling so good that I didn’t need to cling to her as much anymore so I started shrugging them off. I know mum missed it but she was pleased to see me getting back to my normal cocky and aloof self. Having said that, I knew that I wasn’t as strong and invincible as before the operation so I found myself looking to mum for more comfort, reassurance and protection than I had in the past.
We started to get into a routine that would become a familiar pattern in the months ahead. We would walk to one of my favourite two parks and then sit there for as long as mum would let me so that I could survey my territory and meet some of my doggie friends. We spent hours sitting together, sometimes in companionable silence and sometimes cuddling. It was special time together that we will always be grateful for. Eventually we would either walk home or get picked up by my step dad. Some days mum would say that my step dad wasn’t coming and we would have to walk home by ourselves but I knew that if we waited long enough he would come to pick us up. He always did!
There were days when I felt like going for longer walks and I could usually talk mum into letting me. I knew that if I gave mum my best sad eyes she would eventually cave in. Unfortunately, I would usually pay for it by being a bit stiff and sore for the next couple of days! After a few months I also started chasing my ball and going to the beach and river but I’ll talk more about that another time.
I could sense a difference in mum after the amputation. I could see that she was trying much harder to be “dog”, to live in the moment and enjoy our time together without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. I know she was very proud of me but I was also very proud of her.
I had to be careful not to take advantage of mum’s new outlook on life. She made spending time with me her number one priority and my step dad supported her all the way. Nothing was too much trouble. They declined many opportunities to go out (unless I was invited too), never roused on me, never complained about me keeping them awake at night or making a mess or refusing to walk home. They just loved me and revelled in the time that we had together. During the extra time that we had the love between mum and I deepened and our bond became even stronger. I might have had a cancer that would shorten my life but I was also the luckiest dog in the world. I loved my mum unconditionally and I knew that she loved me unconditionally too.