Anybody who knows me knows I am pug mad. Yup, it’s true. Can’t get enough of those squishy little faces and velvet ears. I wasn’t always this way. Up until 4 years ago when Bentley came into our lives, I was set against them. Couldn’t fathom why anybody would want a snoutless dog that looked like…I can’t even finish the sentence and now feel guilty for having had those dastardly thoughts. My little guy has crawled inside my heart and I’m completely smitten. My hubby’s the same. If we go out and have to leave him behind, our conversation naturally gravitates to Bentley as if he’s our child. Which, of course, he is (just a hairier version of our two-legged one). That’s why it was so traumatic when he developed a growth recently that led to him having to undergo surgery. Poor little thing was in excruciating pain in the days leading up to the op, to the extent that he would cower in a corner and shiver, not even able to stand. If he moved too much he’d inevitably hurt himself all over again and would scream and scream and scream. I’d never known a dog could actually scream until I heard it for myself. Leaving him at the doggie hospital was heart-wrenching, but we knew he was in good hands and he’d finally get treated. As it turns out, he had some sort of “second kneecap” (or osteophyte if you want to be technical) that had grown onto the joint. Even the surgeon said he’d never seen anything quite like it before.
Three days later we finally brought him home! We’d been given strict instructions about post-op care which included keeping him confined to a small area akin to a toddler’s playpen…for up to four months. FOUR MONTHS. I don’t think they knew the naughty rascal they were dealing with. The moment he left the confines of the hospital our little guy’s feistiness was back. While we were desperately trying to treat him with great care and would delicately pick him up when he wanted to jump onto something…he was one step ahead and would LEAP like a graceful gazelle (okay, not so graceful) onto and off of couches, beds, tables and every other high surface. He’d gone from a helpless, quivering puppy heap to a raging ball of energy. (*sigh*)
Weeks of unbridled agony were forgotten. Post-operative care meant nothing. Twelve thousand rand in x-rays, medication, and surgery didn’t matter. Needless to say he quickly developed a massive BULGE directly over the suture site. Heaven to Betsy, were we worried. It looked like we’d stuffed an orange inside there! The vet was quick to remind us about the importance of “bed rest” (yeah, right) and essentially blamed us for the setback. (Apparently the bulge is called a seroma, in case you’re interested.) They had to keep him overnight – another night away from our baby! When we fetched him the next day they’d drained the fluid and wrapped a compression bandage around the leg, hoping that would prevent it from swelling again.
Today is six weeks since the op. The swelling is back, although not nearly as severely. Sure, sure, we’ll do our best to keep him “contained” but Bentley is Bentley and there’s not much we can do about it (or want to)!
Folks who say pugs are docile creatures that can’t handle even a ten minute walk without collapsing into a breathless heap, have not met Bentley. Just sayin’.