We have a bad habit in this household of misjudging time.
We thought it would take a day or two to lay the sod and paving stones for the sidewalk. It took a total of six days spread out over three weeks.
We thought it would take months to adjust to all living together and it only took several weeks. I suspect it helps that we have separate apartments and can get away from each other.
We thought it would take a month or two (ok, only Mom was that optimistic) to heal Casey's leg. It's been 16 months and he's still in a brace. He's running around like a fool, chasing Ky, leaping for the ball and generally acting like a normal dog.
About a month ago, we hit a snag. His foot slid around in the brace. He limped all the time and held his leg up more often than not. We trained him to put his foot on the floor on command but the rest of the time there was a few inches of clearance between paw and ground. He couldn't seem to put it down unless it was a conscious effort.
I worried that the ligaments or tendons had shortened. It seemed like we had finally received good news about the strength of his shoulder muscles only to have balanced it with bad elsewhere. His brace was falling apart. The sole had to be glued on every other night because he scuffed it so much.
During one of his weekly swims, he hopped over to see Janice at Pawsability. Her initial assessment was that his leg hadn't changed. Once she watched him walk without his brace, something he does with increasing frequency, she realized something important.
The little brown dog with the turned in foot had grown into a large brown dog with a straight leg.
After 16 long months, Casey's leg has straightened. It still turns out from his body, due to some weak muscles below his elbow but it's straight. Straight!!
Let me remind you how it looked when he came to us
This is how Casey looks today
Oh wait, you'd like to see his paw. Apart from the picture above, he's always on the move. I'd like to have a word with the veterinarian who thinks Casey would be better off with three legs. How is that even possible? This dog knows no limits because of his orthotic brace.
But the ultimate proof of how well he's doing now comes from this action photo. He ran past me through the kitchen.
16 months later. Proof that perseverance pays off.