Two and a half years ago during the worst snows of Birmingham, Olive jumped off the bed and broke her back. It didn’t happen right away – or we didn’t know it – but a few days after the jump she couldn’t move her back legs.
The surgeon told us: “The way I see it you got the three choices. 1. Get her the surgery. 2. Get her a little wheelchair. 3. Or say, dawg, you’ve had a nice life.”
She was three-years-old and the happiest of dogs, and I could not bear to lose her yet.
We put the surgery on plastic and didn’t look back. But we had to learn to “express” her and Norah got the hang of it first and then taught me.
If you had told me I’d be “expressing” a dachshund for the foreseeable future, I wouldn’t have believed it, but now it’s just something we do.
My mother, who watched Olive while we were away this summer, described squeezing Olive this way: “I feel for the balloon, the back legs splay, the tail flags, and baby, I know we’re in business!”
But this week, while on a walk, Olive squatted and peed all on her own.
But it’s true!
My brother, Duffy, who also watched Olive, said she’d done so in San Diego too.
So after two and a half years of squeezing, it seems to be coming back.
We’re still squeezing, but what a tiny miracle that she might be able to go again on her own.
So that’s a great huge chunk of gratitude today.
Olive peed all by herself.
I did write a picture book “Who Will Squeeze Olive?” but alas it didn’t spark much interest. Still, there is an Olive story brewing and an Olive calendar because my friend, David Torbett, requested one.
I know it might sound silly, but this dog has seen me through the darkest of times and comes bouncing in on her wobbly legs to greet the day and I’m so grateful to see her smiling face.
Here are some brand new and old favorite pictures and films of Olive, especially for Deva in England, who loves Olive from afar. 🙂
And here is Olive’s first playdate after the surgery in the spring of 2014.
An early walk about a year after surgery.
Olive on a walk today 🙂