But to start at the beginning. Nikki hurt his neck 8 months ago. It was so bad he had trouble standing as the popped discs in his neck impacted on nerves and caused his front legs to become unstable.
He was prescribed all sorts of medications to ease the pain, assist in mending and keep him quiet (this is a 10 year old active kelpie). Jean thought that he only had a short time to live and was a bit generous with his favourite foods (his “little things” i.e. dried dog food and meaty bones). The drugs increased his appetite and he put on a lot of weight in a short time.
We built a special cage in the living room to keep him confined and comfortable for the first few weeks. He didn't like being in the cage but being a good little boy he would enter when told. Each night Jean would tell him to put on his “jarmies” which was a body harness and short lead. He would stand and wait for the harness to be assembled and then she would lift him onto our bed. The bed treat kept him happy during the night. To stop him from leaping off the bed she wrapped the short lead around her hand and slept with it exposed. As we came into Winter I'd wrap a jumper around the arm. Whenever he needed a toilet break she would get up and lift him off and take him outside.
Gradually he was taken off all the drugs. He had a relapse for a while. The relapse was a result of us taking him for a drive prematurely. The three dogs have always loved going for drives. It formed part of their weekly routine. We were never game to take him on a drive again.
Once he was finally off the drugs his weight began to return to normal. The weight reduction was a blessing as lifting him onto the bed was becoming difficult. Nikki is not all that possessed by food. His main interests have always been sticks and balls. But throwing sticks and balls for him was no longer possible and he was reduced to just carrying them about. He adapted well to the new life style.
Always in the back of out minds was the knowledge that he may be destined for a short life if his mobility failed.
And then today Jean finally felt confident to take him for a drive. He made himself at home on the back seat and enjoyed every moment with no negative after effects.
So this little bloke who Jean never thought she would become attached to when she picked him up from the RSPCA is back to normal. She talks to him constantly and responds on his behalf. Only a mother would understand.