Abby was around 5 months old or so when she was spayed. By this time, it was apparent she would be a big girl. (Her dad was 115lb from what I heard.) Abby was also growing a little independent. No longer would she wait for me to go to bed until she went to bed. When she was a young puppy, she would patiently lie at my feet while I read something or watched TV. Another reason she waited for me to go to bed was that she was too small to climb in to bed by herself and had to wait for me to enter the room, pick her up and put her in bed. Now she could walk to my bedroom and climb in to the bed by herself and didn’t need my assistance anymore. She was still very much attached to me, but she was showing some signs of independence.
The operation took place in July or August. I don’t even remember the day she was taken down to the vet by my mom for the surgery. What I do remember was that she was not allowed to swim for a week or so in order for the incision to heal. This meant I couldn’t swim for a week or so because my being in the water would be too much for Abby to bear, and she most likely could not be stopped from getting in the pool.
For the next day or so, things went uneventfully. However by the third or fourth day after the surgery, the skin by the staples was red and inflamed—a sure sign that the area was infected. My mom took her to the vet who confirmed what we had suspected. Abby needed a follow-up surgery so the area could be cleaned and re-stapled. My mom called me at the lab to tell me about the unscheduled surgery and was quite upset as was I. Abby didn’t have to stay overnight and was released to my mom in the early afternoon.
When I returned home that night, I felt like Goldilocks after I took a look in my room: someone had been sleeping in my bed! I know I was in grad school which mitigated my living with my mom, but to have your mother sleep in your bed when you are gone during the day was odd. I asked my mom if she had slept in my bed and she said yes. Abby was so worn out that she went straight to my bed. My mom didn’t want her to be alone so she took a nap with my baby girl which made Abby elated. I still miss that old bed. It was probably 40 years old, so old that the mattress had a pronounced dent in the middle. (This was also the same room where my brother and cousin were born. I’m not sure if they were born in that bed, but I wouldn’t be surprised.) I called it a ‘hole’. The bed slept wonderfully which my mom agreed.
Later that night, things returned to normal. I slept in the bed with Abby. This was the last night that Abby huddled close to me while she slept. When she was scared or hurt, she would often press her body as close to mine as possible such as on that night. As a young puppy, Abby was inseparable from me in bed, but she found out I was a fitful sleeper thrashing around in bed all night during my dreams. She learned to sleep at the bottom right of the bed to stay out of my arms and legs flailing and kicking around. But on this night, Abby, scared and hurt, wanted the comfort of being close to me like when she was a young puppy.
The operation worked; Abby never had any puppies.