100% Lily #sol19
July 30, 2019
We’ve reached the midpoint of teacher summer here in New England and that’s just when I usually feel like it’s winding down. I generally give myself the month of July to indulge in whatever projects I want and then when August rolls around I begin ramping up to the start of the school year. Over the years, Bob and I have developed a summer routine around the flexibility in my schedule that only summer can afford.
This summer, I have had one driving project, my dog Lily. Our dog, an eighty or so pound rescued lab mix had a rough late spring this year. She developed a significant limp with research was found to be a torn ACL. Yep, a sport’s injury for my dog. Thus started months of work for Lily and also me. The first month I was still in school and Lily was on the DL. Totally rest. One floor living, limited starts, anti-inflammatories. A short, short leash. Very difficult for a dog who loves to run at the park and take long walks. Honestly, it wasn’t that easy for me either. We started to worry what was next.
When we had an X-ray in early June, it was determined that her ACL was in fact completely torn. While under sedation for the X-ray, they cleaned Lily’s teeth. For non-dog owners, it’s much the same as our teeth cleaning, scrubbing and polishing and noticing inside the dog’s mouth. What they noticed was a broken molar. So in the midst of our rehabilitation plan, we also had a tooth pulled. Picture a teenager having his wisdom teeth out. All the same…
So we, along with Lily’s doctor, developed a strategy for her rehabilitation. There were choices, surgery or other holistic methods. We chose to start with holistic methods, so Lily had a regiment of herbal supplements, laser treatments and VOM, a form of chiropractic medicine for animals. The initial appointments were 2 a day for a week, then 3-4 days a week, then one, and now we are at one appointment for laser and VOM every other week.
Last week, Lily started physical therapy. Twice a day, Lily and I go up and down our steep driveway for 5 minutes. Five minutes of up and down. By the third trip, she’s panting pretty hard. This is followed by ice. After a week of that treatment, we, just today, ventured beyond our drive for a five minute walk down the street and back. She was beside herself with delight until the journey home proved to be challenging.
We have started to call Lily’s journey, 100% Lily, and compare her to New England Patriot’s wide receiver, Julian Edelman, who’s rehab is outlined in the documentary, 100% Julian. I’ve worn a boot before for sprains and bone spurs. I have had a cortizone shot in my arm. Watching Lily fight back to be a four legged dog again is inspirational. Helping her do that is making me a better person.
So today from our training camp, I reflect on how Lily’s journey back from injury and our assistance of her rehab is like the partnership we make with students and perhaps teachers who are struggling in their own ways. Sometimes, they don’t fully understand the struggle itself and the way to recovery so to speak, requires determination, planning, and not a small amount of patience.
Today, she’s stepping mostly without a limp, though slowly. She was excited to see and sniff the neighbors’ lawns for the first time in perhaps ten weeks. Let me be reminded of that when the road at school feels frustrating and long, 100% Lily. Eye on the prize. Patience in all.