I know you knew that already probably if you are reading my blog – But Gus my guide dog is not actually featured here that often as he is useualy to busy on his facebook to bother with blogging imagine if you where trying to type with paws, you would go for the short option too!
As I think most poeple who have any regular contact with me will already know Gus has had an on and off limp for the majority of this year, nobody was too worried because although it kept reaoccouring it was not a bad limp and as long as we did not go too heavy on his workload and avoided stairs and to much jumping about he was largly fine. He was oftern excited and wanting to work even when he was limping – He loves his job of coming everywhere with me.
It just kept coming back and I was worried about Gus working even though he wanted to if he was in pain.
So about 5 weeks ago now he underwent a CT scan of both his front legs and later surgery to look inside his joints with a camera, I was dreading the outcome as the problem has persisted for so long I had convinced myself that it was going to be really serious and end his carrer there and then. I was warned of all the horrible things it could be and just had to pray that it was something that could be fixed or if no treatment was avalible that Gus could get good pain managment and have a long and happy retirement. Althugh the thought of Gus retiring breaks my heart, I felt I had to do what was right for him and I would not want him to carry on working with me if he was in pain.
When I got Gus back after 2 days in the specialist vets we got the news that a ligament in his shoulder was almost totally tourn, he must have at some point over the last 9 months been in a great deal of pain, but he never showed it! whenever I took him to see the vet he seemed to not limp at all and really didn’t show any great discomfort when they examined his joints. More to the point he kept working with me even though some days it was probably sore, he still guided me safely, we had no accidents, he still went mental whenever he saw me put my shoes on – He still wanted to work even though working was painful!
The recomendation from the vet was at least 3 months of total rest and gradual rehabilitation but that he would make a full and total recovery. Four days later Gus left for the guide dog hospital in Lemington Spa he is expected to be there until April. I get regular updates about his progress and know he is in the best possible place where there are people looking after him 24/7 for cuddles and careful play time. As the weeks go by he will start physiotherapy and hydrotherapy and eventually going for gental walks on the lead.
So I have no guide dog and I feel like a massive part of my life is missing and my heart is breaking for him! My mobility has taken a massive knock too, because of the christmas shopping period I am really restricted as to where I can go on my own. Town is a total NO and even if I do venture out further than the local corner shop I have to make sure I am back in my flat by dark.
I’m normally a totally confident cane user, I’ve traveled too and from central london on my own with just a cane before but as I did my cane training when I was 15 I never did night work or work in busy places like the Janurary sales! Further knocking my confidence a few months ago I was knocked down by a cyclist whilst out with my cane. It was not my fault and there is nothing I could have done differently to stop it from happening as the maniac went through two read lights before hitting me leaving me in the middle of the road before cycling off!
The whole expereince of being without Gus has really made me reflect on the work of guide dogs.
When Gus left my confidence and independance left with him as well as my companion and friend. I would not go as far to say that I took Gus fro granted but suddly loosing him although only being for a short time has really made me think of how wonderful Guide Dogs UK are.
Guide Dogs get no money form the govenment and rely totally on donations from members of the public – there work is amazing and you don’t have to take my word for it check out the video below.