Lexie was SO happy to be going home last night! As you can hear in the video, though, I was a little disappointed when they brought her out without a hard E-collar. The inflatable one she's wearing belongs to me, but it doesn't protect her from bumping her face when she bumps into things. However, when I asked (once again) if I could have a hard E-collar to take home, the vet tech told me that the inflatable one should be enough to protect Lexie's stitches. I was too excited about taking Lexie home to insist or argue about it, so I didn't push the issue. After all, I own a hard E-collar that she could wear that night, and I could always go to Dr. Ellis at Animal Care Clinic if the collar I have doesn't work out for her.
I couldn't see her repaired incisions because her head was already wrapped with bandages, but at first glance it didn't look like her wounds were oozing half as much as they were the last time I picked her up after her second surgery. Lexie also looked like she had had a tummy tuck! After her emergency C-section due to pyometra last summer, Lexie was left with a saggy, flabby belly. It didn't bother me, but people would sometimes ask me if Lou had just had a litter of puppies. Haha! "Nope. She's just fat." Anyway, I'm just saying that having a mastectomy has left Lexie looking very svelte.
Once we were home, Lexie knew EXACTLY where she was, and she was so happy! I decided to take her out to the back yard with her sisters before taking off her harness, just in case I needed to help her find her way up and down the deck steps and the back yard. She did really well, though! She was a tad apprehensive about going down the steps, but as soon as she found the yard she peed immediately, and then successfully made her way back up the steps and into the house without much difficulty.
On a side note, one thing I hadn't really considered while preparing for Lexie's homecoming was the fact that Sam is now going to go through a new adjustment period, too. This may sound awful, but Sam actually acted a little hurt or upset about Lexie being home again. To be fair, Sam LOVES attention, but has always been perfectly content to sort of take the back seat to Lexie, who is a little more demanding about receiving attention whenever she wants it, which is just about always. So, while Lexie was at MedVet over the past couple of weeks, Sam gradually became more and more assertive about receiving attention from me and Justin whenever SHE wanted it. As soon as Lexie walked through the front door last night, though, it's like someone completely let the air out of Sam's tires. She kind of curled up in the corner of the couch and pouted while everyone fussed over Lexie (Zach and Kristy came over to welcome Lexie home, too).
I do feel bad that Sam's not receiving as much one-on-one attention now that Lexie is home, but unfortunately it can't really be helped right now. Lexie is going to need extra attention as she heals and learns how to safely navigate around the house and back yard. Justin and I are trying to be as mindful as possible of Sam's feelings and give her extra cuddles whenever we can, but I think it's going to be a bit of a delicate juggling act with those two for a while. (Jocie, by the way, hasn't been affected at all by anything that's been going on, but that's just Jocie.)
Anyway, after watching Lexie bump her face on a couple different things in the house, I decided to fasten the hard E-collar I had over top of the inflatable E-collar she was already wearing. (That way, she can't pull the hard E-collar off.) At first, Justin and I felt bad for Lexie because of all the stuff around her poor little head, but once we saw how much better the hard E-collar was protecting her from bumping her face into things, we didn't feel so bad anymore.
Unfortunately, as soon as Justin and I went upstairs to go to bed last night, Lexie managed to pull both the hard and inflatable E-collars off. Justin discovered this when he ran back downstairs to get something. So, we decided it might be best to sleep in the same room as Lexie for at least the first night. Justin slept on the couch, but I chose to sleep on Lexie's new doggy bed in the floor with her (the purple pillow in that photo was mine). Haha! It was uncomfortable and blissful all at once, but she barely moved all night long.
When I tried to get Lexie to go out this morning, she acted like she wanted to at first, but as soon as she made it to the back door, she became very apprehensive about going outside. I tried calling her for a while, but when that didn't work I decided to try leading her out with her harness and leash. At first, that seemed to be working, but as soon as Lexie reached the steps, she decided she didn't want to go down them. I told her that was fine, that she didn't HAVE to go pee right now if she wanted to hold it, but when I tried to get her to go back inside, she wouldn't budge. In fact, I think she was a little disoriented at that point and wasn't really sure which way she was facing. I jokingly informed Justin that Lexie was "lost on the back deck," but I knew she would figure it out eventually. She did, but it took a LONG time for her to come back inside.
So, getting Lexie to go out to use the bathroom during the day is apparently still going to be a challenge, but I'm hoping she'll become more comfortable with that routine over time. For now, she's sleeping a lot, but she's eating and drinking like a champ. She's also SUPER cuddly, which you'll never hear me complain about. In fact, as I began typing this blog post, Lexie followed the sound of my typing, found me on the couch, and did this: