Grover was laying on a chair by the window sunning himself.
When he got out of the chair, he dragged his back legs and collapsed.
I've seen him do lazy things before when he's tired, but it looked off.
I told M about it and we kept an eye on him all day and Grover would only take two steps anywhere before collapsing.
Then he wouldn't go the bathroom or eat.
Then his breathing seemed labored to me. I almost slept on the floor with him that night. I had a sinking feeling something was terribly wrong and I was terrified that I'd wake him in the morning and he'd be gone.
By Saturday morning, his back legs were clearly not working right. He wouldn't get up, he wouldn't go outside. Even his tail seemed droopy.
We carried him into the car and he had a hard time sitting down. We went to our regular vet first since they're usually open on Saturday mornings, but they were closed. We tried another vet that was usually open Saturday mornings but they were closed. We went to another that was open, but were turned away because we're not regular patients there (by the way, that makes me furious).
Finally we went to the hospital that M had wanted to avoid because it's so expensive just to walk in the door but at that point I didn't care.
When we took Grover out of the car, one of his legs was just sticking straight out and when he tried to stand, his paw would curl under and he clearly had no real control over his back legs.
At that point, I was quickly moving toward a meltdown.
The vet saw us right away and took xrays, which didn't show much apparently.
The vet said they wanted to do a scan and depending on what they found, operate on his back. That would be very expensive.
The other option was that Grover had some other condition that could be treated with steroids and go away in time.
When the vet asked what we wanted to do, I couldn't hold back tears anymore.
She must get that a lot, she didn't say much, but put a box of tissues in front of me and asked if we needed a minute.
Grover is not even 5 yet and since it was pretty clearly a serious situation, we decided to okay the scan and surgery if needed. M was really the best that morning because even though neither of us really wanted to spend that much money when we need it for other things, he knows how much I love Grover and that I would be devastated if I lost him over something I had the power to fix. If this had happened when Grover was five or 10 years older, it would likely have been a different conversation, but he's still so young and I was in no way prepared for the alternative that morning.
So we left him at the vet for some kind of scan and test that discovered compression on his spine was causing the problem. The vet called to update me and told me he was going into surgery. She called back a few hours later to say he'd made it through and they'd found he had two collapsed discs.
We don't really know what caused it, but it was likely a result of how hard Grover plays and his affinity for taking flying leaps off the back deck to chase rabbits. He's a high energy dog, it's going to be hard to keep him still to recover over the next 6 weeks.
The vet called again Sunday morning to say Grover was awake and moving on his own so we could come visit him and talk about bringing him home.
When they brought him into the visiting room, poor Grove seemed not interested in being pestered by strangers anymore but when he saw me, his little puppy face lit up and he moved as quickly as he could to me. Honestly, that moment on its own was enough to make the whole ordeal worth it.
Grover came home with us, fully loaded on drugs and had a patch on his back leg that was supplying a continuous pain killer through his skin. Pretty sure the anesthesia hadn't worn off yet because poor bud was out of it, confused and all around a mess. It was kind of funny, but sad at the same time. His back was shaved for surgery and two spots on his legs, so he looks a little like a mess.
He wouldn't eat for a few days, but is finally eating on his own now and drinking and moving around. Each day he seems more like himself and is curious, wanting to move around and be with us.
We have strict orders not to let him take the deck stairs, or play, or climb on furniture. He's got his eye on his favorite chair, the couch and the bed. It's going to be tough.
It was a hard, hard weekend, for Grover and for me, and we've got more vet visits ahead of us and Grover has to slow down to let himself heal properly, but right now he's curled up on a fluffy comforter in front of me and I couldn't ask for more than the chance to continue loving my pup so much that I cry in front of strangers when he's hurt.