Here's a not so well kept secret. I don't like balloons. It doesn't matter if they are made from rubber or mylar, long or short, tied up into some supercool shape, or so round and over inflated that they are as transparent as my displeasure with them. No matter how vibrantly colored or happy the message printed on them, balloons for me are the bringer of cartoon scribble cloud storms on an otherwise happy go lucky day.
It's the anticipation and the unpleasantries of the pop that make me cringe enough to say or do something outside my normal laissez faire existence. I am that person who is lucky enough to be married to that big boyfriend who will fetch earplugs from the car so we can eat in peace amidst the minefield mix of Red Robin burgers, balloons, careless children, and hot overhead lights. I am that person who made Little Madwilly and her brother Takato leave their free helium filled balloon scores behind at the grocery store, lest they become the featured story on the six o'clock news, abandoned as they would have been right there in the parking lot. When balloons are in the room, I like to do something about it. I must do something about it.
When tiny chumley first exhibited signs of IVDD, I approached his condition pretty much the same as I do with balloons in the room, only perhaps with an understandably larger dose of worry and urgency. No, I did not put him in the trunk like I did with my nephew's clown-tied balloon sword, nor would I ever even consider threatening him with abandonment in a parking lot. But much like the problem of having a balloon in the room, I wanted the problem resolved. I wanted him better, fixed forever. But alas it's not like that for little wolves born with unusually long spines and gnarled short legs. Despite the measures we take to minimize risk, flare ups can and will occasionally happen.
Careful everyday handling, conservative medical management, and quiet time to heal have thus far kept Baxter's balloon from popping, but when the yelps came back on Sunday with mild symptoms slightly different than those we usually see with neck flare ups, it was time to push the reset button and understand if a new balloon had entered the room.
Long story short, there isn't an clear answer yet, which in many ways is a better sign than if it were. After a visit to the emergency vet on Sunday where tiny chumley sat quietly for hours in his little red bun crate and never once yelped under examination, and a barkier visit today with Baxter's regular mobile vet, still with no yelping but with noted concern at how his hind legs were positioning themselves when he walked and turned, we are waiting to see what more there is to see. Unless things take a severe turn, surgery is not imminent or overtly indicated. A day must pass to let the woozy side effects of gabapentin run through his system. Another video must be made of him doing the hind leg knuckle test, and walking, turning to the left and right to see what his little hiney legs are up to. And then we go from there.
Aside from their actual passing, I can think of nothing more troubling to little wolf ownership than when our little ones are medically compromised. But it's a balloon in the room that I will gladly endure, time and time again.