That's the mantra that I've been repeating to myself since dropping Tess off at the VMTH at 1pm for her surgery tomorrow morning.
As usual, Tess is doing fine and Melinda is a mess and slightly teary eyed.
I made it all the way until 4pm before going into the VMTH, tracking down what ward she was in, and sitting cross legged in her kennel while allowing her to lick my face (gross). By the way, she was sound asleep when I arrived, curled into a little ball on the quilt they gave her and I had to call her name several times before she looked blurry eyed around. In fact, I thought she was already sedated! But nope, that's my dog --> totally relaxed in a kennel, even if it's in a strange place, absolutely certain that I'll come back at some point. Such is the reward of consistent kennel training combined with making sure she has plenty of opportunity to get all that Brittany energy out during the day.
The anesthesia student came around to do her day-before surgery check while I was there so I got to do a bit more cuddling and coddling while "helping" with the check.
Everything looked good of course, with the Azo and BUN that was a bit high yesterday (at the pre procedure exam) at normal levels today, with a urine specific gravity check just to be on the safe side (that was totally normal).
For those of you who don't know, Tess is in for dental surgery to repair the tooth and/or extract it that was embryologically damaged when Harley (the German Shepherd) initially attacked her at 4 months of age. The molar behind the damaged premolar is also milling - either knocked out from the attack, or missing entirely, or retained because of the damage sustained. We aren't sure. Radiographs will tell us where it is (or isn't), along with the status of the damaged tooth (whether it's roots are still alive or whether it's dead).
Depending on what my schedule looks like tomorrow I may try to go see at least some of the procedure and she'll go home tomorrow afternoon.
This is going to be highly expensive. If an extraction is needed, it has the possibility to be one of the most expensive vet bills I've ever had, and that includes my horse. However, on an 18 month dog expected to live 15 years or so, with a totally fixable issue that will impact quality and length of life if not corrected, who has no other issues physical or behavioral and is a wonderful companion, I feel obligated (in a good way) to at least give her this one shot at keeping her as healthy as possible before compromising on a lower standard of "management" care. In some ways every one of my animals has gotten their one "big shot medical procedure" and thankfully I've never been faced with the decision of whether I will pay for a second one :). Is denial and the ostrich strategy (sticking my head in the sand....) a good one? Not sure. Thank goodness all my animal big ticket procedures have been spaced out enough that my emergency vet fund was able to get replenished AND the cost of the procedures haven't exceeded the cost of the fund (leading credence to the theory that life emergencies tend be equal to your emergency fund......a concept my parents taught me at an early age when I was bemoaning some disaster in my life that was equal to my emergency savings (which seems to stick around just long enough that you start thinking you might be able to use it for something fun......).
Please keep your fingers crossed for Tessie that it will be an uneventful procedure and this will be our one big (and only...) medical adventure!