Veterinary Surgical Center of Portland where Dr. Timothy Munjar practices. After our previous experience at a veterinary clinic, despite Vegas' over the top excitement of going some place, she was clearly immediately leery upon arrival when she realized where I'd taken her.
When we were taken into the exam room I first noticed how suited it was to larger dogs. There was just a small table/counter of sorts along the left wall as we entered. On the right under the windows were two chairs - comfortable looking chairs, not your typical or standard issue uncomfortable plastic. There was a rug on the floor in the center of the room and that was it.
I brought Vegas over to check out the window and let her explore. I continued to treat her periodically as we just hung out. It was only a brief two or three minutes and Dr. Munjar joined us. Above and beyond all, he entered the room and greeted Vegas. This is more than Dr. Bullard even attempted to do. His approach was so very different from her previous experience. There was no attempt to put her down on the ground. He just pet her and then casually moved to her affected leg and picked it up and examined it. She hardly seemed to notice and was as far from concerned as possible. He observed how she stood and checked the tibia angle based upon Dr. Bullard's comments. Then he had a technician come in and take us for x-rays. I explained my concern regarding her being taken from me and she gladly invited me to walk back with them. We played it by ear but basically they treated me like I was completely welcome to be there and help.
The x-ray table was large. I asked Vegas to get up on her own and she was able to put her front feet up. Between the techs and I we lifted the rest of her up there. She was getting a little concerned at that point and we had a bit of trouble in asking her to down or sit. She was definitely nervous at that point but we did end up accomplishing our goal. She just needed to lie on her side for them to x-ray the bad knee. We then let her up and repeated the procedure on the right, good knee. I was able to be there the entire time except to step around the corner at the moment the machine took the x-ray.
After we got her off the table I gave each of the techs a treat to give to Vegas. I wanted her to view them as "good" still. She was a little scattered and trying to figure out what to think but did take the treats.
When we went back to the exam room Dr. Munjar joined us with the x-rays. He explained what he was seeing, what was normal, and showed those differences in the left and right x-ray. There was good news in the x-rays!!! No signs of arthritis starting up yet! Such wonderful news considering we have tried the conservative approach and it's been three long months of "rest" and hoping she'd heal.
I asked Dr. Munjar a few more questions and he gave me a handout explaining more about the surgery. He showed me a model of what the TPLO surgery accomplishes and I asked for a quote.
Today I scheduled the surgery. She goes in two weeks from today. I'm nervous but glad to be moving that direction. This wasn't an easy thing to do. A week ago I would have figured it'd be at least a couple months before she could have surgery, a couple of months of fighting with my girl, disappointing her, and not being able to enjoy life with her since I'd have to continue to keep her calm. The thing is, I canceled her insurance 6 months or so ago because VPI was not handling any of our claims and I was spending, spending, spending on premiums plus vet bills and seeing no return. Add to that my last 18 months and "just surviving" income of current and, well, there was just no way I could afford it. I was going to have to get another job, continue pursuing my collar business, and hope I could pick up more freelance writing stuff.
And then an angel appeared. A wonderful benefactor messaged me on my business page on Facebook. She offered me a no interest loan. I don't know her. I'm not sure how she came to know about my business and "like" my page. But she felt compelled to offer me, a complete stranger, this wonderful gift simply to pay it forward.
It took me a lot of thought and weighing things and baring my soul to her about where I had been and what brought me to this predicament - I felt I owed that to her at least - but yesterday I accepted her offer. It's incredible. It brought me to tears. I am humbled. I am grateful. So eternally grateful.
Surgery in 14 days....