Convalescent Camm aka Clunky Foot Camm



Look closely. Despite the new plushy squeaky toy, Camm is not a happy camper, and it wasn’t because she was having her picture taken. We all know by now how much she enjoys being a supermodel.

Camm is not happy because she is a convalescent at present.


Please note Camm’s new accessory. Nope, not that sassy collar that I’d hoped she’d debut at last weekend’s agility show. (It is really fabulous and speaks volumes about her sass. Black and red, with red lipstick kisses and it says “kiss this.” Was that not designed with Camm in mind or what?)

Camm broke her #4 metatarsal in her left rear foot. Basically, she broke a bone in her foot. A weight-bearing bone no less.

While I’d like to tell you it was while she was doing something incredible, or while you might think it’s agility-related, neither is true. She broke it playing Ball. It was just a weird, freak thing where she slipped on grass racing to a Ball before Brady – even though she had a Ball in her mouth already.

Camm’s idea of playing Ball is to hold her own Ball in her mouth, but race out to get to the boy’s Balls before they do. Once there, she points out where the Ball is, just in case they didn’t already know  (they almost always already know) and races back to me to be ready in case I’m about to launch another Ball. Camm plays this way because she is the ultimate uber bossy controlling Border Collie bitch.

During a break in Ball play, which must always be called by me because no one ever voluntarily decides there’s been enough Ball play, Camm goes around and gathers up the boys’ Balls and lies down with them in front of her nose. I’m convinced that she counts them. Camm doesn’t have a flock of sheep to control, so she controls all the Balls.

I actually witnessed the slip. But it’s not like that hadn’t ever happened before. She never yelped or cried out. In fact, she raced back to me. I think I threw Balls two more times and she was fine. We then headed off to walk in the woods for a while but I noticed her extreme sashaying walk. Camm has an extremely cute behind but doesn’t sashay. Bossy girls don’t have time for such nonsense. When she turned toward me and started forward on three legs, my heart sank.

Although she flinched later that night when I touched her left foot while trying to assess what the injury was, by the next day I’d convinced myself she’d ruptured her knee. That’s an all too common injury in dogs that often requires surgery and rehab. I know this because far too many of my friends have gone through it with their dogs.

Even the vet thought so when I took her in to see him the day after the injury. However, by then she was bearing weight on her leg. He figured her knee was torn, but not ruptured. Because she was being a little snippy, even though she was still taking cookies from him, he brought her into the exam room in the back. I braced myself for the news.

He came back three minutes later and confirmed it was indeed her foot and that she’d need to be fixated and put in a splint. He told me four to six weeks of recovery and probably light walks.

The vet that actually adjusted the bone and splinted her told me eight weeks in the splint and no walks. Basically, she advised me Camm couldn’t do anything except go out to relieve herself on-leash.

When she saw my crestfallen, horrified, thunderstruck, incredulous face, she casually mentioned that she could consider giving me more meds to keep her “calm.”

However, she also prescribed a pretty heavy dose of tramadol which she assured me would have a tranquilizing effect.

Camm came home very doped up and although she walked out of the vet’s office, I think it took every unbroken bone in her stoic body to do so. I had to carry her into the house.

Although she was a sad little doped up mess that night, when morning arrived, it was a different story.

Overnight, she had come to terms with her new “clunky foot” reality. She jumped off the bed, and once outside for her morning pee break, ran. She is not supposed to be doing any of these things. When I arrived home that day after walking clients, she leaped up on her hind legs as always to greet me and gave me a hug as she always does. When she though I wasn’t delivering her meds to her fast enough, she leaped up on her hind legs, placing front paws on the counter, to see what the hold up was. (Giving pills in my house is a joyous occasion. All the dogs know the word “pill” and race to get them. This is because pills get delivered with something super tasty.)


This is Camm on drugs.


This is Camm on not enough drugs.

I think I need a tranquilizer gun. Despite the addition of benadryl (or as I like to call them, “bennies”) to her tramadol, Camm still is perfectly capable, and very willing, of running around in the house, running after an errant bunny that happened by while she was on a potty break, soliciting play from Youke, bossing Brady around – okay, bossing everyone around, chasing after a fly in the house, going up and down stairs, getting on the bed … you get the picture.

It’s not like she’s a whirlwind of constant activity. She’s actually very good and very quiet in the house most of the time, like she usually is in the first place. Camm just has no concept of taking it easy and being slow. None. Zero. Nil. Zip. The minute I move, she’s in action. Camm’s response to my plea of “Camm, you can’t run!” is “Um, yes I can! See, I’m doing it now!”

It’s gonna be a long few months. I have ideas to keep her brain occupied and I’m going to ask for x-rays prior to eight weeks to see how the healing is progressing and to see if I can get her out of a permanent splint faster. Ideally, healing progresses quickly and I can start taking her swimming and maybe walking in a splint I can put on and take off myself before the eight weeks is up, but time will tell.

In the meantime, some dogs are pretty happy that annoying, bossy little sisters have to stay home and they get to play Ball without interference and go on hikes without someone running up their butt. And bonus! Pesky little sisters get new toys when they are convalescing that are really great to steal and play with yourself!




One Comment on “Convalescent Camm aka Clunky Foot Camm

  1. Typical border collie it sounds like, they never know when to stop even if they’re hurt. Good luck trying to keep her busy and I hope she will heal well and fast.


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