Dealing with a Broken Ankle and a Dog

If you’ve read the previous post, you’ll probably remember that at the end of February I had the misfortune of breaking my ankle as I was going down some stairs. Unfortunately, despite the stairs having no more than 3 steps, I had a bad fall and a pretty awful break. In fact, the boots I was wearing saved me from an open fracture. After I fell, I didn’t even try to stand up as I already knew I had broken something.

At the time, Nix was with me as I was taking her out for a walk. My first worry was how long it would take for someone to find me and call for help, and my second worry was Nix. Who was going to take care of her, while I was in the hospital?

And this is the message I would like to get through: build a support network around you, as much as you can, so you can have someone to turn to when things go wrong. Don’t delay it, as you never know when you may need it.

Manel and I are pretty much alone, but in case of a real emergency there is people who we can ask for help:

  • Nix’s dog sitter(s), whom she loves and feels very comfortable with
  • My in-laws
  • My parents
  • My aunt

But back to the story. After two very kind men found me, I asked them to call my in-laws so they could take Nix with them. At the time, they lived nearby in a big house with a garden.

Sleeping at my parents'
Sleeping at my parents’

However, after I slowly recovered from the shock, I thought it’d be better if she stayed with her dog-sitter instead. In this way, she would not be a burden to my in-laws and she is more used to and more comfortable being with the dog-sitter. Fortunately Manel was able to arrange this for the two nights that I had to stay in the hospital, before and after the surgery.

Unfortunately, this was just the beginning. The doctors told me I’d have to spend the next two months with my leg propped up at all times (bathroom time excluded). Of course, taking Nix out for walks was impossible. And, since we don’t have a garden, she wouldn’t be able to relieve herself during the day.

Watching Cesar Millan with me

This is the point where my parents came to the rescue. They live in a big house with a garden, although a bit far (in European terms) from where we are. So in the end Nix and I spent quite a few weeks there. I was really grateful for my parents’ help and for being able to keep Nix with me.

If my parents hadn’t been able to help us, I think we could have worked something out with either the help of my in-laws, Nix’s dog-sitter, or a combination of both.

Later on, when I began to walk again, I still could not take Nix out on my own, but I couldn’t stay any longer at my parents’, as I had to go to physical therapy everyday. This time, we turned to the dog sitter again for help. She (or someone on her team) came everyday for Nix’s walk. On other days, Manel would drop Nix off at the dog sitter’s home and then pick her back up in the evening.

It wasn’t until the end of June that I felt comfortable again taking Nix out for walks. This means that I spent four months totally helpless in that respect. Things are not yet 100% back to normal, but I’m working on it.

So, remember, try to have a group of people whom you can ask for help if you need it. If there are no family or friends around to help, you can ask your vet or any other pet-related businesses in the area if they know any dog-sitters or dog-walkers who could help. Doing so before there’s an actual need will be better for the dog and for everyone involved. It’s much easier to say “yes” when you know the person who is asking for help.

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