All things considered, Sally stood up to her struggle with the splint quite well. Her biggest problem came from her fur rather than her leg. You see, Sally is a mutt who looks and feels much better when her hair is trimmed close to her body. Unfortunately, Sally's injury prevented any trips to the groomer until the splint came off. So Sally did what any uncomfortable invalid would do: she picked at herself until her hair became matted and her skin developed some scabs. At the end of six weeks in the splint, Sally returned to the vet, and we all hoped that the splint would come off for good (and not evil). Instead, Paula brought her home with the cast still on, her hair shaved off around the scabs, and the dreaded protective cone around her neck (Sally's neck, not Paula's). It seems that only one of the two broken bones was healed at that point, and it was stress that was causing the dog to do the bad barbering on herself.
Now, the cone of silence is a great sight gag, and you could not look at the poor dog without chuckling at her (here's an important humor truth: you can't claim to be laughing with your pet; you can only laugh at animals, except maybe monkeys). For two weeks, Sally had to figure out how to eat and sleep with that huge funnel around her head--talk about stress. After two weeks with the cone around Sally's head and neck, Emily and I returned to the vet office one more time. Finally, the splint was off her leg, and Sally could begin the rest of her life. But it wasn't quite that dramatic. The doc decided to bandage the leg for a one-week transition period, so Sally could get accustomed to walking around on all fours again. And she would not be able to pick at the scrawny, scraggly leg right away. The doc also recommended keeping the cone on for a few more days and experimenting to see if Sally would leave her fur alone.
For the first few days without the splint, Sally hobbled around on three legs, apparently afraid to put her new limb into action. Then we took the cone off for good (and not evil) because we were all sick of it. And near the end of the bandage-transition week, Sally decided she had had enough. So she removed the bandage and revealed her pathetic little leg. Soon she was begging to chase her B-A-L-L, and the old, weird Sally was just about back. All she needed was a morning at the groomer to get the old confidence back (thanks, Biff and Hap), and then the story of Sally's big break was done.
Sally's accident and slow recovery really woke us up to the fact that she's becoming an old dog. When she got her leg back, Sally was quick to play with her B-A-L-L. But her endurance has dwindled and the spring in her step isn't wound as tight as it used to be--which means she's just about like the rest of us.