Christmas, Surgery, and Everything in Between


We’ve had a pretty stressful week in the Toy house.

Our oldest dog, Pixie, who is only four, began showing signs of immobility by refusing to climb the stairs. For a while Sarabeth and I thought she was just jealous of her little sister Prim who needs to be carried up and down the stairs because she’s too small to go them alone.

But after a visit to the vet, it was confirmed that it could be a problem with her back. She is a dachshund, after all, and they’re prone to having back problems.

Yesterday I noticed her back legs giving out as she tried to walk. I wasn’t supposed to call the vet back with an update until tonight; I had just talked to her several hours ago.

But no dog, child, or wife of mine is going to stay in pain if I can help it.

So I called the vet and she urged me to bring Pixie in right away; it may be a disc problem.

Long story short, I’m sitting at home as I type this, waiting for a call from the hospital to pick Pixie up from surgery. Sarabeth is devastated that Pixie may be paralyzed, even though the doctors assured us that her procedure went just fine. Prim is confused as to why her sister isn’t anywhere to be found, Β and why we’re leaving her with some strange people in white coats for the day (she gets “the girl” operation today).

And me – well, I’m just wondering why this stuff seems to always happen around the holidays. I’m stressing out over Pixie’s recovery process, heartbroken that she won’t be able to play with her sister or her cousins when they come and visit for Thanksgiving.

Life is like that, sometimes, isn’t it? One day, you’re thanking God that everything is just right; there’s money in the bank, everyone’s healthy, Christmas is upon us, our bellies are full, and

BAM! It all just kind of happens at once.

I know this isn’t the most traumatic thing in the world; a billion other things could have gone so much worse.

But it shows how fragile we are. These little things we take for granted, like our dogs running circles around us when we get home from work, or just being able to be a little frivolous with the budget… if any of these things gets disrupted in some way, well, it very well could cause us to break down.

Don’t get me wrong – life is still great. There are still things to accomplish, goals to aspire to, money to be earned, doctors to thank, and a God to be praised.

The recovery will be torturous for Pixie, but luckily she’s a Toy, so she’ll be in the most loving, warmest care possible. And who knows – if we get a kid in the next couple of weeks, it might be good for him/her to have a more gentler, quieter Pixie than the rambunctious playmate that she always is.

I think Prim is wild enough for two dogs, anyway.

Read more about our dogs here.

Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

51 thoughts on “Christmas, Surgery, and Everything in Between

  1. So sorry to read about Pixie. My Australian Shepherd had a back injury right after we adopted her. It was painful for all of us–two weeks of crate rest, and coaxing her to eat out of hand. She didn’t fully rehab until we adopted another Aussie for her. Keeping up with him strengthened her back so that now it is hardly evident. Best to you in these chaotic weeks. I think our pets bring out the best of our humanity–so suffering is not a linear progression. Sure there are “worse” situations, but this is worst for Pixie, and your humanity rises as much to her pain as to another’s.


  2. You certainly do have a lot on your plate. It does seem like it happens around the holidays, probably because we are more in tune with our time. Our already limited schedules need to make room for celebrating with family, caring for sick ones. And so on. Best wishes to you during this time. Our pets are members of our family who often require the same care and concern we give one another. Their contribution to the family is immeasurable. πŸ™‚


    1. I think you’re right – that our limited schedules making room for celebrating with family around the holidays does make it seem like it all happens around this time.


  3. So sorry to hear about Pixie and hope she recovers totally. We love dachshund also and we had a similar experience with our;s but we noticed it when she was walking her back legs would not work when she walked. We could not afford the surgery so we babied her and she finely got better.


  4. I’ve been through similar with our young cat recently, it’s so distressing., especially when you don’t know what’s wrong and they aren’t able to tell you. Wishing Pixie a speedy recovery


  5. Our dog is approaching his teen years (he is almost 12). So, in dog years he is over 77 years old. We see the differences and I can relate to how you feel. I dread the thought of him leaving us, which I know will be in the next couple years. I hope things calm down for you and that soon you will have a little one to add to your worries. God be with you today and give you peace, rest and hope.


  6. I will pray for a speedy recovery for Pixie as well. And you’re right, we do take too much for granted…love the line, “It shows how fragile we are.” We need to be reminded of that now and then.


  7. Good thoughts for Pixie on her recovery. Last year on my furbaby’s (Stella, a chihuahua) 4th birthday I cried because I was sad she was getting older… and 4 is a very young age for a chihuahua. They are more than pets and offer us so much more than most. Life is fragile, but if you’re fortunate, it is also abundant, loving, and worth every second :).


  8. I hope little Pixie gets better soon. And although, as you say, it may not be the most traumatic thing ever, dogs are like family so it’s distressing to see them in pain. I react like it’s the end of the world when my dog requires medical attention! All the best for Pixie’s recovery, it sounds like she’s got a great home.


  9. Bless! it is so hard when our pet are ill. I love the fact you seem to have found a healthy balance with how you think. Funny (as in odd) I needed to read this, as I have just lost a baby kitten, who was wild here,till she was too ill to fight being caught. We tried but couldn’t save her and so that throws me emotionally and you helped me see things better. Thanks!


  10. All of us Dickens Dogs wish Pixie a full recovery. We know from our own experience how aawful it is to go through this kind of orthopaedic issue with a dog. Take care of yourselves!


  11. SO sorry for sweet Piixie – hope that her recovery goes well.
    The day our youngest child came home from the hospital our dog literally rolled down the front hall stairs (he had a slipped disc and a pinched nerve that had paralyzed his rear legs – all in the two days I was away having a baby!). My husband drove him to the emergency animal hospital (where their opening line is “do you have American Express” KACHING!!!!). Happily his surgery was a success and he lived another 4 years. Amazing how big a part of our family they become.
    Hang in there and pour yourself an extra large glass of wine!


    1. What terrible timing, and how scary to be away from it all. (And I understand the Kaching as well.) Didn’t have wine, but I sure ate a whole lot of extra leftover birthday cake all week. (Paying for it now, of course.)


  12. It is very difficult when your loved one whether it be a pet or a human (mine don’t know they are dogs) goes through surgery. Especially, when it is or could be debilitating. My babies had it rough with the separation from each other. They also suffer from anxiety away from me.

    Prayers for a good recovery and that the surgery heals and repairs your lil one!


  13. I can certainly feel your pain. I have a dog that’s been with me for 5 years. I’m so attached to her it’s shameful. But they are like children…so innocent and helpless. Praying that Pixie gets better soon. By the way, you take amazing pictures. Thanks for the post.


  14. Sorry to hear of Pixie’s health problems, I hope she has a speedy and successful recovery.

    I hear you about Christmas emergencies. Two years ago one of our cats, Missy came in limping, we left her overnight thinking she’d just sprained her ankle or something. On Christmas day I noticed that one of her pads had been ripped open and it wasn’t looking good, so we had to take her to the vets on Christmas day (cost a fortune!), after some painkillers and antibiotics it wasn’t looking too good, I’d been checking the wound and I thought I saw signs of infection and we carted her off to the vets again. What I thought was infection was actually her bone >.< There wasn't anything they could do except amputate her toe, She's perfectly ok now, is always out and about, teasing the neighbours dog and stuff.


  15. Murphy’s Law is just mean. I finally got myself stable and started house hunting again…… and my dog blows out her knee. You shrug and deal with it, but that doesn’t mean you need to ignore or lesson the impact it has on you to remain grateful for what you still have. Wishing her (and her parents!) a quick, eventless recovery. As well as her newly spayed sister.


  16. I hope Pixie will be okay and recovers quickly. Our little “Brownie” is part dauschand (I can’t spell it) and part Jack Russell Terrier, so you an only imagine how insanely hyper she has been! But she is 11 now and is slowing down a lot. I take her with me on car rides sometimes and like today, I look over at her in the front seat and tear up, thanking God for the great dog that she has been for us! I hope her health holds out for a few more years.


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