Four years after two TPLOs, Cedar remains a serious player.
Cedar, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (aka “Toller”), has a long history of playing with his owner, Peter, whether it be on Oregon’s rivers, hiking mountain trails, or trips to the local dog park. For Cedar, if there’s water involved, he’s in! The pair has gone fly fishing together all over the state. “I used to let him swim around me while I fished,” says Peter, “but after Cedar spontaneously decided to swim down a mile of the Deschutes River he stays on a leash near fast moving water.”
Cedar is equally serious about playing ball. “He is not laid-back about playing,” says Peter, adding that Cedar will retrieve endlessly.
Five years ago, vacationing in Gearhart, Peter and a friend spent two fun-filled days walking, picnicking, and just enjoying the beach. Cedar “ran like a maniac, swam in the ocean, and played hard the whole two days,” says Peter.
After returning home, Cedar was “gimpy.” Initially Peter assumed it was from overdoing it, but days passed and Cedar didn’t get better. When his veterinarian diagnosed Cedar with ligament damage to his hind legs, Peter brought Cedar to CVRC on the veterinarian’s recommendation.
Growing up in Wisconsin with a family of duck hunters, Peter “hated shooting ducks” but he loved the dogs — especially one, a “Toller,” a breed he decided to seek out when he had enough time and space for such an energetic companion. Peter has since become a loyal fan of the breed.
Dr. Michael Flynn performed two separate TPLO surgeries on Cedar, spaced about four months apart. Diagnosed with damaged ligaments in both hind legs — one completely torn and one less damaged — Peter felt doing the surgeries separately with time between for recovery would be easier for both dog and owner. “It’s an inherently scary process,” he says. “For the first few days after surgery your dog may not be able to walk unassisted, and we take for granted that they’ll come and let us know when they need to go out or want something. The doctors at CVRC did a great job of letting me know what to expect and helping both of us through the recovery process.” Peter says he had to help Cedar the first few days after surgery, but that it wasn’t long before Cedar was dropping balls at his feet once again. “The results of the operation were obvious; I had to restrain Cedar to ensure he followed the recovery procedures recommended by the CVRC staff.”
Cedar is now 11, and he and Peter have a new family member, 2-year-old Piper, also a Toller, who Cedar adores. “Though if you’d asked him the first few months that’s not what he’d have said,” says Peter. “Now they’re inseparable.”
Cedar remains as serious as ever about retrieving. “I have to remind myself that he’s an old dog. Piper retrieves most throws these days, but they both run after it,” says Peter, “which is great. I just have to ensure he doesn’t overdo it.”
Enjoying life with his best friend who made a full recovery at age seven and continues to live a full and happy life today at age 11, when asked if he felt Cedar’s TPLO surgeries were worth all the cost and pain, Peter replied, “Absolutely. I know some people may think with a seven-year-old dog it’s too much — either financially or in terms of what you’re putting the dog through. But five years later Cedar is still happily running around and loves to play. I think we’d both do it again in a heartbeat.”
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