J.P. was discharged from Florida Hospital for Children on Monday after spending four days there with a gastrointestinal bug.
It was the second hospitalization within a week. He was first admitted May 10 which led to surgery to repair his shunt.
It all happened at the same time J.P., Paige and I were in team training to receive a skilled companion dog from Canine Companions for Independence. The dog, Karina, graduated with us at SeaWorld on Saturday and spent much of the past four days at the hospital.
J.P. arrived home early Monday afternoon, and Karina and J.P. were quickly together on our couch watching TV together. It was one of the key things we were hoping would happen, and J.P. really enjoyed having his dog so close.
Our two 19-year-old cats are adjusting, and while no fur has flown in the house, the cats have hissed at the dog a bit, but I think things are going as well as can be expected. Nineteen-year-old cats seem to be set in their ways.
So what’s next? I want to take Karina on a short jog with me. We were told at team training that the dogs need exercise daily, and I would like to get her up to being able to run a 5K with me. I also want to see how she likes the pool.
J.P will also be resuming his therapy appointments pretty quickly, and our occupational therapist was planning to incorporate Karina into her
Canine Companions also wants Karina to begin recognizing that she is J.P.’s dog. One way that will be accomplished is by having them spend time together — like they were doing on the couch this afternoon. Karina will also sleep in J.P.’s room, and he’ll start playing a role in her grooming and feedings. That should also help them bond.
Earlier on Monday, Karina made her first visit to Tuscawilla Oaks Animal Hospital to see Dr. Janis Fullenwider. Fullenwider said Karina is in good health, and we got her started on a flea and heartworm preventative. She’ll be due for vaccinations in July.
It’s so nice to have the whole family finally home together. It’s been a crazy two weeks that I never believed would end up the way it did, but if the goal was to get J.P. an amazing dog that could be his best friend, I believe that has been accomplished, and it certainly seems like she’ll be bringing a lot of joy and smiles to the entire family.
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