By: Terry Lackmeyer, My Pet’s Brace Customer Service Representative

My name is Sam and I’m the four-year-old Labrador Pit Bull mix that you met last month when I told you about having a cast made at My Pet’s Brace. This time I want to tell you about my experience getting the brace.

About seven days after my first visit to My Pet’s Brace, Mom took me back to get the brace.  I was excited when we arrived. Everyone was very friendly and came over to greet me. I wasn’t so scared this time; I remembered that no one hurt me. We were shown to a room and the same lady from last time chatted with Mom and gave me water and lots of pets.

A few minutes later, the man who made the cast of my leg came into the room. He was carrying this very funny looking thing in his hand called a brace. I thought maybe it was something to eat or play with. I sniffed it and it wasn’t anything to eat (darn!) so I tried to mouth it. The man said, “No”, and moved the thing away so I couldn’t bite it. I walked up to it again and sniffed it. It was boring so I just laid down.

The man spent a lot of time talking to Mom and pointing at different items on the brace. He removed something called a suspension sleeve from the brace and said he was going to place it around my hock. He did that while I was lying down and it didn’t hurt at all. I just watched him and wagged my tail a few times. Then he put the brace on my leg. He positioned it high up on my leg and pressed the bottom of the brace onto the suspension sleeve. He continued to explain things to Mom and tightened the straps around my leg. When he finished, he said we were going to walk up and down the hallway. Yeah, right!

When I first stood up, I thought, What the heck? and looked at the brace on my leg. Trying to walk was strange at first. I kept kicking my leg out thinking I could get it off, but that brace followed me everywhere I went. Then I tried to walk fast so I didn’t have to put my leg down, but Mom started walking me very slowly and I had no choice but to use both of my rear legs. I was hesitant at first because I didn’t want my leg to hurt. Finally, I put my injured leg down and I was really surprised to find it felt a little better.

After the man watched me walk, he told Mom the brace was a little high in the groin and he was going to trim it so that it would be more comfortable. When he returned a few minutes later, he put the brace on me again and it did feel better. Then Mom got to practice putting the brace on me. It took her longer than it took the man and she fumbled a bit. The man told her not to worry; after a few times, she would find putting the brace on just as easy. He then put white lines on the straps of the brace and told Mom those lines would tell her how tightly to pull the straps.

I got to practice walking again. That was the best part because of all the great dog smells in the hallway. I could tell who was there before me… a big male Rottweiler, a male Maltese, and a female Sheltie. I wondered, Is she still in the building?  I was so busy sniffing that I forgot about the brace and before I knew it, I was using my injured leg! It was great to be using four legs again. Well, I wasn’t completely using my sore leg but at least it felt better, and I wasn’t so off-balance anymore.

Mom had some more questions and the man patiently answered all of them. He gave Mom a wearing schedule and explained that I had to get acclimated to the brace. I would start by wearing the brace a few hours the first day, increasing my wearing time daily until I was wearing the brace full-time. I got a break from wearing the brace at night when I was sleeping because I didn’t need to wear it then.  I wouldn’t be allowed to run and play just yet, but they said I would be able to soon!

Finally, we were finished and went out to the front desk. The lady at the desk went over the paperwork with Mom and schedule a recheck appointment in three weeks. I got treats, again. That was one of my favorite parts, and the pets too. Then I posed for a picture. I hope they got my good side. I wonder if I’ll be another Lassie?