Darn! Does this ever happen to you all. I typed a reply here, fairly lengthy - then before I posted I went over to mraleigh's profile to get her first name. I just feel weird addressing someone by their screen-name.
Anyway, I came back over here and "poof" my reply was gone. Gah!
Anyway, ty you all for words of encouragement and suggestions. mraleigh, it is interesting to me that your vet wouldn't do surgery on a parial tear considering this guy is so anxious to do it, saying even a partial tear needs to be fixed.
Claire, Pistol is a small dog, but not really tiny like, say a Maltese. Coton's are a larger and sturdier version. They are the size of a Bichon. He is overweight at 18 lbs. Should probably be closer to 16. But you may be right about this brace not being right for him. There is another one called the MuttKnee Brace I may look at further: http://muttkneebrace.com/
Lynn you are so sweet to offer me to come down there and stay with you. Actually, my family is in Dallas so if I did that I would have a place to stay. Dallas is 4 1/2 hrs from us. However, we are only an hour from Stillwater where the OSU Vet Hospital is. If I didn't use this guy, I would probably go over there.
This morning when we went out Pistol was walking on all 4's. Once in a while he would try to trot and he would lift the leg then, but when I pulled him back he would put it back down and walk on it. However it seems he is usually better in the mornings, so not getting my hopes up too much.
He has seen 3 vets the last week, so I think we'll just give him a break from them for a few days and see how he is doing before we make any decisions. I sure wish we had gotten a clear diagnosis out of 1 of the 3 vets though. Now that the kids/grandkids are gone, I can settle down and concentrate on doing everything right with CM and get a better feel for how we are doing. Thanks again so much - you guys help keep me sane. I know this is not life-threatening and there are worse things we could be dealing with but it still is nerve-racking.