1/25/2009

For the Love of a Dog?




Years ago, I use to hear about all the money families spent on their beloved family pet and never got it. I think inside my head I was thinking “All that and for a dog!” I mean you know the animal does not have a human life expectancy so it is not like the owners are getting another ten years out of their pet by spending money on medical care for them.

All that changed dramatically when I found my own lab injured after taking a quick spill up the staircase and had a leg that he could not walk on. I found it odd that he got injured going up as opposed to going down like most people or pets! But that is our Charley, there is just not that much normal about him. And when I saw him walking on three legs crying in pain and looking up at me with innocent eyes that said “Help me” the decision was made. Whatever the vet said he needed I was going to find a way to pay for it.

Fast forward to five weeks later, Charley is healing from ACL surgery. Can you believe the same surgery many athletes have done from sports injuries my Charley needed? My four legged; full of life yellow Labrador that spends a good majority of his day sleeping had a torn ACL from his spill up the steps. I wish I was convinced he learned his lesson and will never again run up the steps again, much less miss a step when he races up them. For now, a baby gate remains at the foot of the steps to prevent him from even having the option. Yeah, essentially we have, at least temporarily made the decision for him, no large staircases for you! At least until he officially is released from the veterinarian’s care. And the baby gate was another expense. Funny how we disagree on finances when it comes to things that seem essential to me as clothes but when it comes to Charley, without question, my husband and I are on the same side of the argument, Charley’s side.

Many times we took our dog back and forth to the vet’s office to be rechecked and for various complications and each time; I was much more noticeable of the other folks bringing their pets in for care. I saw camaraderie in the lobby area, everyone looked at their pet with the same look parents have when they are at the pediatrician with a sick child. There are no attempts to hide the concern and love from their faces; it is right out there, front and center for anyone with half way decent perception skills to see!

Having a pet animal touches something soft inside of us all, the child in us. And society has made it ok to be touched by it too. Technology may bring new toys to homes for young and old to partake but nothing replaces the heart and soul of having a beloved dog in the house. For that, some of us will pay almost anything to keep them around!
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