Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Dog is My Hero

Most cyclists identify heavily with a pro cyclist. We all wish we could be Lance. Personally, I wish I could be my dog. Why? Because she just gets it done. She doesn't complain. She just does it.

My female dog is getting well into old age. She is 91 in dog years. Back when she was in her 70s, she managed to dislocate a hip. She screamed bloody murder, then crawled into my lap. She had absolute faith that I would make it better. That absolute, uncompromising faith is so rare and so beautiful.

We absolutely had to fix her. The vet, Lee Hankins, told us that she would do well with an FHO, which is a fancy acronym for a procedure in which the femoral head is removed. The leg is bound for a few weeks, and the scar tissue forms to create a false joint. This seemed preferable for my little girl, and much less harsh than a total hip replacement. So that is what we did,

She came out of surgery just fine. It's tough enough for a 45 year old to do this. She handled it gracefully in her 70s. After a few days she was getting around on 3 legs just fine, and after 5 days, she was downright rowdy! I am certain I would have been in a nursing home if our positions were reversed.

When we got to the point where she needed to start using the leg, she suffered through physical therapy without complaint. Physical therapy for her consisted of me holding up her good leg and making her stand on the bad one. She did this with grace and ease, no complaints. It was so much better than the whiney, wimpy, complaining humans that I endure while going through physical therapy for a broken wrist.

The little girl made a full recovery. She is getting deaf now, but she is still expecting to play every night, and she still is active at 91 years old. I hope I can be as graceful in my old age as she is.

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