Happy Fourth of July, U.S. readers. Have fun and be safe. While you’re eating barbecue and watching fireworks, I’ll be home holding my puppy’s paw. The fireworks frighten her. Also, she’s injured. I don’t know if you remember last year when I wrote about her knee surgery, but we’re about to do it again.
I had not been home an hour from my trip to San Jose last week when Annie started limping. When she tried to put weight on her back left leg, she just fell down. Uh-oh. I hoped to find a thorn in her foot or some other minor problem, but I knew what it probably was. The vet confirmed it the next day. As often happens with Labs, after one knee goes, the other follows. She has a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and will need surgery. Here we go again.
When I told my father about it, I forgot that I never admitted how much it cost last time: $4,000. My father was shocked. He noted that she’s an old dog and suggested I should just let her go.
Not a chance, no more than we should put him down because he has a bum leg. Annie is my person, my companion, and yes, my baby. I will spend whatever it takes to get her walking again. She is actually doing pretty well on three legs, but we’re doing the surgery. The last procedure worked well, and I’m confident that six months from now she’ll be walking on all four feet again. So what if I have to make massive payments to pay for it?
Would I do this if I had a human baby to take care of, too? I suspect I would, but I might have to debate that with a husband who disagreed, who had a more practical attitude toward money.
Meanwhile, I’ll be staying home with Annie tonight. I am going out to watch a parade with a friend this afternoon, but then I’ll scurry back in time to give my pup her dinner and pain medication. Maybe we’ll watch a movie and share a bowl of popcorn.
I know the parade will be loaded with kids. I know I will be torn between grieving over my lack of grandchildren and being glad I don’t have to deal with little ones who scream, whine, and dart out into the street. My friend, who is a grandmother, won’t have children with her either because they live far away. If you live long enough, you don’t have to deal with other people’s kids, although you might have to love their dogs.
What are you doing for Fourth of July? Does it bring up the childless miseries? Do share.
3 thoughts on “Spending the Fourth with My Best Friend”
Usually the summer holidays are better than the fall/winter ones like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Summer BBQs aren’t usually family only affairs like some other holidays and it seems that people are more willing to include friends. I don’t feel nearly as left out and the day tends to be more about eating, drinking and enjoying the sun, rather than being all about kids. I avoid fireworks though. Maybe in a city it would be fun but I live in the suburbs and it’s really only people with kids that go. I tried going once years ago and really didn’t feel like I belonged there. Now I just go home after dark on the 4th and comfort my dogs who also freak out that night 🙂
My pup doesn’t worry about fireworks or loud bangs such as gunshots, so we watched the TV fireworks with the music turned up loud. I don’t mean to insult your father , but making decisions for your pet’s healthcare based on cost?! If you watch Your Brain On Puppies (YouTube) you will see that puppies fire the same centers in our brain as babies. No one would “let their human baby go” because of the expense for healthcare.
Dad makes every decision based on cost. It’s just how he’s wired. We’re doing the surgery.