(Just because I like talking gratuitously about my dog … )
The other day I made the huge mistake of staying up way too late to finish watching the light-hearted-feel-good movie Marley and Me.
This ended with me whacking my husband on the back with a roll of snotty toilet paper at 1:30 am, crying and shouting “WHYYYYYY?!?! HE DIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEES. WHY DOES HE DIE??? I DON’T WANT HIM TO DIEEEEE! I HAAAATE OWEN WILSON!!!”
I am apparently a little dramatic when I should be asleep. It’s not like I didn’t know how the movie ended, it’s just … the ending stunk!
So I picked up our little 75lb puppy and plopped him in between us on the bed (Matt was thrilled) and promised him he would never die. Ever. Because I am not taking him up to that gorgeous flowery hillside to watch the sunset and tell him to let me know when he is ready. And I don’t look remotely like Jennifer Aniston, so there is some justice due in the world.
Plus Scout is a bionic super canine, so he has that going for him.
When Scout was about 6 months, Matt and I would often comment about what a “good” puppy he was.
“Scout doesn’t really run around like a maniac.”
“He is such a good puppy.”
“Scout doesn’t really get into everything.”
“He is such a good puppy.”
“Scout doesn’t really jump all over us or the furniture.”
“What a good puppy.”
Well it turns out, Scout is probably not that good of a puppy, and he was secretly dreaming of maniacal running, jumping and mass destruction, but he wasn’t able to execute his plots due to his numerous
bizarre deformities creative bone placements. When he was fixed, x-rays showed that he had hip dysplasia in both back legs and his legs were popping out of sockets often when he ran and played. Because of that, he also had joint problems, and his back ankles were hyper-extending. Oh, and his knee-caps float around like the tectonic plates.
He was a hot mess in every sense of the word.
And he needed surgery. Two surgeries, actually. By specialty dog surgeons at the specialty dog surgery center.
If you look up specialty in the dictionary, it looks like this: $$$$$OMGYOUAREGONNABESOPOOR$$$$$!!!
Thanks to the advice of our wise and persistent vet, we had purchased pet insurance. It helped tremendously with the costs of Scout’s hip surgeries. And I maybe even possibly cried while on the phone with the insurance rep, like he was the one who single-handedly swooped in and saved our dog from a life of pain and agony.
Long story made possibly even longer … Scout had two big surgeries over the span of 4 months, one on each hip. Each pelvic bone was sawed in three places, and the whole thing was rotated and screwed back together with metal plates and a lot of screws. Comfy, right? When we did post-op x-rays, he looked like a Handy Manny project. Minus the creepy Mr. Lopart.
He’s our bionic dog. And we love him.
I never had a dog growing up. When we got Scout “for the kids” I imagined long walks, and playing ball, and tug-o-war, and puppy licks, and cuddling a cute little fur ball.
I didn’t imagine hot-packing sutures, and dishing out meds, and seeing a vet every two weeks, and hoisting his rear for him while he peed because he couldn’t stand on his own. He is a puppy afterall. He is only 9 months old.
But, while my bank account fights me as I say this, I am glad and thankful. I didn’t know a dog could be like family. I didn’t know that I would love him so much; that my family would love him so much. That I would bring him home from surgery and feed him a bowl of chow in my bed because I didn’t want him to have to move. That Jake and Grace would throw their backpacks and immediately yell his name every day when they came home from school. That each morning Nathan would saunter up to him and basically bury himself in the dog; in a way that looks so annoying for Scout, but he just throws a paw around Nathan and … hugs him. That Scout would, no matter how much pain he was in or how long it took, pry himself off the ground to greet Matt every time he came home from work.
In a big way, we were right. Scout IS a good puppy. And he has been good for us.
Just try to explain that to my American Express card.
(Moral-of-the-story byproducts from my ramblings … get pet insurance, especially if you are bringing home a puppy. You never know what those first year check ups might hold for you. We have Trupanion and love them. And get yourself a great vet too … if you live in Orange County, check out Alicia Pet Care; they know their stuff and treat your pets like family.)