The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, September 03, 2006  

A Thursday Feature Worthy of a Sunday Update

Hooray, it's a three-day weekend, with just my third day off all this year from work -- tomorrow -- now in sight. I should be happy. But I'm not. Because last night, and again this morning, I noticed Mildred hobbling and limping, and I'm not sure what it means.

We knew when we got Mildred, back when there was a "we," and took her to the vet for the post-purchase look-over, that her back right knee already was in bad shape. The patella-something-or-other, whatever he called it, was so serious, the vet said, that it constituted a birth defect, one common in bulldog puppies and one that would allow us, the buyers, in good faith and with justification, to return the puppy (that would be Mildred, already named, maybe our first mistake) to the breeder.

We chose not to do so.

I have not regretted that decision even once.

And while I've seen this limping in the past, and have blamed it, possibly correctly, on her sleeping too long on the wrong side or at the wrong angle, and watched her get over it, this latest flare-up scares me. Maybe her advanced age, now nine years, has me concerned.

And of course, it's the weekend, a long weekend, and so nobody's open except the emergency rooms at Penn, and while I'm sure the care there is the best, I'm not sure we can handle that right now.

Besides, tomorrow everything could be fine; maybe the kneecap will slip back into place. Or maybe not, and so then I'll keep carrying 60 pounds of bulldog up and down two flights of stairs to go outside. I'm happy to do so, and if you knew Mildred like I know Mildred, you would too.

[Post-publication addendum (September 4): Things are much better today. Mildred and I had a nice little walk outside late this morning and she traveled farther than I would have expected, with no "sit-downs" along the way (there were two of those on Saturday's walk). She didn't want to go outside this evening, which is fairly normal and she is managing well maneuvering around the apartment. Hopefully it was just a scare.]

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