Tuesday, February 23, 2010

three-legged dog blog

Today I travel with a three-legged dog. For years this old dog had four legs and found plenty of trouble. Hit by a mystery car while I was in Egypt - my folks nursed her til I returned for dog-and-human swim therapy. She had a strong mend on that back femur and a tan. Then she stuck her head in the mouth of rattlesnake and barely recovered her life and senses.

This fall a fat round bulb sprang from the top of her hind foot - a tumor. I spent quiet hours and inner-looking hours during winter days in Albuquerque and Taos waiting for biopsy results. I called people and I dreaded and wondered about what to do. Would it be possible for the pup to pull through another hard time?

Her vet thought so. But she would have to lose the leg. She did and recovered in southern New Mexico on a special pecan farm (more in a later post). She was road-ready the week before Valentines Day. Since then we've traveled to Phoenix, Tucson, and are in Oakland, California. There's a big bridge out here - we'll cross it in a day or two. Our last spectacular bridge visit was the structure spanning the Rio Grande Gorge in Taos, NM - you can see a dog serious about getting a good view below . . . this was her last four-legged hike day.

Today we walked down International Blvd in Oakland, CA - once called East 14th Street it became a rough neighborhood when people moved to other suburbs and left houses vacant - then boarded up. This morning it seemed like a lively place (maybe the name change helps focus us on what we may be proud to find here). It felt like somewhere South or Central America with pinata shops and cake shops and quinceanera dresses in windows. And on International Blvd I could have stopped for the international cuisine - Chinese, Mexican, Italian and more. But I had coffee and "organic banana bread" (that's how I knew I was in Cali) to share with a pooch who gets more attention than she wants these days. Everyone wanted to know how she learned to walk on three legs. But that's the thing. She just keeps going - not knowing to be sad over the loss of a limb, or to look back on a life with some major recoveries - and big adventures. This dog's brain isn't wired to worry and lament. Nope. She's forward looking (for eatable things).

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