Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Leg, There's The Rub

Our dog only uses three legs.

Periodically over the past year or so, Winston - our increasingly special needs dog - has occasionally started to hobble, holding his right hind leg up as he walks. On previous occasions I've attributed this essentially to sloth...I figured his foot fell asleep since that's how he spends the bulk of his time and energies...sleeping.

Usually after a few days he'll start using the leg more and then, although he's always been klutzy, he's back to normal...or as normal as he ever gets.

For the past several weeks though he's continued to be a tri-pod...albeit a happy little tri-pod.

Winston is a dog that can be manhandled. In fact he loves to be rubbed, scratched, rolled on his back...let's face it, he enjoys abuse. I've checked that leg, pulled it, rubbed it, bent it like a Gumby...and the only response from Winston has been reminiscent of the line from Oliver, "Please Sir, might I have more?"

So then Amy and I figured it's a hip issue. I've picked him up, pushed him down, rolled him over, tugged, and twisted his hind quarters and the response? You guessed it...complete contentment.

The other morning Lee, apparently oblivious to our numerous conversations about Winston's wobble, suddenly took notice of it and screamed for Amy who came running only to give Lee the less than satisifying answer of, "Oh. You're just noticing that? We've been trying to figure out that one for a while."

It's not like we're being mean...if the dog exhibited pain in any way we'd be rushing him out the door like a life insurance salesman and taking him to the Vet...but Winston doesn't seem bothered at all. I mean he couldn't care less. Not a whimper...not a whine. This is a dog that howls when the wind changes direction...but the lack of use of his his leg is apparently of no consequence to him.

We'll of course take him to our veterinarian...the dogs are overdue for their shots anyway.

I'm equally certain our local animal doctor will be able to run a gazillion tests costing us a gazillion dollars.

I'm only worried that the tests will reveal something I've suspected all along.

We've spent the past few weeks pampering a dog who really likes a good massage.