We should have named him ‘Busted’

Posted on January 27, 2011 by Jeff

We Should Have Named Him ‘Busted’

We still have our dog, Buster.  I’ve mentioned him before.  He and I have had an up and down first two years.  But the last 6 months have really tried the relationship.

Around the start of November we noticed Buster was limping on his back leg.  “That’s weird”  I thought.  And that’s about all I did.  Well, this continued for about a week so we took him in to the vet.  (we’ll call that ‘Visit A’)  The vet checked him out and gave him some meds and a few days later he was good to go.  “Wow, that was a relatively easy and inexpensive solution to what could have been a big ordeal.”  Was my thought and I apparently forgot to knock on some wood.

A Couple weeks later, he began limping on his OTHER back leg and this time it was worse.  He wouldn’t put any weight on it and this continued for a couple weeks.  (we don’t err on the side of moving TOO quickly to the vet)  After two weeks, we made an appointment with our vet for more magic meds but this time the meds didn’t work.

This got worse, so we took Buster back in for X Rays.  The phone call came later saying “The X Rays don’t show anything wrong with Buster… That will be Two Hundred Dollars please”.

So for most of the Winter, Buster hopped around on three legs.  But he was still a young dog with lots of energy and would go crazy without exercise, so I tried taking for walks… or hops…. but this was no good cause I’d get tired of the weird looks from all the gawkers… “Who is that terrible man taking his injured dog for a walk”.

Fast forward to the beginning of March.  I got a call from an upset Kristie:  “Hi, I’m at the Vet.  Something’s wrong with Buster, he couldn’t even get up at all today… I’m really worried about him”.  So this would be what?  ‘Visit E’???    I know my wife well enough to know that in a distraught state it wouldn’t take much for her to hand the Vet our Master Card and say “Just do whatever it takes to fix Buster” and as I hung up the phone I made a hasty exit and sped to the Vets office to intervene and add a dose of perspective.

“He’s a member of our Family….”  Kristie would say.

“He’s a Dog”.  I would rebut.  “He’s like our Goldfish and you remember what happened to them right??”

Finally the Vet said that she couldn’t do any more to help Buster and then came the words that I had been dreading… “I’m referring you to the Orthopedic Specialist at the University of Minnesota”.

‘Visit F’.  University of Minnesota.  I was there with Buster and I was rather crabby.  I was doing a good job of sticking to my guns… fix the dog if possible but at some point the whole thing just gets too much… and by too much, I mean WAY TOO MUCH.  But I let it get away from me, and before I knew it I was out five hundred bucks and the report was…. Wait for it…. “We can’t find anything wrong with Buster”.   I believe I began limping at that point.

The next suggestion was an MRI for $1400.00.  “But I know that’s expensive and you’d need to take some time to save up for that”.   Said the Vet.  After a long stare and pause I mustered up the strength to say “………. Right…….. save up for it.”

On my way home from the Orthopedic Specialist I wrestled with the thought of just letting the dog go free in Dinky Town, never to be heard from again.  But I chose not to.

So here we are, mid-May and here’s the end of the story.  Buster’s fine.  A few weeks ago he stopped limping.  He just stopped.  I guess he got tired of limping.  And from time to time I swear I hear him laughing at me.