On her first, and as it turned out, only full day here, Miss No Name had a quiet day resting in a dog run at the yard and watching me come and go. She was content to do so. When visiting with her throughout the day I would handle her, chat with her, and clean her small wounds, but more of a worry was that rear leg. The previous owner indicated the dog just recently came up lame on that leg but she didn’t know why. When massaging each leg to compare, I discovered an old injury, now closed over, and what felt like a pocket of infection under the skin, right around the hock joint; and this was on the good leg. The hidden infection became my biggest worry and I wondered that a trip to the vet might be needed.
I was sitting in the grass with her that evening, and just spending time with her before ending the day. She heaved a big sigh, and rolled onto her side placing her head in my lap. We sat still for a spell and I enjoyed the peaceful weight of her large head on my leg.
Monday morning I called the veterinarian and we headed in right after lunch. The result of the vet check up was heartbreaking. The vet concurred that the flesh wounds were minor, and they were indicative of cuts rather than an altercation with another dog. They still needed to be tended to, one needed a couple stitches. Since they would have her sedated to that do that I elected to have x-rays done and see what was going on with the hind legs.
Well, she was a mess. When I stated I bought a broken dog, I didn’t realize how close to the truth I landed. Bad elbow dysplasia, bad hip dysplasia, knee caps not where they should be, and a long ago fractured pelvis. Her front end was weak, and her hind end was weak, out of alignment and lacking support.
We were very likely looking at a life of some amount of constant discomfort, but to what degree we don’t know. There is a good chance this dog has been living with some amount of pain from the get go and knew no different. To ask this dog to work as I am expecting her too was no longer an option. To ask her to continue to live with a life of pain was the choice in front of me.
I stayed with her through the euthanasia, sitting on the floor, and this time feeling the comforting weight of her body, stretched and leaning against my leg. She is gone.