Tilly, the Laughing Housewife has a photo of a Bear Paw on her site today. Simultaneously, my friend Debbi send me a photo of a wolf with its paw caught in a trap, an idiot “hunter” standing behind the wolf laughing at his agony.
The juxtaposition of the two photos got me crying. Wolves are under threat again, because the Obama Administration has delisted them. I don’t know about bears, but they are being shot around here, which is better than getting your foot caught in a trap.
Tilly’s bear has his paw sprawled behind him the way my dog Max once sprawled his leg behind him. This sprawl is particular for male dogs, and apparently bears. Females can’t do this. I think it has something to do with the construction of the hips, although my dog may have been double jointed.
When Peaches turned 17 this week I thought about Max. We got the pair of them around the same time, although Max was older by five months.
Every week when I drive to class at the university, I pass SouthPaws, an animal hospital for difficult cases. My vet Dr. Young, sent me to SouthPaws when Max was very ill. She had placed him on a medication that caused his liver to enlarge (a side effect), and one of her professors from Vet School ran SouthPaws. In other words she was sending me and my dog to a veterinary specialist.
I called Max our Putty Dog, because he was the most compliant canine I ever met. When the specialist vet did a sonogram of his liver, Max lay in the saddle or whatever that gizmo was that held him on his back, with his tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth. The doctor ran the instrument all over his belly and Max loved it. I could see Max’s organs including the enlarged liver. The doctor also described Max’s bones. “He’s got a rugged-looking hip,” the vet said in passing. Max had arthritis, among other complaints.
When Max had surgery, my vet Dr Young would call me when he came out from under the anesthetic. She said, Max woke up, stood up, looked around and then barked because he needed to pee. That was Max, ever compliant and ever wanting to be walked.