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Bruce's Bad Hips

Monday, July 15, 2013

It was raining last night.  It was nice and cool and the plants needed a break from the heat.  But I noticed Bruce was walking a little slower than usual.  His back end did a kind of hop and his hind legs were stiff.  He walked almost as if he had a volleyball between his hind legs.  His hips hurt when the weather cools.  It made me sad to see him hurt.

Dogs are so good at masking pain.  Even though Bruce was obviously hurting, he followed me outside.  When I sat on the couch, he laid on the floor at my feet.  It didn't matter where I went, if he thought I was going to be in a certain room for longer than a minute, he was at my side.  Regardless of his pain.  I gave him a kiss on the nose and decided I'd try my best to help him.

I heated a compress and applied it to his hips.  He was curious about it at first and at times he'd squirm away but overall he was a good sport and he let me massage him for a little while.  I felt his legs loosen up a little while I rubbed him down.  Every once in a while his legs would tremble.  After a while, however, he relaxed enough to fall asleep.  And, as I often did whenever I massaged him, I fell deeply in love for him and regained an appreciation for dogs that people often fail to have.

My dog would walk with me throughout the house with stiff legs and painful hips.  Not because I ordered him to.  Not because I lured him around with treats.  But because in his mind he is my dog.  And as a dog, I am his priority.  I ask myself, if he were a human would he do the same?  Probably not.  I wouldn't.  And not because I wouldn't care for my other human.  But because as a human, we have to really work hard on ourselves to be as dedicated to others as our dogs are--while dogs do not.

I truly believe dogs were given to us by God to show us how to love.  They love unconditionally.  The way we cannot.  We are so blessed to have been given such a gift.

As I headed to the bedroom for the night, Bruce followed me and stood by my bed.  He waited for me to get in the bed before he crawled under it for the night.  Laying on my belly, I reached under the bed, found his head and gave him a gentle scratch.  "Goodnight, baby," I told him.  A few thumps of his tail on the carpet told me that he said it back.

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