Monday, 6 October 2008

Chapter Eleven


It happened like this. One bright sunny morning when Jesse was less than six months old, Boss took us out in the car. It was one of those times when he had a gadget around his neck. He would stand in front of something, put it up to his eye and then press a button or something. When we got home Mrs. Boss would connect this gadget to the box she had with the keyboard and pictures would appear.

Boss drove up this hill to a very old building, got out of the car and proceeded to put the gadget up to his eye as usual. It was a warm day and, being a responsible owner, Boss had left the windows of the car open for us. Not wide enough for me to even get my head out of and Boss was in our sight all the time. As Boss started to walk back to the car Jesse got so excited. Now, do not ask me how he did it but somehow he got up on his back legs, twisted his body over onto its side and in some manner managed to squeeze himself out through the narrow window opening. He only did it to run and greet Boss. He did not realize that there was a drop from the window to the ground. So he immediately fell heavily onto solid concrete. He gave a loud yelp and Boss came running. He immediately brought us home and Mrs. Boss was so worried when she found Jesse could not put his foot to the floor.

She insisted that Jesse see the vet. Unfortunately, it was something humans called a holiday and our vet was closed. Boss had to make all sorts of enquiries to find a vet and had to travel quite a long distance when he did. Mrs. Boss and I waited anxiously. We were both relieved when Boss said the vet had decided that Jesse had pulled himself and bruised himself badly and that he would have to be given little round things to help with the pain and that in a week or so he should be fine.

However, after a couple of days there was no improvement and Jesse would yelp when he moved, had trouble lying down and getting up and was off his food. So, when the holiday was over, Mrs. Boss insisted that no more time passed and Jesse should see our usual vet. The usual vet was very concerned and said he would have to take some sort of special “pictures” that only vets could do. So Jesse had to stay there and Boss came home and we all waited for news. The humans were very upset when they got the results of the pictures. It turned out that Jesse had smashed his hip joint very badly. He must have been in so much pain. So, he had to have something called “an operation” and he was away for a couple of days.

When he returned he looked very sorry for himself. He had obviously been through an ordeal and had to rest a good deal. He could not play in the garden and he could not go out at all except into the garden when he had to relieve himself. He still walked on three legs but as the days passed he started to put his foot gingerly to the ground and eventually could walk pretty well although he had a limp.

When he went back to the vets to be checked, the vet told Boss that swimming would be a good idea for him, that it would help to strengthen the leg and speed recovery. I wondered what swimming was. Anyway, Boss found a special place where they took dogs that had been injured or had joint problems due to getting old and Jesse was booked in there. Boss took me along for the ride. When we got inside, there was water. Not like the water in our pond and not like the water I had not liked at the beach.

This was a narrow band of water that went around in a circle. I was surprised when Boss put Jesse into this water and holding the end of the leather things they attached to our collars proceeded to walk around the circle and Jesse had to paddle his legs for all he was worth to keep up. So, that was swimming! There was only one problem. I sat patiently by the side and every time Jesse reached me again he tried to get out to be with me and Boss had to keep putting him back. So the owner, who was watching with amusement, suggested that I go in as well and said there would be no extra charge whatever that meant.

I fought it, I did not particularly want to go in there and Boss had to virtually push me in. Guess what? I loved it and I could never understand why I had not liked water before. It was fun swimming with Jesse, sometimes I tried to catch him, other times he swam behind me and tried to catch me. We used to go a lot and we both looked forward to it. There came the day when Jesse did not need to go anymore. His leg was as good as it was ever going to be. He walked as well as I did except for the times when we did a lot of running and he got tired. Then his injured leg would stick out at an angle a little or he would favour it but it was almost as good as new.

So, we missed swimming but enjoyed water games in the warm weather. Mrs. Boss would play the hose on us and we would jump and try to catch the water. It was great fun and Boss also soon found us a lake where we could swim to our hearts content and have great fun retrieving our toys.

How strange it was that it took Jesse’s accident to give me a love of water.


1 comment:

  1. I just love the picture of the boys swimming. So happy to read Jess came through his injury well.

    You guys are wonderful parents!! I wish everyone who was given the honor of caring for a dog was such good parents!!! Any animal would be Blessed to find a home with you.

    My vet suggested water therapy for my chocolate lab (she is 12) and has torn ligaments in her knee. They are reluctant to do surgery due to her age.