Part of the Family

I had lunch with My Dearest Friend a few weeks ago.

“Did I tell you that Duke had surgery?” she asked.

Seriously– who couldn’t love that face?

No, she hadn’t. Duke and Blackie were rough-housing, and somehow Duke twisted his leg in a funny way. He limped around for a few days in his usual good spirits, eating and seemingly not in pain. But when the limp didn’t go away, My Dearest Friend took him to the vet. X-rays revealed a cracked bone and torn ligaments. Cost of repair: $3,000.

“I was going to put him to sleep,” she said. “I don’t have $3,000 to spend on vet bills, I just don’t. But Teddy wouldn’t let me.”

Teddy is My Dearest Friend’s new husband. They had been conducting an east coast/west coast long-distance relationship for 10 years, and finally made it official in July.

“Teddy said Duke is part of the family, it would upset the kids, and you can’t put a perfectly healthy three-year-old dog to sleep for a broken leg,” she said. “So he paid for the operation. I think he’s crazy.”

I don’t think Teddy’s crazy. I think he’s a dog-lover. And I don’t think MDF thinks he’s crazy either; her statement was accompanied by a hint of a smile, and I know generosity and kind-heartedness are the stellar features that make her love him. Plus he’s a great stepfather, wanting to spare her kids emotional distress.

I told the story to my kids and their father when he came to see them that night.

“He’s crazy,” said the Ex. “If Our Best Friend breaks a leg, put him to sleep. You can’t spend money like that on a dog.”

Logistically, he’s right. Running two households on one salary is a huge stretch, and there’s barely money for toilet paper and tuition, never mind exorbitant vet bills. I’m piling up student loan debt as I type. Still, I couldn’t do it. It would mean $3,000 more debt, and I would curse every time interest for the credit line is debited from my chequing account. But, like Teddy, I don’t want my kids to suffer an avoidable loss. Our Best Friend is a nuisance and makes me crazy half the time, but he keeps out intruders and cuddles the girls on the couch. He’s my walking partner, our guardian, the rat-catcher, and my dog park companion. Let’s pray he stays healthy, and hope that I always have room on the credit line for emergencies. Failing that, maybe Teddy would lend me a few bucks.

This post is part of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop.  Hop aboard here!

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About one person's view

I'm the mother of three girls, three cats, and a dog. All need constant attention, but only the dog likes to go for long walks!
This entry was posted in children, Dogs, Life and death, pets and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Part of the Family

  1. Kristine says:

    I couldn’t do it either. We can’t afford $3,000 in vet bills, the idea is laughable. Our credit line is already all dried up. But I would find a way. There would be no other options for me.

    Let’s hope all our dogs remain safe and healthy for a long, long time.

  2. Jodi Stone says:

    OMG I love Teddy! What a great story. I know you would do anything you could for YBF, I remember the stories of the nights you lay there listening to every cough, worrying that he was ill. It’s funny isn’t it, they really do become part of the family and somehow we figure it out. We’ve had a lot of vet bills in the last month or so, and somehow we’ve managed it. I sure could have used a Teddy though. 🙂

    It’s good to have you back. 🙂 Hope all is going well. How’s school going?

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