The Costly Cone of Shame
If you’ve been following my blog lately, you already know about my two-year-old lab, Beau, and her untimely Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear. This has forced me to experiment with bird flushing deer, purchase an unholy amount of cow knuckles, and perform my best American Gladiator impression while trying to pin-down and subdue an active bird dog who seems just as content on three legs as she does four.
As anyone in my situation would do, I asked for help in making the decision of whether or not to pony-up a ridiculous amount of cash for her surgery, or to let things heal naturally and simply see what happens. Many of you voiced your opinions and it became quite clear the divide between the two options is more heated than the great “flusher vs. pointer” debate.
After weighing the choices and doing enough research to keep up with even the best veterinary orthopedic surgeons, I came to a conclusion: My student-loan-paying, rent-disbursing, car-payment-owing mind (coupled with the optimism that she was young enough to perhaps heal on her own) opted against footing a bill for surgery. Into the crate she went.
A few weeks passed and other than being a bit sore in the mornings, she was walking relatively normally. She still wasn’t allowed to run or jump, but I was pleased with the progress. That is, I was pleased with the progress until one especially icy and expletive filled morning.
We were heading out the door for her usual morning scratch-and-sniff session when she took a hop off the front step. What was usually a pretty uneventful moment in our early morning routine quickly turned into a classic Bambi-on-ice situation. Both of her back legs did the splits on the sidewalk and we were back to square one.
Staring at the once again three-legged wonder-mutt, it appeared the decision had been made for me: A lighter wallet, a drugged up pooch, and the ever-entertaining cone of shame.
Bird Dogs… Can’t afford to live with them, can’t afford to live without them.
The Over/Under blog is written by Andrew Vavra, Pheasants Forever’s Marketing Specialist.
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