A Dogs Eye View: Phoenix’s Surgery

It’s been a Ruff summer for Phoenix and Smokey.


About the beginning of June, Phoenix started favoring his back left leg. He went to the Vet after it developed into a pronounced limp.


“We will need X-rays. He will need to be sedated.” they said.


“OK, it’s just money, I’ll make more.” I said.


Apparently, anesthesia and huskies have a hate-hate relationship. We brought him home at the end of the day, and he looked dazed, confused, still limping, and whined and cried for the next three days. He would forget his misery at mealtime, and showed the usual enthusiasm by jumping up and down on the bad leg while dinner is prepared. Ten minutes after supper, he was back to his Reverend Jim Ignatowski routine. He would accentuate this by sprawling out on the floor and make more and louder sad noises. Sometimes, he would sprawl on his back, just for effect.

Turns out he tore the muscle that holds his knee together. They have a many syllabled name for it, but for $3500.00 I felt I paid for my right not to remember it. If I ever need it for a winning move at Scrabble, I have the doctor’s number on speed-dial in my phone.  Surgery was scheduled and performed at the end of June.   He came home the next day, dazed, confused, and still limping in a rather artistically decorated Cone of Shame and a lovely red cast, and refused to talk to us.  But he would sneak looks at us, to see if we felt any guilt or remorse about his Sad State of Affairs. If we weren’t paying attention, he would whiffle off a series of sighs and whines designed to bring a hand and/or some sympathetic sounds to his remaining fur. No one can resist these noises; the power of the Force is just too strong.  Then he would go back to his drug-induced coma for a while, until the guilt thing rolled back around to the cerebral cortex, which would wake him for another round of “Look at me! I am so pathetic! Look at my leg! Why? Why did you do this to me? LOOK AT MEEEEEE!!! Arghwoooooarg!”

Fast forward to September, when it’s time to bring Smokey in for a checkup, since he’s lost more weight than he should have, and his eyes were getting cloudy. Turns out he’s now a diabetic, and will be on insulin for the rest of his life. He’s almost completely blind now. We figured this out when we moved some furniture to do some painting. He’d strut with all his usual purpose across the room right into a stool. He has not accepted his condition yet, and still wants ALL the food. He can’t find it, but he knows it’s got to be around somewhere. We have learned, through our vet, that the best place to get insulin for dogs is Walmart. I’ll take $24.99 over $165.09 at most other pharmacies all day long.


The good news is that Phoenix has made mostly a complete recovery from his surgery. He can’t walk as far as he used to, and his miles-per-hour rating has gone from Millenium Falcon to three legged deaf jaguar. We’re hoping this will make him easier to catch in the event he ever escapes the house to go to Kate’s Corner Store again.  And, much to his relief, his leg has grown back enough fur that I no longer have the urge to slip a fishnet stocking over it. Guess I’ll just need to find a new hobby. Perhaps I’ll take up tattooing vehicles, in the style of Li Zongxiong of Taiwan.




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