Thursday, April 9, 2009

An injury

My whippet Henry will be seven in July. Today at the end of our walk Simone started her little play bow ritual, asking Henry to chase her, and soon off they both went at about 30 miles an hour over the grass. Simone sails over the ground in huge playful leaps, while Henry, altogether a more serious fellow, waits until she passes close by and then puts on a burst of speed while she zigs and zags out of his way. At least ten pounds heavier than his sister, Henry is usually left flat footed. Today he revved up to overtake and stop her in her tracks, but at the end of the chase he stood in the middle of the field licking his leg. I thought maybe a graze on the other side of the knee had broken open. Then he walked up to me, and I saw a huge swelling from the knee down. He can put weight on it and is a stoical chap, but it looks like a bad soft tissue injury, so we are off to the vet this morning.

The dog I had as a child, a border collie mix named Paddy, probably went to the vet about twice in his life, and lived to be eighteen. Now with my two hounds I have sometimes joked that I should simply do a monthly transfer of my salary into the vet's account. Times have changed, and whippets being incredible athletes, also are more prone to athletic injuries than my solid old herding dog. My daughter currently says she wants to be a veterinarian, so while I am aware that the career plans of a thirteen-year-old are subject to change, that she may live in Alaska while I am in Yorkshire and so forth, it is pleasant to dream for a moment of the income from these inevitable contretemps going to support my own family.

Paddy's next door neighbor dog was a corgi, another herder. The pair of them used to herd each other endlessly up and down the garden until they wore a path and my Dad, who liked his garden, planted thorny roses to discourage them.

Now with no garden I often feel I am reaping the karmic reward for not having taken Paddy for nearly enough walks. Four and five times a day I am up and down the four flights of stairs with them, rounding this block and that one for some small variety, or treading our well-worn path through the park.


  1. oh joy--i do hope that henry is ok. please keep us posted. i know what you mean about the vet bills; ours get crazy too.

  2. Thanks Peggy
    Dr Silverman says "Wait and see" since there seems to be no pain, so that is what we are doing.


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