However, things have been getting increasingly uncomfortable over the past few months and it turns out that both Bessie and I have problems with our legs.
This time tomorrow I should hopefully be the proud owner of a brand-new hip joint.
Granted, this is quite a few years before I ever anticipated having a new joint, but it turns out that there isn’t an alternative, and I’m looking forward to being able to get back to normal; to swimming, doing pilates and walking faster than at a snail’s pace.
However, I know my place. Our attention has been focussed elsewhere, on the top dog, both literally and metaphorically, in our household; Bessie.
She is an enthusiastic little jumper... manic leaps up at the back door when she knows it’s time for walkies, frantic pounces up for kisses when we come in the front door, and she loves nothing more than hurling herself up onto our bed for cuddles.
A few days ago, she was catapulting herself at the back door as Devoted Doctor put on his walking shoes, when she thumped back down on her back legs and let out a heart-wrenching yelp. The yelps continued, and she developed a bit of a limp and looked completely sorry for herself.
The vet confirmed she’d hurt the ligaments in her back right knee. Pain killers and gentle on-lead walks were prescribed, with NO JUMPING – which is easier said than done...
Devoted doctor has built a staircase of cushions up on to our bed, and another one up on to her favourite sofa.
Bessie took her time surveying said elaborate constructions, seemingly unimpressed. She very deliberately came into the bedroom, stepped to the side of the four-cushion staircase, looked at Devoted Doctor as if to say ‘well I don’t think much of that’ and preceded to attempt to jump up on to the bed…more yelping.
She’s been in pain with her back leg several times before over the past few months so If things don’t improve in a couple of weeks she may need an x-ray and at worst, surgery.
Walkies time is the lame leading the lame. Bessie valiantly pulls me along and up.
I try to hold her back as she strains on the lead and gazes longingly up tree trunks towards the backsides of squirrels darting out of her way.
We’re managing pretty well all things considered. If only she could come into hospital with me and recuperate in a doggy sized bed with copious supplies of fishy treats and day-old socks for chewing.
Devoted doctor and dear daughter will have their work cut out over the next few weeks. Lots of cooking, washing, entertaining, cuddles and general tray-service. And that’s just for Bessie...