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Lifestyle // The Wild Side
Dr. John Kaya

Hot Dog! That’s Some Dachshund

Nobody told me how difficult raising children would be. Every night I find myself wedged between my 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son trying to get them to sleep. I’m sure there are chapters written about this very scenario in child-rearing books. Unfortunately, I haven’t read any.

Many mornings, like today, I would awaken with a sore back. It’s times like these that I think of my patients that suffer from back injuries but still enjoy life without a bit of complaining.

This is the story of Oscar, an 8-year-old dachshund that didn’t let a sore back slow him down one bit.

Lisa brought her 2-year-old dachshund Daisy in for an exam. She was worried because Daisy’s appetite had recently become ravenous. Sure enough, our scale weighed Daisy in at 15 pounds, which was 2 pounds heavier than her last visit. According to Lisa, there was no change in food or daily regimen. The only thing different was that Daisy had gone into heat a couple of months ago.

“Well, Daisy could be pregnant,” I said.

Lisa replied, “Nope … not possible. We kept her in the kitchen away from any dogs.

The only other dog in the house was Oscar, but we put up the doggy gate so that he couldn’t get to her. Also he has a bad back, remember?”

I did remember. One year prior, Oscar came in dragging his rear legs. X-rays revealed a protruding mineralized disc in his spine. Even though he improved with medication, he still walked with wobbly hind limbs and a hunched back.

Lisa had been surfing the Internet and was convinced a large growing tumor was responsible for Daisy’s weight gain. She asked if we could take X-rays. I told Lisa that it was unlikely that Daisy had a tumor at age 2, but I learned early in my career that you can’t argue with the Internet.

When the X-ray films were developed they revealed something very startling.

“These tiny white lines represent the skeletal structures of four puppies. Based on the mineralization, I’d say that Daisy is due to deliver next week. If you are certain there were no other dogs in Daisy’s life, then Oscar must be the sire.”

With a smile, Lisa said, “I’m certain there were no other dogs with Daisy. Oscar must have climbed the gate, romanced his sweetheart then scrambled back over the gate before we got home. That little rascal.”

Superman was more like it. Oscar had a hard time walking a straight line with his injury let alone climbing a doggy gate and then mating with Daisy. He definitely endured some discomfort and makes me look like a wimp. Maybe I should quit complaining about my own aches and pains and be like Oscar.

Hmm … then again, maybe not exactly like Oscar. Two children are enough for my wife and me to handle.

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