Pets are almost as important as children to those of us who no longer have children in the house. Or, in the case of my wife, have never had a child.
So when we got a phone call from our vet tonight, giving us the results of X-rays taken when we wanted to know why Mooka, our Husky mix, was limping at times, what she told us was really disturbing.
But not to Mooka. That's a plus side of being a dog. You don't know that you've been diagnosed with right hip dysplasia with degenerative joint disease.
What shocked my wife, who has owned several purebred German Shepherds, a breed prone to hip dysplasia, is that a mixed breed dog who is only about five years old (she was adopted from a shelter, so we're not sure exactly how old Mooka is) would have hip dysplasia at such a relatively young age.
And not only that. Mooka also may have herniated discs in her spine, because she got a IVDD diagnosis too. That's Intervertebral Disc Disease.
There's treatments for Mooka's problems. So we're hoping she still has quite a few years of happy running around in her future. At the moment we're just dealing with the unpleasant news that arrived this evening.
Mooka is still the same dog she was before we got the report from our vet.
It's my wife and I who are changed, because we love Mooka and had been visualizing her being healthy for much longer, since mixed breeds/mutts tend to have fewer health problems than purebred dogs. But life is full of surprises, often unwelcome ones.