The dog’s lifting his leg, but not for that reason

It always wrecks me to see an injured or afflicted animal, be it a stray dog scratching helplessly at mounds of scabby boils in Shanghai, a moped-stricken hound in Hanoi, or a baby hippo fatally gored by fighting adult hippos on the Serengeti. (I saw that one on TV in Florence last week. Thanks, Nat Geo.) 

Now Cubby the magical, mystical mutt may be ailing, and it’s distressing. The ridiculous animal is suddenly walking like Willy Wonka in the 1971 movie as the chocolatier emerges from his factory to greet the Golden Ticket holders, with a pronounced limp, one leg stiff and useless as a board.

Cubby’s back left leg is palsied and raised off the floor, bent. He’s walking around like one of those fashionable three-legged dogs that pop up in hip shows and movies. (See: Pamela Adlon’s “Better Things” or Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic.”)

I’m no vet, but I’ve gently pressed, pulled and squeezed Cubby’s leg and paw and there seems to be no pain. He’s emitted nary a whine and he looks at me like I’m some sort of touchy-feely perv-o. 

He still scampers up and down stairs, leaps onto sofas. Maybe he’s pulling a Wonka. (If you recall, Wonka was faking it, just so he could perform this tremendous somersault and show up everyone as credulous dupes. He was the best.)

I hope he’s faking it, the curly little wisenheimer (actually he’s part Schnauzer). See him in video action just last week HERE. It’s worth it. 

As you can see, Cubby’s no old man — the rescue pup is roughly seven — but he’s no Gen Z whippersnapper, either. (Though he does adore making spritely little dances on TikTok.) He’s middle-aged, with tufts of distinguished gray and the breath of a chain-smoker. 

But I fret. To watch a creature suffer causes me unshakable anguish. The sick and maimed street animals I’ve seen around the world haunt me many years later. I was even nervous when Cubby, still at the shelter, was neutered and had to wear one of those big cones on his head. He did it with tail-wagging courage and panting dignity.

And now this, the hobbling hound. We’re stumped. The dog will go to the vet if the mystery malady continues. Sometimes animals just want attention, and they can be quite wily at doing it. In the end, we just hope scruffy Cubs has been pulling our leg.

Brave cone dog

2 thoughts on “The dog’s lifting his leg, but not for that reason

  1. Cubby! We love Cubby so much!
    Your video was way cute; he wags THE ENTIRE TIME. I can’t imagine he’s in too much pain, you know? Hopefully he’s pulling your leg with his stiffie. (Stiffy?) Smirk.
    Hey, I read and identified with all your Florence posts; I enjoyed them so much. Been traveling a lot and didn’t take time to respond, but they were wonderful. Diane Porter’s mom passed away in Kansas and I went to see her and offer help. Before that Michael MacCambridge gave me a ticket to Bruce in Austin, so I flew to town to see the Springsteen show! Plus, a private book signing was arranged by his girlfriend for her women’s group, so I got to talk sex with a fabulous gang o’ girls! All good stuff.
    I knew you were secretly yearning for mentions of folks you worked with in a galaxy far, far away.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ole Cubby’s on anti-inflammatories that seem to be helping. So glad you saw the Boss! And even more glad about the book signing. How cool is that! I’m currently going through an Everest of photos and knickknacks at my Mom’s place in California. Real fun. Be well, my friend! Chat soon … xoxo Chris


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