Sunday, 8 March 2009

Dog off Duty - Pema

Only last week I was finally able to articulate the crux of the work of Barking Mad. I refer to the precise argument that each and every matter dealing with access for pet owners can be distilled to, which is:
It's easier to make bold, unsupported, unrelated claims and follow those with policy decisions than it is to use a scientific method which delivers a logical and relative outcome.
I arrived at this crux while researching the pets on public transport briefing document that argues for a policy just like the one in London and continues our bible-bashing thread of 'regulate for societal benefit, not for intolerant people who complain'.

Today I learned that the origin of the word crux is from 1635-45 Latin meaning cross - as used in executions. At the same time, I learned that cruciate has the exact same origin.

And I learned the word cruciate today because Pema has been hopping around on three legs since having a jubilant play on the beach with a two other dogs on Friday morning. Ouch, she said...and stopped playing. Ouch, I said worrying simultaneously about her health and our finances. And we hobbled back to the car with me carrying her some of the way. Today our vet diagnosed that Pema has torn her cruciate ligament. The anti-inflammatory medication has made her much brighter as she hops around; and I have to choose what type of surgery she will be having (and find a way to pay for it). Pema is a working dog with a lot of jobs - looking after me, weekly visits to a medical ward in a public hospital, visits to a aged care hostel and a dementia unit, our mascot, the sook at Parliament House and more. Exactly one year ago, after being in the Mardi Gras parade, I got rid of the pram I used to put Pema in. (The point being you could take a dog anywhere if it was in a pram and not obvious!) It looks like we'll need a pram again for her 4-10 week post-op rehab, all going well. It's frightening, and the irony that she can get surgery this week and a public hospital patient may well have to wait months, is not lost on us.

So there you have it - the cross we bear.

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