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You know that cutie picture of the happy dog that I posted yesterday?  Well, he has been limping around for the past month or so.  We finally sprung for the vet since he wasn’t getting any better.  Turns out that that cutie dog Max has a torn ACL.  I know!  How can you be that happy when you are in pain?  Good question.  I was very impressed by the vet, by the way.  I’m so used to the hospital where the providers have to either take pictures (X-Ray, CT scan, PET scan, etc.) or at least draw blood to figure out what’s going on with the patient.  Not this vet.  She just put her hands on Max’s left leg and told me that his femur (thigh bone) was sliding over his knee and past his tibia (shin bone).  She said its sliding because there’s no ligament (the ACL) to hold it in place.  So, now what?  Surgery is the only way to fix Max’s knee.  Without surgery, it would continue to get worse, and eventually lead to arthritis.

If a human tears his ACL, you get the surgery, no question.  But, for this dog, there’s no pet insurance, so we will be paying 100% of the cost for the surgeon, anesthesia, and even disposal of the hazardous materials that result from the surgery.

This brings me to my question.  How much is a dog’s quality of life worth?  We got Max from a shelter, and paid less than fifty bucks for him.  He’s a Border Collie mix.  Full bred dogs cost close to a thousand dollars, right?  So, if worth is measured by money, Max is worth fifty bucks.  And surgery costs more than $50.

But that’s not the only measure of worth, right?

Why is Max worth more than fifty bucks?  He’s a lover-dog, he’s funny (not intentionally), he’s happy, he’s a protector (at least tries to be).  How do you explain why you love your dog?  I can’t.  And I can’t explain why he’s valuable to us.

Before my dog-loving days (before I married Gregg), I didn’t understand why people dumped so much money into their pets.  Its just a dog, I thought.

I don’t know how to end this post without sounding incredibly cheesy.  We’re going to pay for the surgery.  We’re going to pay to fix Max’s knee.  We want him to live the best dog-life he can, because he’s worth a lot.

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