“We need to x-ray her leg to be sure it isn’t fractured.”

I closed my eyes in pain. A fracture? This is not what I wanted to hear. I watched and winced as the vet and assistant helped Bella off the examination table and down the hall.

Then I paced. Back and forth from one wall to the other. Pausing to stare vacantly at the bulletin board. Only to resume the pacing again.

Back and forth…
Back and forth…

“Lee? She did really well. The Dr. will be out in a moment.”

I smile at her and peer anxiously down the hall. Where’s my Bella? I watch as the doctor approaches.

“Bella is such a nice dog. She did great. Come in here and we’ll look at the x-ray.”

“Do you see the gray area here? That’s a hairline fracture in her wrist. We’ll put her leg in a splint for 4 weeks while she heals. Do you know how it happened?”

“I have no idea. She’s been a little off but she wasn’t limping until yesterday. Then she was three-legged and I noticed the swelling.” Bad, bad mommy.

“She didn’t yelp?”

“No. Maybe it happened when she was chasing her ball into the kitchen. It bounced off the cabinets and so did she. You’d think after 7 years she’d know better and stop.”

“Well, we’ll get her patched up but you’ll need to limit Bella’s activity.”

“Um, did you look at her? Chocolate Lab? Limited activity? Is that possible?”

“Try. We’ll give her some pain meds and put a splint on her leg. Come back in a few hours to get her.”

Sigh. Slow down hyper-puppy? We’ll see about that.

A few hours later I returned with my husband. We’re both anxious to see Bella. Even more anxious about getting her in and out of the SUV. And the biggest anxiety? – getting her in the house. No second floor bedroom for this dog. At least for now. If we can keep her downstairs.

“I’ll get Bella for you right now.”

thump, thump, thump, thump

I moved to the doorway and watch Bella thump her way down the hall. The moment she spots me the thumping speeds up. Bella has me in her sights and throws her 68 lbs against the leash, pulling the woman along behind her. I just had to laugh. It’s one of the funniest sights I’ve seen.

Gotta love that smile. Happy to be going home or pain meds?

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