Macadew is a big powerful dog. He weights 80 plus pounds and his spirit is stronger than the body that contains him. We picked him and his brother Moby out at the SPCA four years ago. The night we brought them home, two rambunctious pups with two middle-aged “parents,” my husband looked at each other and said, “What have we done? Maybe they were right, those people at the SPCA, when they saw us leave with two pit bull mix puppies and said, really, both of them?”
My husband said, “the brindle’s ok, but that little black & white (Moby) one might have to go…he seems a bit high strung.” The next day began a routine that my husband has really been in charge of…I’m good with the love part and the walk part, he is great with the training. The first thing he taught them was Sleepy Time treat…from their first month with us, as soon as he said Sleepy Time, they stopped what they were doing and marched into their little cages. Here is a glimpse.
As time wore on, we realized that the little Moby, was the more docile creature of the two. He is also, like a little Buddha. He watches things, he follows us around, he watches more things, he sighs, and his walk is a little zig zaggy. We thought he was going to have hip problems. But, as time has demonstrated, he zips along happy as can be and gets plenty of rest.
Its Macadew who is a handful. Not in a bad sense, but in a, oh my gosh, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of his teeth when your playing with him; and he needs to run and jump a lot! One day, as a pup, he ran away, like a gazelle leaping over bushes and small trees on a bright sunlit winter morning…he moved faster than my eyes could track. Suddenly, he was across the pond…his bronzed shape running like a beam of light under the green pines and against the white snow.
We worry when we take him on long woods walks that he will pick up a scent and disappear forever. It gives us pause when we look up and see no sign of the boy. Then with great relief, we hear him charging through the bramble and Radames says to me, “Look at him jump, here he comes.”
A strong dog, I did not expect at 4.5 months to look over at Macadew last Thursday night and see a creature shriveled up in pain. His back was arching and he had a look of an old man on his face. I panicked. We thought maybe it was a bug and it would go away in an hour or two. The next day, things weren’t getting better. We took him to the vet and to the animal hospital.
Macadew has disc disease…apparently all the jumping caused it, or perhaps, it was one moment of play with Moby. At this point he is healing…completely in his crate with leash walks to eat and go outside and then back in the crate. We see him making progress but the whole family is down. Moby doesn’t understand when he is outside Mac’s cage, why Mac won’t engage in play. My husband and I are worried that Macadew won’t get better and/or we will be faced with a 7000 surgery or wheel cart. But mostly, we are in shock that our beautiful, robust creature is down. We hope the next 7 weeks show healing and we hope that when he does get better, his little spirit can soar through the woods he loves.