In the spring of 2008, Marilyn and I began weekly morning walks with our dogs in a nearby park. My dogs were Portia and Bingley. Marilyn's were Franklin, Manhattan--Hattie--and Ruby.
Portia was viciously attacked on the evening of June 30, 2009, and died July 7, the first loss to our walking group.
In November 2009, Magic joined our morning walks.
This past fall, Ruby left us.
In December, Odie joined us.
Last Sunday night I received an email from Marilyn that chilled me: Hattie had developed a limp. The only surviving girl from our original walking group was limping. Anyone with a long-legged dog knows what must be ruled out when that happens: osteosarcoma.
Obviously, Hattie could not go for our walk on Monday, so we canceled. The diagnosis was scheduled for Wednesday--yesterday. It required general anesthesia so that complete bone x-rays could be taken--and lung x-rays. If osteosarcoma causes a dog to limp, chances are that it has already metastasized to the lungs.
Last night Marilyn emailed good news. Hattie, has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Her condition can be managed with medication and we can resume our walks next Monday.
Funny, isn't it. Hip dysplasia is so rare among Racing Greyhounds, we could scarcely "hope." Osteosarcoma, on the other hand, is anything but rare.
So Hattie, who also suffers from Lupus, will remain a member of our Weekly Walk Pack. And we are grateful for a diagnosis of hip dysplasia. Not a nice diagnosis. But it's a whole lot better than osteosarcoma.