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Dollars for Dante
2010-11-23 - 7:27 p.m.

Listening to:

Most of you know me. Most of you know my crazy, affectionate labrador mutt Andante. Those of you who met him have probably been snuggled, knocked over, or slobbered on at some point. You've probably also seen him run, or jump, and start limping.

Dante is two years old. He has been my dog since his infancy, and around six months old he began having problems with his right hind leg. I finally took him to a doctor, when it became clear that it wasn't a twisted ankle or something minor. X-rays showed that he has a luxating patella, or a kneecap that is stuck in the wrong place. It means he can't bend that leg without difficulty, and has probably been in pain most of his life. His ACL is wrapped around his thigh in order to connect to the kneecap, and is stretched too tightly, so that it's in danger of snapping. He compensates with his other leg, and those joints are already showing signs of arthritis.

Again, my dog is two years old. If this doesn't get corrected, he may not be able to run or walk much longer. The vet recommended surgery, and Will and I are trying to save up for it, but it's taking a long time. Some friends have said they would like to help in some way. Maybe that's just comforting words, and if it is, thank you for the sentiment. But if you have a dollar or two or five to spare, it would really help if we could try and get him treatment sooner, rather than later. The cold months have always been rough for the Booger-bear, and he often struggles with additional stiffness and pain during this time of year.

I realize how preposterous it sounds, for me to be asking for donations for my dog. You may be laughing at me right now. But my boy has been a wonderful, obedient companion his entire life. He was my comfort during my divorce. He has never snarled, snapped, or been anything less than sweet and cuddly with any person he ever met. (Even the vet who had to flex and rotate his leg and intentionally hurt him during his exam marveled at this, saying most dogs would growl or bite when she touched their injury.) So if you know and love 'Dante, or simply know and love dogs, please help. It would mean a lot to me.

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Dollars for Dante