A couple of days ago, Duke decided he had to leap a badly broken fence. Why? So he could examine the oil input for the house? More likely because he is an incorrigible jumper and when he sees a fence he thinks he can leap, he just does it.

The top of this particular fence are jagged old wires and the whole piece needs replacement. If it ever stops snowing or raining or icing or whatever it’s doing at the moment, we will replace it. It’s a very short piece of fence and it isn’t even a matter of cost — just finding a day or two when some form of precipitation isn’t falling from the sky.

Duke came into the house limping and bleeding. Not bleeding buckets, mind you, but he had taken a piece out of his right rear foot. I cleaned it, slathered it with antibiotic ointment and finally, after a straight out wrestling match with Garry and I and bandages, managed to wrap it up.

We were exhausted. He was pissed off. He was staring at us, clearly of the opinion that if we wanted to make him feel better, all we had to do was … well … DO IT. And all the bandaging and cleansing? What was THAT all about?

He was seriously angry and hopped around the house periodically glowering at us. Unless we had a biscuit. He decided we were okay as long as we had something edible in our paws.

By yesterday, while his foot was swollen, it wasn’t warm and showed no signs of infection and by yesterday evening, he jumped up on the sofa and tossed us a ball. He wants us to throw his ball? That was also when he decided to try leaping another fence on three legs. Clearly a very bewildered dog.

We hid his balls — all we could find, anyway. We opened every gate it was safe to open so he wouldn’t keep trying to fly. We overfed him on treats because even though all this is his own doing, he clearly doesn’t see it that way. We are easy marks for guilt. By this morning, the swelling in the foot was gone and I’m pretty sure he could walk on it. He will let me hold the foot  too, so the pain must also be gone.  Why can’t I get rid of the feeling he only limps when he sees we are watching? That couldn’t be true … could it?

Maybe we are the bewildered ones? Tomorrow, if he is still looking pathetic, we will go and spend a lot of money at the vet to discover there’s nothing more to be done than we have already done. Guilt is a killer … and Duke won’t like the vet, either, but that’s what pathetic gets you.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.


    1. He’s milking it. But I can’t prove it. The guilt is working though. I feel terrible and I’m not even sure why, except that we should have rebuilt the gate last summer — except we didn’t know we we going to have a flying dog.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. He doesn’t seem to be in any significant pain at this point. I would have schlepped him to the vet today, but it’s snowing and Garry isn’t feeling well … and we have a rental car because ours is being repaired. I don’t even think we could GET him into this car. They make those SUVs for giant people and we are NOT giants. I could barely hoist myself into the driver’s seat yesterday. I have shrunk to a tiny 5’1″ having lost more than 3 inches. Ouch. Anyway, if he’s still limping tomorrow, we’ll take him to the vet who will tell us it will get better.

      It wasn’t deep enough or long enough for stitches. It isn’t infected. I don’t think a bone is broken because I can put my whole hand around it and gently squeeze it and he doesn’t twitch … so it’s healing. But he really HATED the bandages. It’s a thing. He REALLY hates bandages. I do not know why.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. And they’re all so different. Bear is like a person. She was up on the sofa. Mindy wanted up (it’s her place). I said, “Bear you have to get down. Mindy can’t go to the slough with us and walk around or go to the golf course and play in the snow. She’s old and kind of crippled. All she has is the sofa beside me.” Bear got down. She’s the only dog I’ve had that really understands complete sentences. “Bear, when you pull like that, it hurts me.” She stops. She remembers and she stops. I can see why sheep farmers trust their livelihood to these dogs.


            1. Duke is VERY smart and he remembers. Unfortunately, he doesn’t necessarily agree, but he knows. Gibbs is also pretty smart. He’s the one who housebroke himself and has been amazingly well-trained for a dog that never got any training until he moved in here — when he was 9. Bonnie, not as bright. She’s just funny and fun and when she says jump, both boys hop to it. Proving, I suppose, that smart isn’t everything.

              I had one hound who was incredibly smart. I think dogs that work on their own are smarter. Hounds, herding dogs, retrievers — they all have to think for themselves because they work out of sight of their owner. And we expect them to know what to do. I think the big herding dogs really ARE the smartest of the bunch because not only do they work on their own, but their jobs are complex and require decisions.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I agree. And I think for dogs like us people there are a lot of different “smarts”. Dusty isn’t smart but he is. In spite of everything he’d been through he knew he needed a human ally and partner and he recognized that person immediately.


            1. It’s actually quite brilliant. IF you’d like me to review it, I need you to send me a picture of the physical book because I only have it on Kindle. But it’s really good. I would have read more, but it was almost 2 in the morning and I was getting a bit loopy.

              Liked by 2 people

                    1. Martha, Duke’s lawyer is J. Noble Daggert. Same guy who shilled for Mattie, the kid, in “True Grit”.


    1. Beckie, Duke, we think, is “playing” us but we can’t be sure. Marilyn has scheduled a date with the vet tomorrow if he continues to limp badly. He won’t be happy with the vet visit but it is his fault.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. LMAO oh my god, Marilyn, I could so easily picture the scene. The pics I saw helped, but that was only after reading your delightful article. I want to shake a finger at him and say, “behave”. you little monster. lol. My cat is given to the same antics (well ok, 3 now that I have all of them living here full time). They play on sympathy for food and water and affection. I had one digging his claws into my left leg and another into the right, each determined for attention. I finally unhinged their claws and told them to lay down. Each went a different direction looking totally dejected. I had to laugh. They get more affection than any one cat deserves and 8 ppl to give it. Still it seems the last week or so, its my affection they garner. Who knew? Porsche I understand, he’s been with me almost 15 years, Abbey moved herself in 2 years ago, and Sugar moved herself in 2 weeks ago. They will sleep together on Adam’s bed and he’s washed his duvet and cover 2 x in a week owing to the prolific cat hair. Suggested he close his bedroom door, but that only means they fight over my chair…hmmmm roflmao

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Covert, we interact with our furry kids so often it’s hard to tell when they are “playing” us. They know us very well. Last night, I had a faced to face chat with Duke about his situation. He just stared at me with that “woe is me” look. It’s the same look I saw in perps I covered during my working days. You never know when they are telling the truth.


          1. Well people who are adept at and made a life at not telling the truth would be difficult to evaluate. There are some people so good at it that only someone trained in in-depth body language could probably tell. On a day to day, I’m pretty good at the tells, but if they were of that type, I doubt I could either.


          2. What I was laughing most about, was my son and I had a conversation after it was suggested and we both thought of Hitler and other communistic countries that like to parade their army and wares so others could witness them. Self serving if you ask me. Scary that trump fits right in…


  2. Poor Duke. And poor you. Yes, he could be milking the guilt train, big time. When I was living at home one of our cats lost a paw in a woodchuck trap the neighbors set out, and for about a week I carried this poor pitiful cat everywhere. I even had to rescue him from the barn loft (about once a day) until I realized he could climb down the same stack of stored tires he had used to climb up.

    Mr. Pitiful. Limp, limp, hobble hobble. Then one day my dad called me over to the window and said, “look at this.”. And there was Midnight, streaking along on all fours, until Daddy tapped on the window…limp, limp, pitiful expression, hobble hobble…

    it’s still not a bad idea to take him in, just to be sure. But I suspect he’s enjoying the attention (as if you never patted him, right)

    No animal tolerates bandages well, I think it annoys them to have stuff like that on their fur. .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He calmed down when we took the bandages off. I was careful to not let the tape attach to his fur, but he REALLY hated them.

      The vet visit is still on the agenda. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be OK, but I need the reassurance. I’m the one who needs it. Duke doesn’t need to see the vet. I’m sure he’d be just find without it. We may need to wait until we get our car back, though. This is a full size SUV and it’s so high off the ground, I have trouble getting in at all … and Garry’s not feeling up to hoisting all 40 lbs of Duke into the back seat.

      All the dogs are getting over indulged this week. I can’t just give treats to DUKE. I have to be fair, right? Of course I do.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Judy, we may have to look beyond our skepticsm for Duke’s sake. Yes, it is hard to see him limping…even if he is “playing” us.


    1. So far, no sign of infection. in fact, it’s healing very nicely. I was worried about a possibly broken bone, but he doesn’t seem to be in that kind of pain, either. We watch. When the weather breaks, he will get even more pissed off at us when we schlep him to the vet.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I made an appointment for tomorrow, late in the day. I’ll have enough time to really watch him. But the vet was laughing when I hung up. I don’t think she’s worried. No infection. His paw is a little bit sore, but not very. I bet if we took away the sympathy biscuits he’d improve in a hurry.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. They are little dickenses for sure. When my cats get older or are ill and stay on the bed, I bring them what I call ‘snore d’ouvres’–snore-derves. It’s tasty snacks in bed. They fake every symptom they can to get it, however ill or old they may be.


        2. I made an appointment for tomorrow, late in the day. I’ll have enough time to really watch him. But the vet was laughing when I hung up. I don’t think she’s worried. No infection. His paw is a little bit sore, but not very. I bet if we took away the sympathy biscuits he’d improve in a hurry.


  3. Dogs (some dogs) have a great acting streak. We had a Westland High White Terrier that we got when he was a wee pup…too young to have been weaned. We had to feed him with an eyedropper for a couple of weeks until his baby teeth came in and he could eat solid food (I think that was the issue anyway)…at any rate, he was the biggest ham you could find….if scolded, he would fake feeling poorly, garnering as much sympathy as one would give. Look away, and he was up and running around again. So I suspect you have a “John Wayne” wanna be on your hands (the Duke…right?) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He seems to be running on four legs, but following us around the house on three. He is NOT going to be a happy camper if we have to haul him to the vet only to find out there’s nothing really wrong that time won’t solve.

      Yes, we have other hammy dogs. Several over the years. Bonnie is VERY good at it and she’s plays a lot of mind games with us. Gibbs goes into total panic mode if we want to GASP clean his ears.

      And Bonnie will do ANYTHING for a snack. Anything. At. All.


    2. Emb, I believe you’ve nailed it. Duke has embraced his John Wayne persona. Will he be a good lad if we take him to the vet?

      That’ll be the day!


    1. Gibbs and ears! Oh the horror of this totally painless procedure involving gentian violet, boric acid, and alcohol. Total hysterical panic! And Duke — BANDAGES! I am SO careful to not stick anything on his fur … but he hates the bandage more than the injury.

      So NOW he’s RUNNING on four legs, but when we are watching, limping on three. Bonnie just barks at Duke. SHE knows he’s playing games. She’s not a bad game player herself.

      Liked by 1 person

                1. I am pretty sure they do think we can’t manage without their assistance.

                  I called the vet this morning and we laughed. Finally set a date for late tomorrow because I don’t think the wee rascal has anything worse than a boo-boo. He’s working this for all its worth!


    2. Sue, our furry kids play us like concert artists or hall of fame grifters. We’ll have to err on the side of caution if Duke continues his Walter Brennan impression.


    1. Hey, Pat. How are YOU feeling these days. I hope you are doing better.

      As for Duke, if we take him to the Vet, yes, it will be costly. But we’ll do what’s necessary. If he’s faking it, mebbe we’ll penalize him when it comes to treats time. He WILL understand that. We’ll show him who runs this ranch.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for asking Gary. I am hopping along, just like Hoppalong Cassidy, but he had a horse, I have a walker and Marcel. I discovered that taking tablets helps with the pain. I hope that all turns out well with Duke.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Pat, I am glad to hear you are doing better. Maybe, Marcel can pretend to be Topper, Hoppy’s beautiful white stallion.. You can ride him like Hoppy did at the Bar 20 Ranch.

          Pat, I’m already singing Hoppy’s theme song for you and Marcel.

          “Here he comes! Hopalong Cassidy! HERE he comes!”

          Eat plenty of silvercup bread (Hoppy’s sponsor) with jam and butter.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. In answer to your question, yes he could well be guilting you out and limping…but that will only last a couple of days, unless he gets treats every time you see him limping. Then you are on your own! lol They will sometimes forget which leg it is and limp with a different leg, then you have em! (Yes, I had a dog that did that once) Though swelling is down and it doesn’t seem painful,if he keeps looking pitiful, it’s gonna cost you to find out if the little nut has actually damaged a tendon, etc. I know that just getting shots costs me about $100, so I truly feel your pain. Hope your little wild child gets much better before you have to take him in.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, does Duke have a secret cash stash? I wouldn’t be surprised….These dogs, ya just can’t trust them. They LIE….like dogs..

        Betcha, he has some bounty money stashed away from his deals with his pals across the street. Damn dogs and their secrets.


      1. Duke reminds me of Coby Jarrett, Cagney’s nutjob villain in “White Heat”

        Maybe he was thinking “Top of the world, Ma” when he made that ill-advised jump over the jagged fence.


    1. I hope he is OK and I hope he is not faking it because if I have to schlep him to the vet, he isn’t going to appreciate it. I don’t honestly think anything is really wrong. The foot doesn’t hurt him. He sits on it and he uses it when he wants to. I can wrap my hand around it and close my hand pretty tightly and he doesn’t even blink. He’s not ignoring the pain — there really isn’t any pain. But, you know, if he keeps limping i will have to make sure I’m right.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Our dog, a larger breed weighing in at around 70 pounds, knows she’s not a high jumper, so it doesn’t take much to keep her “in-bounds.” Our 15 pound cat, on the other hand has never met a fence he hasn’t been able to jump over or scale. So far, no broken, torn, or otherwise injured paws. I hope Duke is going to be okay.


    1. He seems okay. I cah press on that paw and it doesn’t seem to bother him and he does touch down with it now, so I think it’s getting better. But if it doesn’t seem better tomorrow, I’ll haul him to the vet which neither of us will like because I need to be sure he didn’t damage a tendon or ligament of something like that. The leaping is actually a bit scary because he jumps first and thinks afterwards. He wants to fly.

      Liked by 3 people

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