Last month I wrote in the post called Pictures of Lily about Barnaby’s little cousin – then not six months old – who was born with a deformed left leg such that she could not place it flat to the ground. In the earlier post, I made mention of her upcoming appointment with Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, with whom British television audiences are familiar from his Channel 4 series, The Supervet, in which he treats injured animals or those with life-changing deformations, and which would otherwise have to be euthanised. Well, Professor Firzpatrick saw Lily early this month and I thought I should tell you what happened because all of life is reflected in my posts, even the difficult bits.
After all the necessary scans were done, Professor Fitzpatrick could see that Lily’s skeletal problems also extended to her ‘good’ leg; that her right shoulder was also deformed, and that before anything could be attempted to improve her left leg and foot she would have needed interventions on the right one first, but with no guarantee of success. As there was a very good chance that both legs would fail, and of course Lily simply wouldn’t be able to manage without any, Professor Fitzpatrick himself recommended as the first course of action in the circumstances putting Lily to sleep as being in her own best interests – though he would have been willing to try to begin rectifying this complicated state of affairs if that is what her breeder and family wanted more than anything, and they wanted him to put what they wanted before anything else.
But we dogs know that our best interests are what those who love us care about, and so Lily’s future happiness was put first. Indeed, that wonderful, gifted vet stayed with Lily and helped her over the rainbow bridge himself. She has had six months of happiness, managing on her three front legs, but she still had an awful lot of growing to do before she reached her adult size and weight (Uncles Newman and Barnaby weigh in at over 30 kilos). We are glad that the Professor is so strong in his love for us dogs that he refuses short-term financial gain in order to protect Lily from the pain and indignity of endless intrusions, which she could but imperfectly understand, not to mention weeks away from home, and in all likelihood to no good effect in the long run. Now she can dream of her childhood with Travis, and the family who loved her and will remember the joy this little fragrant flower brought them for the time she enjoyed their company. Bless you, little Lily: say hello to Uncle Johnny for us, won’t you?