The London Pet Show last weekend was a great event and it was wonderful to talk to loads of people about Vet’s Kitchen and meet so many lovely pets and their owners.
As well as chatting away to the owners and cooing over their pets, Jez Rose the behaviourist and I also answered loads of pet health and behavioural problems during our ‘Canine Question Time’ sessions, ranging from nervous dogs to frigid rabbits! Jez was the star of the show, with his stand up comedy background making complex behavioural science accessible and very enjoyable for the crowd!
Of the dogs we met, two were particularly memorable – Haatchi the Anatolian Shepherd, and Vader theFrench Bulldog. Haatchi was a gentle giant who set up camp on the Vet’s Kitchen stand, rolled over and spent half an hour enjoying being the centre of attention as crowds of people gather round to stroke and pet him. Vader wasn’t quite as much of a show off but still enjoyed the attention and drew people over to say hello.
While both Vader and Haatchi were memorable in their own right, there was something even more unusual that linked the two of them – both only had 3 legs. And the most amazing thing was that it wasn’t really obvious until you looked for it as both seemed almost unhindered by their lack of a limb. Even Haatchi who must have weighted 40kg seemed as agile and strong as any 4 legged dog and it was only when he struggled to get to his feet that his disability was really obvious.
These two dogs and the ease at which they seem to cope with only having 3 legs is typical in my experience of how amazingly resilient dogs can be. If you or I lost a limb it would quite understandably be a major issue for us that would change our lives – but for most dogs, losing a limb is something they take in their stride and just get on with life. I’ve amputated many dogs’ legs in my time as a vet and I’m always amazed to see how even in the hours after the operation the dogs just gets on with things as if losing one of their legs has barely been noticed – it’s as if they notice the missing limb and think, ‘oh well, I’ve still got 3 good ones, now, where’s my dinner!’
So if you ever have to face the prospect of one of your dogs losing a limb, don’t be too worried as 9 times out of 10 they take it in their stride (excuse the pun!) and put us people to shame with their get on with it attitude!