Martin and I have been married a little over a year now and I am consistently asked, “Do you have children?” My usual response, “We have dog. He is our child.” People normally laugh and drop the subject. But it is true, Kona is our child. I am one of those crazy dog owners who is obsessed with their dog and acts as if he is my child. I admit it, and I am not ashamed. Kona is our child. He is part of the family and I love him with all my heart.

close up of am Australian Shepard/cattle dog mix with snow flakes on his face

Meet our child, Kona. He is three, but sometimes acts like a teenaged boy.

We adopted Kona in March of 2009. We are Kona’s third family in his life, and I am convinced he struck gold when met. Instantly, we were smitten. I mean the floppy ear, the freckles and the soft fur, how could you not be smitten? He travels with us. He hikes, runs, swims or skis nearly every day. He has a pretty good life.

Over a month ago, after a morning run and Kona’s morning nap he got up and we noticed he was limping. We examined his paw and thought the issue was a split nail and did not think much about it. A month or so passed and the nail grew in, but Kona was still limping. Much to Martin’s chagrin, I decided it was time to visit the vet.

Kona charmed the pants off everyone in the vet office and earned himself plenty of pets and treats. He was rather proud and loving the attention. Unfazed by the vet tech taking his temperature in his bum, Kona stood there munching on the treats I fed him with a smile. They took him for X-rays and the next thing I knew the vet was reviewing the X-ray with me saying he had a fracture in his paw and suggesting laser treatment.

The vet took him to splint his paw and I sat in the examination room which now seemed stale without Kona there to entertain me, waiting for him. Then I heard, “Klunk, Klunk, Klunk,” mixed in with the jingle of his tags and I knew it was Kona. He appeared at the door with his front left paw wrapped in a red cast with the word “Ouch” stuck over the exact spot of his fracture. He smiled at me and wagged his tail. My heart sunk. How did this happen? I am a horrible mother. This morning Kona jumped in the car with his usual excitement and zing, thinking we were going hiking or swimming. He could hardly contain his excitement when I opened the front door, he darted for the car. But instead I brought him to the vet and now he has a cast on his paw and he struggles to get across the house on the hard wood floors. Poor guy!

Australian Shepard/Cattle dog mix laying on a brick pathway with a cast on his front left paw

He does not look pleased, does he? He is saying, "First the cast, but now you are taking pictures of me?"

Australian Shepard/Cattle Dog mix running through the grass with a cast his leg

It doesn't look so bad, does it? I think he is smiling because he is actually outside and not afraid he is going to slip and fall on his face. Shhh, don't tell the vet, but he was walking pretty fast. She wants him to be sedentary for THREE WEEKS. She obviously hasn't spent much time around herding dogs, they go NUTS-O if they are not exercised. Oh, it is going to be a fun couple of weeks.

Australian Shepard/Cattle Dog mix

"Yum, this weird thing on my leg tastes de-li-cious!"

Australian Shepard/Cattle Dog mix looking directly into the camera with a red cast on his left front paw

Cheer up my sweet boy! At least you don’t have a cone on your head, life could be worse. Day one down, you only have 20 more to go.