Brindle is to the uninformed eye the worst specimen of dog you can find . His ribs show, he has a coat that was earlier menacingly brindled. And is now mange-ridden, a godawful brown spotted with pink. He scratches half-heartedly. In a less sympathetic world people would believe his existence is so miserable as to make him a prime candidate for euthanasia, to be put down. But that is only to the blind. And you dear reader are not blind.
A few months ago in end 2010, Brindle broke his foreleg. No not just hurt it. Broke it. It dangled. The leg swung. It was broken right through. So what could we do? Take him to an animal shelter? No. He would certainly be put down as he has mange. Bring a vet? But how be sure he'd be around? Celia and I argued about it, but we settled for something simpler. We'd give him healing, food, and if it got worse take him to a shelter.
He'd follow us on Buffy's walks. It was excruciating for us to watch him hobble on 3 legs with a broken leg dangling. I had just twisted my ankle a week or so before it and it was painful. Here he had a complete fracture. The pain must have been unbearable, but he howled only when he got left behind.
We watched the foot, and thankfully there was no swelling to indicate an infection or gangrene. We kept giving him healing. Did we really expect what happened? Nope.
Two weeks after he began to gingerly put weight on his fractured foreleg. Three weeks and the 3-legged hobble became a limping 4-legged run. Two months later and he was back taking on a marauding pack of dogs.
It is nothing short of miraculous. If you or I had a broken femur we'd have been weeks in a hospital. Antibiotics, drips, painkillers, surgery, plates or a splint at the very least. 2 months later we'd still need crutches. A year later we would still have a limp.
Brindle healed himself using nature's great recuperating power, his own grittiness, and a tiny help from us. A little food. A little healing. His example is one that all with chronic or serious illness should look at. And in doing so he reminds us of the great medicine cabinet built into each of us.
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