Rigby has not adjusted well to the move. She’s been skittish, clingy, and seemed really depressed. Mike and I even caught her listening to Radiohead on repeat. We were worried about her. So, a couple nights ago, I dug through some boxes and found Mordecai. When Rigby saw the bird, I swear she grinned. And then she, uh, welcomed Mordecai to the house. Mood problems solved.

Later Annie and Rigby were playing tug of war/fetch with Mordecai. Annie would grab the bird by the foot and pull on it until Rigby let go. Then she’d throw the bird and Rigby would go after it. It was great – they were entertaining each other while I got to sit on the couch. I was daydreaming about all the free time I was going to have when Annie threw Mordecai AT Rigby. Rigby tried to get out of the way, but she wasn’t fast enough. Mordecai hit her on her back right leg. Rigby let out a yelp and started limping.

Annie yelled, “Rigby owie!” which certainly didn’t help things. Mike and I picked Rigby up and checked her out. She let us touch all over her leg, so we didn’t think she’d broken anything. But she didn’t want to walk, and she absolutely refused to go up any steps. Since it was after vet hours (of course) we decided to wait until the morning to see if she was better. We’d seen Rigby limp plenty of times and wake up fine.

Unfortunately, Rigby was not fine in the morning. In fact, she wouldn’t put her leg on the ground at ALL. Suck. I called a local vet, and Mike took Rigby in for an exam. The last time Rigby went to the vet she needed bladder surgery, so I was hoping this was less serious. And less expensive.

Mike called not long after to say that the vet had diagnosed Rigby with a severely dislocated knee. Apparently it’s common for Maltese dogs to have joint problems. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory and a pain medicine, and said that, in order to give Rigby a chance to heal with rest (and to avoid surgery), we would need to seriously limit her activity – no unnecessary walking, no jumping, no rough-housing.

Rigby and Annie both have pretty limited English skills, so simply telling the two of them that they can’t chase each other or play tug of war is not going to work. Looks like I’ll be spending the next week holding Rigby in my arms twenty-fours a day. Think I can park in the handicapped spot?

It is so hard to be Rigby

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