The heart aches - my Shakespeare's hips are failing him

in life •  10 months ago

He's sensitive, wise, gentle, playful, protective, sweet and wise. My gentle giant.

It was a scorchingly hot day in Jo'burg. I was doing my Saturday grocery shop and on my way out saw two young girls carrying two gorgeous puppies. They looked severely dehydrated and hot so we rushed them into the pet store and asked for some food and water. They were gracious enough and as they set the food and water down, all bowls were empty in about 45 seconds. The puppies were for sale: mixed breed, half Labrador and half Swiss shepherd. They would return with the two little girls the next day, hoping to find a forever home. The thought of them spending another day in the sweltering heat, when all they wanted to do was sleep, was an unbearable thought and I did what I shouldn't have - I paid for them - so that I could take them home.

They slept for 3 hours straight. My poor boys were finished.

They were, and still are, thick as thieves. Doing everything together from running in the rain, gobbling their food, going out to do their business, cuddling up next to each other and, occasionally, chasing my cats. Their two personalities were immediately obvious - Einstein, my shadow, goofy, open, eager, happy, curious and kind. Shakespeare more sensitive, more independent, slightly insecure, shy and oh so sweet.



Einstein was the first to be diagnosed with his disease at the mere age of 2. Spondylosis is when a weak part of the spine, either due to injury or genetics, causes bones to grow under the spine - bones that should not be growing there at all. It is very painful and a degenerative condition. Einstein lives on pain meds, does daily exercises with me and I do a daily skin roll which is like a massage. There's not much more one can do. He has IBD so he cannot have anti-inflammatories. It's just pain killers, exercises and a soft bed. He's a very happy boy. Still jumps around like a hooligan and is only very sore when he is knocked by the other dogs or when he goes in to his lying down position.

Shakespeare was only just diagnosed. He too has IBD but now he has severe hip dysplasia too. I feel a little uneasy as his hips are much, much worse ever since he woke up from his X-ray. I scheduled to see a physio vet the next day. She was wonderful and showed me more exercises and suggested hydro therapy as an option before any massive operation. However, his hips went downhill so quickly after that X-ray. So we are going for a second opinion on Thursday. I'll go to a specialist and I kind of wish I had gone to him in the first place. If it's still what they say, we will begin hydrotherapy next week. He doesn't love the water and only ever once jumped in the pool when he was so jealous that I was swimming with Bailey, one of my kennel dogs who stayed with us for a year and would go swimming with me every day. So we'll have to see how the hydrotherapy works out, if it's what the vet suggests.

@kiligirl with Shakespeare










I am pretty stressed out about him right now and wake up at crazy hours of the night worrying about his hips. My heart is breaking for him. I hope the vets can find a way to help him. I don't know if it's a waste going for a second opinion but it's just something I need to do before going ahead with any treatment.

I'll post an update on Thursday after we've been to the vet.
Much love from me, Shakespeare and the rest of the gang. ❤️


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It is so sad to see two such beautiful dogs suffer from the ailments. I hope the vets can do something to help them.


Thank you. Me too 🐾

What a lovely ode to your furry best friend. I also hope the vets will be able to help Shakespeare 😥😥


No matter what the problem, they always listen


They are channels of unconditional love.

Agh shame - O how our pets become our family - had to take my cat to the vet - I think I was more traumatized than him - enjoy every moment with your lovely animals and good luck


Thank you. It's tough yes. Hope all is well with your kitty


Yes he is back to his old self again

They Are both so gorgeous, i can't handle furbabies suffering. They are far to precious. Hope the vet can help :)


Thanks 🐾🐾 it's so hard, isn't it.


Its heartbreaking :(

I am so sorry to read about Einstein’s hips. It is so difficult when the creatures are in pain. Such a helpless feeling. Hopefully, you will find a way to resolve his pain. Know that the girls send their love as does Lola. She too suffers from a bad hip. We get acupuncture for her, and she takes some herbs, to cool the pain. They are precious boys both of them. The pictures are a hoot.
We are all sending our love. Your friend. 🐓🐓


Thanks so much. Lots of love to you, Lola and the girls. 🐾🐾

Great looking dogs, and the cat! Animals are the only ones who will ever love you unconditionally no matter what! Sorry to learn Shakespeare is having painful hips, hope he gets better quickly.


Thank you 🤗 I agree - I generally prefer them much more to mankind.
Hoping the vets help him too. Thanks for the concern 🐾

Poor fur babies. That sucks they have to go through that but at least they have a good human to look after them. I wonder if they might have Malamute in them. We had genetic testing done on our dog and found out she wasn't 100% what we was told. Found out some of the stuff she was suppose to be she wasn't. Your Shakespeare looks a lot like our Esme.


Hi! Well, anything is possible! 😊 I see Swiss shepherd and lab, perhaps white alsation. But you never know! :)🐾
I'll go check out your blog to see if there's a pic of Esme.


There are photos of her some where on my blog but here is one I just snapped of her. She is still a pup.



Oh wow! You're right. They could be twins. Esna has more slit eyes like a malamute though. She is so adorable. They have such lovely natures :-)



Waw the dog is very pretty friend

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Just checking in to see how you and your little family are doing on this Easter. I hope you find some answers for Einstein. Much Love to all of you. ❤️🐓🐓


Hello :-) thank you! I hope you had a lovely Easter 🐰
Shakespeare is okay thanks. He starts hydro therapy tomorrow. Poor guy doesn't like water so it we'll just have to see how it goes.
Thanks for checking in. How are things with you? 😘


A very peaceful holiday here. Lola is particularly concerned about Einstein since she has similar problems. He might not like the hydro therapy, but it should make him sleep well. Sometimes, resting well, and loving them is all we can do. Hope you start to see some improvements. Much love from the sunny south of US. ❤️🐓🐓

Hi @ lynb. Just had you on my mind. Been wondering how Shakesphere is doing? I know how dear the boys are to you, and I hope you have found a treatment that is working. Please know that you are missed every day by someone on here. We here at the Fuss and Feathers chicken ranch think you are the bomb when it comes to animals.

I saw a sign recently that I wished for it read: Animals Welcome People Tolerated. It seemed most appropriate. Much Love my friend. ❤️🐓🐓


Hello my dear friend.
Thank you so much for your kind words, always.
I haven't had much time to write anything of late. Shakespeare is okay.. he was very sweet during the therapy and walked on the underwater treadmill so nicely. 😊 We go back tomorrow.

I hope you are well? I'm going to visit your blog now to see what you've been up to! I've missed our chats and reading your blog. 😘😘😘


There is no better love than that of a loving animal. I am happy he is adjusting to his therapy. Let’s hope it helps heal is hips, cause we know he has a big heart! 🐓🐓
Write when you can. We aren’t going anywhere. ❤️