Well, he seems more or less back to normal now. When I first got up this morning he was still a little wobbly in the back end. By the time I had gotten back from the morning round of appointments and errands, he was feeling well enough to dart outside as soon as I opened the door. I stayed outside with him to see how he was walking, and he seems to be moving normally again.
I guess we’ll never know what happened. Both his regular vet, the clinic vet, and myself have postulated a number of theories, such as:
- he slipped a disc in his back
- he got into something toxic
- he had a head injury
Fortunately the blood tests ruled out disease as a cause. I keep trying to make him stay in, but he’s too smart, too fast, and too determined—even if I’m alert enough to spot him lurking by the door when I come in, I can’t stop him from bolting out without the risk of hurting him. And I need to get him another collar, license, and address tag; he was wearing one of those “breakaway” collars that’s supposed to come loose if it gets caught on something, and it must have been caught on something as he came in without it one day last week.
I’m not much into making animals out to be little people. Their thought processes, feelings, and motivations have similarities to those of humans, but they are also different in very fundamental ways. Nonetheless, I can sort of see how some people wind up thinking of their pets as ersatz children—they require a similar level of care and attention, and we worry about them when they’re not well.