Story: Hand in Hand, Paw in Paw

By: Zachary Alba

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Photo by Natalie Collins on Unsplash

“What if he only has a few more days to live? Can you even pass away from Type 1 Diabetes? He’s been taking his insulin, so he should be fine… right? There’s so much I haven’t been able to accomplish with him yet,” Braxton contemplates while awaiting for the prolonged test results.

His hand provided his friend with comfort as he caressed his paw and rubbed his back to which he started to kick his leg and pant with bliss.

The endocrinologist returned and revealed the news, “So I have Milo’s test results, and it’s unfortunate to say but, due to Milo’s diabetes, the viscosity of his blood has gradually resulted in a lack of oxygen intake in his right hind leg. I will have to refer you to a veterinary orthopedist.”

Braxton’s stomach plunged with disbelief. His lifestyle was so short-lived when impeded by diabetes and now this. With wide, dreary eyes, he mindlessly stared at Milo while the endocrinologist continued his diagnosis. Afterwards, he thanked him, took ahold of Milo’s leash, left and walked him back home.

A month had passed, and it was a hassle to undergo the surgical process. Although Braxton was strained, Milo remained his stoic and exuberant self. He kept patience while awaiting surgery in the waiting room, and even afterwards, he failed to falter from the pain and loss of his leg. Watching him limp around for the next few days was heartbreaking to Braxton, but Milo’s indifference towards the matter displayed his resilience against tragedy.

One day while Braxton was walking Milo in the park, a young girl playing catch with her mom caught his eye. Right as she jumped up to catch the tennis ball, her hand gleamed from the rays of sunlight and displayed a fluid motion that seemed as if nothing was wrong with her. At that moment, Braxton’s face shone brighter than the sun.

He looked at Milo who was smiling as always and said, “You’re a real trooper bud. You deserve way better, and now, I finally know what I can do for you.”

A few weeks passed and Braxton and Milo found themselves back at the orthopedist’s office confronted with a large receptacle that Braxton ordered online. Braxton opened the container to reveal a prosthesis modified for canine usage and comfort. With the aid of the orthopedist, they were able to safely connect and attach the artificial leg to Milo’s rear end. At first Milo flailed around with resistance to the new adjustment, but as soon as he adapted to it, you could tell that Milo was whole again as he quickly escaped from the room and ran all throughout the hallways.

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