Jackson was a couple weeks old when I broke his leg.

I lived in a townhouse then so Jackson was running around with puppy energy. I was following him back and forth, playing along with him. Then he zigged and I zagged.

My foot landed on his leg.

He yelped and kept on yelping. The sound tore the heart out of my chest.

I lifted him up gingerly and placed him gently into his crate where he continued to whine, which was better… but not by much.

My heart was beating so hard in my chest. I was in full-on panic mode.

I called my vet.

“I think I broke my dog’s leg. Oh my god! Should I bring him there? What do I do?”

“Well, we’re about to close. There are three after hours animal hospitals in the area. Are you closer to Lawrenceville or Tucker?”

“I don’t fucking know! Just give me one of them!”

She gave me the address.

I carefully picked up Jackson’s crate and put him in the car. He was quiet now but I was still manic.

I drove at 90 miles and hour to the animal hospital. I almost got in an accident turning into the office park where the hospital was located, it was located in a weird spot.

I quickly found the place and ran in, bursting through the doors:

“My dog is hurt! I need help! Help me!”

The attendant in duty sprang up. “Where is your dog?”

“Out in the car!”

A minute later, a couple of orderlies came running out of the back pushing a human-sized stretcher for my eight pound puppy.

“Umm, I could just bring him in.”

Looks of disdain…

I carried Jackson in and they took him into the back of the office and directed me to the worried parents waiting room. I sat and texted everyone I knew to tell them my baby had been injured.

Public service announcement: when a friend tell you their pet is hurt, treat it like their child was injured, because that’s how they will be feeling.

I waited for a while and finally the doctor came out with X-rays. X-rays! At the time, I thought “this must be the fanciest animal hospital in Atlanta.”

“Well, Jackson didn’t fracture his leg but we are going to have to put it in a cast for about 4 weeks.”

I must have looked like the guiltiest pet parent ever and about to cry so she added:

“I see this all the time, it happens.”

She told me what they were going to do, we signed some papers.

A little later, she came back out and gave me some pain medication and some basic instructions.

“When you take your dog out to use the bathroom, just set him down, let him do his business and pick him back up.”

“Are you serious? Have you met my dog?”

When she brought Jackson out, he had a cone around his head and a cast on his leg. He looked at me like I had put him through hell.

We went home and went to bed.

When I got up the next morning and took him out, I gently placed him on the ground, like the doctor said.

He was off like a shot.

The cone was bobbing back and forth. He looked like a peg-legged pirate running down the gangway.

That’s Jackson.

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