All dogs have some startup costs, such as sterilization and shots, but in the three years we've had her, Felisa has turned into one of the most expensive muttskies we've ever owned.
|Felisa after her first operation about a year ago.|
She recovered perfectly and we expect she'll do
the same after the second operation on Wednesday.
It seems that her mixed-up pedigree includes not only a peculiar appearance but also a propensity for the canine equivalent of torn ligaments in both of her knees.
That has led to two operations, the last one on Wednesday that, including medications and an overnight stay at the vet, came to approximately US$450 each, a year apart.
Felisa's carriage, which seems as if it were put together from spare parts that don't quite fit, suggested malfunctions right from the start.
She is longish, as in Dachshund-ish but not quite; with front feet that point out slightly, maybe like a Basset; rough fur reminiscent of a German Shepherd; and a tail that proportionately is about as long as an Irish Wolfhound's.
All that in a wiggly compact package, about twenty-four inches long, nose to tail, and ten inches off the ground. Her tail banging against something announces her presence even when you can't see her.
In her own way she cuts quite a figure, particularly in the vet's waiting room where patients are mostly yippy pedigreed types, such as shih-tzus, pomeranians and other annoying dust-mop varieties that I swear snicker at Stew, Felisa and me when we arrive.
Felisa doesn't care one whit, but I feel like I've shown up at the Monaco Grand Prix driving a Rambler.
Our vet, Dr. Miguel Villalva, is a gentle, rumpled forty-something, who is both excellent and very patient. He runs Ciudad Mascota ("Pet City"), about an hour's drive from San Miguel, and specializes in orthopedic problems in dogs.
We love both Dr. Villalva and Felisa, but at these prices wish they'd quit dating.
Felisa is home, sleeping a lot but always remembering to tripod around the yard when her bowels require it. Stew for his part is grinding up pills, mixing them up with butter and adding ham bits to her food, and letting her sleep in the bedroom instead of the basement or garage with the rest of the dogs.
So no need to worry about Felisa. We love all our free/expensive dogs, and particularly our free/expensive/odd-looking Felisa. We're lucky to have her—and vice-versa.