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Viv was injured while digging.

The Perils of Digging Holes

Vivian is fine thanks to Mommy Nature planning for limber joints in just such puppy activities. This was not a fall, Viv was digging a hole with her brother Gronk when her rear end started to run before the front end was out of the  hole. The situation was complicated because her brother was fully involved and half in the same “dig”.

She was a little sore and limped. We watched her very closely and did not give her any pain medication because her evidence of pain might be an indication of the extent of her injury. This could have been a neck injury requiring veterinary attention; luckily it was just a  temporary lameness. By suppertime she had forgotten all about it. If at the age of 12 she develops arthritis in her neck we  might remember this photo.

Hole digging is a cooperative effort often with all the siblings participating on rotation. I have never been able to figure out if there is a wild dog instinct of historical significance other than to unearth some cool dirt on a hot day. I have also wondered if the instinct of a female dog about to go into labor who starts  digging is trying to uncover some clean soil for her new pups?

– Carlene White, founder of Service Dog Project in Ipswich, MA. The organization trains and places Great Danes with people who live with Multiple Sclerosis, Friedreich’s ataxia, and veterans with disabilities.

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