Here, is the love of my life, my furchild, Tolkien. He is part of my inspiration to fight for Animal Rights. I adopted mister handsome, just over two years ago. It was during my last year of law school, which was a difficult time. Law school is extremely stressful, never believe anyone who says otherwise. A lot of my friends, colleagues, bosses and professors thought I was crazy to get an eight and half week old puppy! Actually, I think I was crazy, I’ll post a picture of him as a baby…you’ll see why I caved. Tolkien entered my life at the perfect time. He became my relief from everyday life. He brought happiness to my life in the simplest of ways, by just existing. His silly antics, his obsession with carrying the mail or sticks, and his genuine love for everything. Tolkien was my first puppy (not first dog), but first real puppy. Being so young, I had to train him, learn to be better at a schedule, stay organized (especially for feeding and monthly medicine), and most importantly, FINANCIALLY! Boy, i knew pups were expensive, but every horrible thing you could imagine happened to my little man. He had his peanuts removed at three months, then right after the cone came off, two weeks later- he fractured his knee! (in between we found out he was allergic to the medicine for their eyes when they go under and had goopy stuff oozing for a few days; visit to the ER). I did my due diligence and took him in immediately to the vet. My regular was out, so the other lady who is now referred to as “she-who-must-be-named” x-rayed his leg, but not his knee. For ten days I believed the injury was his ankle, per that “doctor”. Then I got back in for a follow-up after I called because I said he’s still limping. Poor baby was on 23-hour crate rest. How does anyone put a 4 month old puppy on crate rest?! (There was a lot of spoiling during this time). Needless to say, this vet now does the proper x-ray of his knee and sees that is what was fractured, not his ankle! She then tells me he needs immediate surgery..yea, a law student affording surgery. She contacted an orthopedic and he says this dog needs surgery immediately as well, but he costs a lot, however, a non-specialist doctor in the office could do it also..probably. Risks?! Oh, he may have arthritis the rest of his life, limp, and need a pin in his knee. Now, lets explain whats happening in my life, its FINAL EXAMS! So, I am at the end of my loan money, its finals, and now my world needs $2,000 surgery. Okay, cool. I immediately start looking for second opinions. Thank goodness I found someone on short notice that can read the x-ray. They explain everything to me and contact their orthopedic. Guess what….Orlando only has one dog orthopedic! He says ” I recognize this x-ray”. My second opinion doctors, then tell hm the FULL story of the injury, the TEN days that lapsed and then the second x-ray that was taken. Hold up- yea, the first “doctor” aka not my normal vet…NEVER told the orthopedic that Tolkien had gone 10 days no treatment and this was not the initial x-ray. He now says, wait I didn’t know that. This dog has healed for 10days. Do not perform surgery. If he is healing already we could cause more damage if we go in there surgically. (Mind you the first doctor is threatening me I can’t do surgery with the new ones…on principal…” However, once I had the ortho tell me this new information, I made him contact that doctor. Long story short. I prevent my son from unnecessary surgery and poor veterinary care! Also, saved $1,000. I still had to do x-rays every 2 weeks to see how he was healing. Moral of the story- ALWAYS get a second opinion. After he finally healed from all of that he was back to normal puppy life. He is a proven fighter and gives me strength everyday to fight my battles to make this world a better place. We can learn a lot from our animals. Just pay attention and the life lessons that come with them.