A dog peed on the floor.

“That wasn’t my dog,” I said, looking at Charlie and then the receptionist because I didn’t want her to think less of me or Charlie.

Charlie was innocent, which meant somebody else was not. Prior to settling our bill, a dark-haired corrections officer had been reunited with his wife’s frosty brown standard poodle and the dog was so excited that he had done everything but relieve himself on the polished floor and upon further examination, he may have done that too.

Maybe it wasn’t the poodle at all. It’s possible that when the corrections officer had examined his bill, he had wet the floor under where he stood.

I took Charlie to the vet recently. Charlie is a terrier- dachshund mix and looks like the kind of dog Maurice Sendak would have drawn. He had been limping, keeping his right front paw from touching the ground as if it were tender.

He doesn’t limp all the time. Sometimes he trots around on three legs, but then he will bounce on all fours as if he has experienced an orthopedic miracle.

It reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where George shows up for work with a cane and then forgets which leg is supposed to hurt and is called on it by his boss.

I thought Charlie might be dogging it. Dogging it or crying out for attention or treats. When I gave him a snack, his paw seemed to get better and the limp was not as pronounced.

A few days ago, we went to the vet where Charlie became the hit of the waiting room but everyone thinks that about their dog. Charlie is humble and people appreciate humility in a dog, especially one with questionable lineage. He looks like the kind of dog a clown would tie out of balloons at a child’s birthday party.

“My dog is old and sore,” said the woman ahead of me in the waiting room.

For a minute, I thought she was talking about me and I started to get offended but she was telling the vets about the dog she would soon be boarding.

We were ushered into the waiting room and when were alone, I examined the glass jar of treats. It was about half full. The question is how many treats can you stuff into your pocket before it is obvious that the fill level has been reduced in the glass jar and the bulge in your front pocket looks like a leg goiter.

“I think your dog may have arthritis,” said the vet. “It’s probably doesn’t help that he’s a little overweight.

Are you calling my dog fat? I prefer solid to fat. Perhaps even muscular.

She patted his head and gave him a treat which didn't help his weight but improved his mood.

“You might consider joint supplements.”

I’ve taken those. My pills are huge. I’m not sure they dissolve or just drift down and shore up the joints like oblong bricks.

I bought some. I wanted to give Charlie every chance at a full recovery as long as every chance didn’t exceed the number I had in my head which was about $150.

They clipped his nails which, given my vast experience in the veterinary arts, I thought might be the problem. When Charlie walked on the cement patio at home, he sounded like he was wearing tap shoes and auditioning for “A Chorus Line.”

Clipped, examined and fussed over, Charlie joined me at the checkout counter. He jumped in the car as if to say, “Limp? Who are you accusing of having a limp?”

What do you know? The limp has almost disappeared and this was before taking any supplements. I’m out of mine so maybe we’ll both get our money’s worth.

Herb Benham is a columnist for the Bakersfield Californian and can be reached at hbenham@bakersfield.com or (661) 395-7279.

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