This has been a really tough week.
It all started on Sunday when we left the dogs for an hour to go out for breakfast. We came home to find out that Tucker had urinated on his bed & the floor (which is not normal for him). He had also apparently laid in his bed after urinating on it. I had to wash his bed & give him a bath. Tucker seemed fine the rest of the day on Sunday– he even ran around a little after his bath time.
On Monday morning, Tucker lost his balance & fell over when going out in the morning. He was unsteady on his feet for the next few days. We were a little concerned & kept a close eyed on him, but he kept improving. By Thursday, Tucker seemed back to his normal self.
This morning, he fell down the last few stairs coming from our bedroom down to the living room. It seems that he also urinated upstairs. Now he seems to be stiff in the hind end & slightly out of it. I’m concerned that he had a stroke. We are headed off to the vet today to find out what they say.
No matter how old your dog is, or how long you’ve had them, it is never enough time. I’m not ready to go from ‘life with old dogs’ to life with old dog’. I just know that I need to do what’s best for my best friend. Fingers crossed.
Every Friday, I sit down and fill up the pill holders. That’s the day it really hits me that my dogs are OLD. Emmit is only 11, so I would imagine that he may be around for a while. Having bad hips isn’t death sentence and we are doing what we can to keep him young (both mentally and physically). Tucker, on the other hand, is 17. When I fill up his pill holder, I feel lucky that we made it through another week together. He sleeps a lot, but the bad days (which come in spurts) are few & far-between. Cross your fingers–I hope to fill up all these pill holders again next week.
Both of the dogs have decided that life is more fun without all of their organs intact. It was an expensive & traumatic decision for them to make.
In 2012, Tucker had a tumor on his spleen that ruptured. It was incredibly traumatic, sending him into surgery not knowing if he would come back out alive. We were fortunate, not only that he survived the surgery, but also that the tumor ended up to be benign (non-cancerous)!
Last year, our veterinarians found a liver mass on Emmit. After going through the trauma with Tucker, we felt surgery was necessary, so we sent him to a surgeon to have a liver lobe removed. Suprise, his was ALSO benign. Prior to surgery, Emmit had some pretty awful liver values. As of right now, the tumor has not returned & his values look good.
Here’s to a LONG life with missing parts & amazing veterinarians who make it possible!
When you have two really old dogs (and it’s 90 degrees outside), long walks are out of the question. It is my responsibility to find other ways to entertain these guys. We spend lots of time outside in early morning and late evening smelling things, and hanging on our deck watching the wildlife (we live along a river).
When we are stuck inside because of the heat, it’s a good time to practice our obedience. We use dog food or treats (sometimes they have hidden pills) to perfect manners & even learn new tricks. I sometimes pull out food-dispensing toys to keep old brains active & working out a puzzle to find dinner. By the evening time, these old pups are always worn out!
We may no longer be going for jogs around the park, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t having any fun!
My dogs may see me as “Mom”, but I actually have an extensive dog-related resume going back over fifteen years. I have worked at one of the largest animal shelters in the country; been an APDT-certified dog-trainer; managed/worked at Veterinary clinics; and even worked in research to help get a pain reliever for dogs to clinical trials. I have fostered over 50 dogs, and I hope to be able to foster again someday. Basically, I know enough to be dangerous.
Over a year ago, I made the difficult decision to leave my job. My husband works crazy hours & our lives were falling apart. We realized that life is short & sometimes time is more valuable than income. Now I have the time to enjoy these small moments with my boys (both human and canine).
In addition to hanging out with my little family, I love to travel. It is important for me to explore my city, my country, and even the world. I’m always ready for an adventure!
All spelling and grammar mistakes are my own.