Monday, July 23, 2012

Dogs and Men

Jacob and Sophie
My wonderful birthday weekend included a two-day visit to my younger son's new home and special time with his famly amd ended with a lovely gathering at my house, of neighbors and people I care about, put together by Jordan and my neighbor Jay (who baked a scrumptious cake). We were also celebrating his wife, Susan's birthday. So I was surrounded by wonderful people and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
But it ended on a sour note after everyone but Jay and Susan and her dad had left. I went to put my dogs out--they'd been in because of the heat--and my big dog couldn't stand. His back legs kept splaying out from under him. Jay carried him outside, by which time the poor dog was shaking visibly. Long story short, Jay and I, with Scooby, ended up at the emergency animal care clinic about 8:45. Their probable diagnosis was toxicity--he'd gotten hold of something. I couldn't believe that but we waited for blood work results, which eventually were all good--no organs damaged. While we waited, Jay lay on the floor and loved on Scooby who finally began demanding affection and kissing him lavishly. Jay is what I call "a dog person," and it clearly showed last night--he really cared about Scooby. Meanwhile Jay also joked, poked fun at me, and was, in a word, outrageous. When the doctor came in with lab results, Jay was on the floor demonstrating a yoga pose. We left the dog to be "stabilized" with fluids, lasix, steroids, etc. On the way home, I said to Jay that I knew he kept cutting up to keep me from dissolving in a puddle, and he admitted there was usually a method to his madness. But I can't say enough for his kindness and attentiveness--I offered to go in my car so he didn't have to wait, but he wouldn't hear of it. He was right, of course, that I was on the verge of tears, and he steered me in a better direction. Other than loyal and loving children, there's nothing better than a good neighbor, and I am fortunate.
This morning I got Scooby from the emergency clinic--he was a bit better--and took him to my vet, who says he thinks it's a recurrence of his idiopathic vestiubular disease (it's like meuniere's disease in humans) and we'd just have to let him lie low for a couple of days. So Scooby is snoozing away at the vet's, and I am encouraged. He's an old dog, and I know one day one of these episodes will be the last, but he'd been enjoying life so much I couldn't face it last night. Another neighbor, Greg, had just commented Friday that Sophie, the little dog, has added years to Scooby's life. Friday the two of them were playing and  mock growling all around Greg's feet while he was trimming bushes. Nope, that dog isn't ready to go--and I'm not ready to lose him.
Today I felt the hangover of the trauma. It had even been an act of something on my part to transfer Scooby from vet to vet alone, so I was wiped out and not much good at anything. Sophie, bless her, put the icing on the cake this afternoon. I went to bring her in for her mid-day meal and a nap while it was hot, but she wouldn't come and obviously had something in her mouth she didn't want to relinquish. Finally she darted in the open door and made a beeline for the study, where I could corner her. But if I went to one side of the desk, she scooted under it to the other--and so it went. We were at a stalemate, in spite of my stern commands to "Drop it!" She finally did, and a pitiful baby bird gave a weak flutter. I put Sophie in her crate, gathered a handful of paper towels and disposed of the bird, and decided I really really needed a nap.
Tomorrow, I'm certain, will be a better day--and maybe I'll get some work done. But meantime, I entered into another senior year with great joy.

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