If you’re a Facebook friend of mine, you’ve noticed that my dog has been, shall we say, restless of late. Restless as in getting up at all hours, not sitting still, never on the right side of the door. Until the American Veterinary Society Ethics Committee approves Nyquil-laced doggie biscuits, though, I think I’ll have to make peace with it.
Seeing Wesley curled up in my den in a big blue beanbag chair this morning, I remembered that back in July of 2000 he was so gravely ill that I thought we’d lose him. One day he became very lethargic, stopped eating, and started throwing up. The next morning we visited the vet, who said that if we hadn’t brought him in when we did, he probably would have died. She clearly saw that he was jaundiced (invisible to us, as he’s covered in long black hair) and dehydrated (again, how were we to know). She immediately admitted him to the “inpatient” department of the Dover Animal Hospital, and we all hoped for the best.
Exploratory surgery, innumerable tests, and 5 days in the Animal Hospital later, we still didn’t know what was wrong. Thankfully, though, the vet told us that with time and non-specific treatment his liver levels had improved. There was no evidence of cancer, nor of the copper-retaining condition that they had suspected (a condition that oddly mimics almost exactly a genetic liver condition for which my husband takes medication daily). It would be about a month before he would really bounce back, but bouncing back he was…and just in time to welcome a new human addition to the household less than a month later.
Yes, Wesley can be a challenge sometimes, but I’m still so very thankful for the time we’ve had with him since that big health scare. He was only around 4 years old then, and now he’s a surprisingly lively 13, who’s looking handsome and as cozy as ever. He’s lived long enough to see my children through being scared of the dark, and for all his quirks, he’s still a wonderful, comforting companion.
Life ebbs and flows with gains and losses, good times and bad, the just and the unjust. Considering the years that were added to my dog’s life and the joy he’s brought to my family during those years, I’m willing to forgive his senior citizen quirks. I’m glad for the blessing he’s been to my family, and I hope that he has many more remarkably good years of health and happiness with us.