Monday, January 19, 2015
Dog Days ..... And Nights
There I was sleeping soundly. All my creatures in their rightful places, as usual. My head was at the foot of the bed, Wall-E was nestled close to his master and Cujo was snug against me, Toni Louise's foot touching my shoulder ....... and Oscar next to my feet. Suddenly Oscar started yelping. The ear piercing cry that a dog makes when he is in extreme pain.
We all jumped up and I hurried to Oscar to see what was wrong. My first thought was that Martha, the boy cat was up to his shenanigans of tormenting us as we slept. He has been known to grab my toe in his claws and nip it lightly. He has thrown caution to the wind lately, or has forgotten who I am. I am the alpha here in this unlikely pack of animals and he would do well to remember it. I bite back.
I remembered putting Martha out to hunt before retiring for the evening though. Oscar continued to yelp as I gathered him into my arms to comfort him. He was trembling like an earthquake, poor boy. I sat and rocked him gently in my arms, as I always have when he is distressed. Oscar has always been a little on the high maintenance side and I have been known to sleep in a sitting position, holding him while he sleeps.
Okay, so he is spoiled. My own fault, but he is 15 years old now and I am not apt to stop coddling him now. I see older dogs abandoned all the time and I wonder how their persons can just stop loving them. He finally settled down and licked my hand then indicated that he wanted to be put down. He waddled to the end of the bed and looked at me. He wanted to go outside. This is his signal. Should I happen to be sleeping he will make an impatient noise.
I took him out and made note that he was walking a little off kilter but he managed to hike his leg and relieve himself. He stood there looking at me and I scooped him up to go back to bed. This resulted in more yelping and trembling. I held him very carefully while my hands roamed over his being to determine if he had an injury I could not see. He trembled and whimpered. I put him gently in the bed and crawled back into the wee bit of space my bed companions had left for me.
I had just settled down and was drifting off when I was subjected to another series of yelping at ear splitting volume. All the while He Who was pretending to be asleep ignored us. I got up with my old boy and watched as he paced to and fro, then stopped and just stood there with is eyes closed. Then he would start the yelping again.
ALL NIGHT LONG. Nothing I did brought him any comfort. I could not find any tender spots on him. He stays inside all day, he does not jump up on the furniture. He pretty much lives to eat, sleep and poop. I grabbed bits of sleep in between his attacks of pain and called the vet when I got up.
I knew he was in severe distress when he refused food this morning. This dog loves his food. Even losing most of his teeth has not affected his appetite. He didn't even want one of his favorite treats. Our appointment was at 2:30 and he paced and yelped the time away.
He rode in the front passenger seat on a pillow, as if he were a king on his throne. I sat in the back with Cujo. Cujo was along for more than the ride. His vaccination was due.
We have a fabulous vet. We literally go over the river and through the woods to get there, her clinic is in the middle of a farm. She treats farm animals, too. We are usually greeted by her gorgeous border collie, but he wasn't there today. Cujo marched in smartly on his lead and Oscar was carried in by He Who longs to be loved by the doxies as much as I am (they tolerate him).
We sat and waited for our turn as we chatted with the tech. She affirmed that Cujo was there for a shot. I swear he heard and understood. He was so upset he crawled into the lap of He Who is only second best to me. Oscar had insisted on moving to my lap as soon as we sat.
We stopped at the scales, the least favorite part of any visit to a clinic for humans. He tipped the scales at 18 and 1/2 lbs. This is not good. He should weigh 12 lbs. Cujo was not much better at 15 lbs. Looks like chow time will be a meager affair in the future.
Oscar was first to be examined. I had left Cujo on his lead to walk around while Oscar was getting all the attention. There were several canine patients recovering in the crates and we could hear some whimpers. Poor Cujo became so distressed that he vomited right there on the floor! I swear it was that awful anticipation!
Oscar has some degenerative disease in his spine. His lower neck. Nothing can be done, really, except for pain management and crate rest for the next week. After that we will explore some other options. Due to his age, I will not entertain thoughts of surgery. As much as I love him, I will not subject him to some lengthy painful procedure and recovery. I am hoping for some good results. He has had his pain meds and even eaten a little.
He is still experiencing some attacks of pain, but with less frequency and seems to be a little more comfortable tonight. I am hoping for a better night's sleep to night. But, like all mothers everywhere, I am prepared to comfort him if he needs me. Keep your finger crossed!