Thursday, May 01, 2008


Buck a few summer's ago, trying his best to convince me that if I let him out of his
kennel he promises NOT to jump the fence when I'm distracted pulling weeds.

Holiday photos are on hold today as I was up all night long with a very sick puppy. Our thirteen year old shepherd/terrier/who knows mix, good ol' Buck. He's been going "downhill" the last month or so and I told my mom that if things looked bad while we were gone, we were expecting it. But not really of course. You never expect it. Yesterday he was suffering the usual run of old age problems he's been experiencing but was still tail wagging and happy. And then last evening, of course long after the vet closed, suddenly he went completely shaky, heaving sides, arched back, couldn't get comfortable, couldn't pee, throwing up.

We know he's an old pup and it's long past the time to do anything heroic to extend his life. Still, he didn't deserve a long night of pain and anxiety. There's no vet within a 100 miles that will see a sick animal after hours, unless perhaps it's a farm animal. So I was reduced to calling the emergency vet number in Reno. They said the only thing I could do to try to make him more comfortable was aspirin. And of course I stayed near him all night long as he couldn't sleep. Sigh.

Frankly, I didn't expect him to last the night. But about an hour or so before dawn, he started to recover a bit, went outside for two really long pees, perked up his beautiful big ears. His breathing became less jagged. Now he's sleeping on the floor next to me fairly normally and we have an afternoon vet visit for him.

I don't really want to have to make that difficult decision that pet owners know often waits at the end of a pet's life. But I also don't want to put him through another potential night like last night. Nor do I want to hand him over to the vet to be stuffed into a metal cage for observation if it's likely he'll simply die alone and feeling abandoned. I could use some coffee. And a hug.

Buck in his prime. Look at those gorgeous ears and distinquished beard.


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