Thursday, August 07, 2008

My Dog: Convalescing or Merely Malingering?

(Duff and Levi on Levi's birthday a few years ago.)

Sorry I've not been posting and have failed to update you on the status of the canine beast I call my friend. Duff's status is status quo. He has been home for about a month, after two straight weeks+ at the vet. For three weeks I took him in twice daily to be catheterized, then the vet trained me to empty his bladder. So then it was once daily for a week, and now it is reduced to twice weekly for acupuncture. This is good, because all the expense was getting, well, expensive, and as much as I love lugging around 85+ lbs. of dog several times a day, I'm not sure it's the best thing for my back. The boogie board an old roommate left behind has come in very handy, and the vet techs were highly amused to see "King Duff" ride in on the Mach 5. They have been very kind and tease me that he is faking the entire thing so he can ride about on his palanquin (ok maybe THEY didn't call it that, but my BF and I do), like an oriental emperor.

He's gained some weight back, but no hind leg muscle. He gets some physical therapy, which I administer with help from the BF, but it leaves him sore and cranky with me. I can't really say he's making progress in that area, but I'm also aware that he's not out of pain yet, and spinal problems have long recovery times.

There are, however, no guarantees, although we did see remarkable activity one day at the vet's when he tried to chase down a King Charles Spaniel bitch who had recently whelped. Duff pushed forward with his hindquarters like a seal chased across a beach. I turned to the vet and said, "Maybe THAT'S what he needs." What other conclusion could I draw?

(Imagine her with milky paps, and you've got pure, unadulterated Duff porn.)

He chases rabbits in his sleep, he is often happy and almost always bright and alert. Formerly a very quiet and contented dog, he is now maddeningly yelpy. It is sourced in his helplessness, I am sure. The last two nights I have gotten him to remain on the bed and he has slept much better. This is a great relief, because he was getting me up three to eight times and often I spent most of the night on the floor beside him, as it kept him more calm. Both of us being aloft on the mattress is much easier on my old lady joints, even if he still keeps me up.

Characteristically unwilling to sully the nest, he refuses to release bodily functions inside the house, so all methods of evacuation are performed by me. Aand let me tell you, it is not so glamorous as it seems, but often leads to Kubrickian cinematic references, wherein I speak to my gloved forefinger: "Danny's not here right now, Mrs. Torrance."

His already expensive Innova diet is mightily fortified with all manner of additives - high lignan flax seed oil, spirulina, enzymes, herbs, raw organic colostrum, raw organic grassfed to the bitter end free-range beef, saw palmetto, sweet potato...

One of the worst things about all this, aside from the fatgue and the emotional unrest (which I will spare you for now), is that the experience is rendering me an entirely boring person who can talk only of one subject, and thinks that others are remotely interested in her dog's diet. I promise I think of other things, but this has been fairly consuming.

Many friends have reported dreams in which my dog is walking and running and quite well. This is encouraging to me, as I put stock in such things. Just today I received this kind message from on of you regular readers (I hope it's okay I reprinted it here, anonymously):

Well I finally had a dream with you in it. Never got to see you, but I had two 4x4 blackboards that I had turned into get well cards for Duff. I had all these great sayings on them that I can't remember what they were, which
really bothers me cuz I usually remember that stuff from my dreams. I woke up still trying to find a box to ship them in."

Dear Sir, consider them received.

(A recent photo of me, brimming with hope.)


GrizzBabe said...

I do hope Duff continues to get better. You are such a saint to be so devoted to caring for him. I'm sure he appreciates it more than he can convey.

bulletholes said...

"high lignan flax seed oil, spirulina, enzymes, herbs, raw organic colostrum, raw organic grassfed to the bitter end free-range beef, saw palmetto, sweet potato..."
Hey thats what they have me on!

Grant Miller said...

Hope he continues his improvement.

The Frito Pundito said...

Did you ever consider that in previous lives you were an Indian rajah and Duff was a bearer of your palanquin? So that this whole incident is just a rectification of a previous inequality.

I am very glad to hear he is improving and that the bitches still get him going. Maybe there's a movie to be made of this, with Alan Arkin as Duff.

McGone said...

This is good news and I hope it gets better. I'm going to go give our dog (sleeping under my feet as I type this) some extra attention now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I wish Duff the best. And if he is malingering, I say more power to him. Your Danny in the Shining bit is hilarious! By the way, you've mastered the sensitive pensive look. Time to move on to "Blue Steel"! UF Mike