Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Vet Appointment, and A Surprise

The other day I took the dogs to their annual vet appointment for shots, etc. Baci, being a puppy (albeit an 86lb one), was of course fine, but... Tyler, at 11.5, is not so fine. As labs are prone to do, he has developed a lot of large, soft lumps in various places on his body, which don't seem to be bothering him too much, and aren't of great concern. However, this appointment is the first time he has actually lost a significant amount of weight. He is at his lowest weight ever, that I can remember, at 63lbs. She feels that his lumps have begun to grow inside, where they are a lot less likely to be benign. When I made the comment that DH and I were thinking that he probably has about one good year left, she hesitated and said, 'yyyeeahhhhh...' I guess that about sums it up. Yeah.

On the up side, he is now allowed to eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, until. I'm sure he will appreciate the bounty of table scraps he is about to receive.

In addition to this worrying condition, poor Tyler Bear's arthritis has been acting up horribly, to the point where he groans in his sleep whenever he shifts at night. We give him special doggie asprin, which keeps him pretty limbre during the day, but I guess like any old person (or, on some days, me) when he sits still for too long, it's not good. So, when I was at Petsmart the other day, I looked for a new doggie bed. We have two already, one of which is orthopedic, but I would like to have something more cushy and yet supportive, since the one we have is getting old (like Tyler, I suppose). I found The Bed, the bed that I wish I could sleep on myself. It's about five inches of orthopedic foam, topped with a regular thick cushion dog bed. It's the first bed that I've ever found that I couldn't feel any hint of the floor through no matter how hard I pushed on it. I didn't get it then, because it's (I hate to admit this) $90. I know, I know, but he's old, and, well, he's Tyler Bear. He's been the best dog ever. He wags whenever he hears our voices, on command, and even in his sleep sometimes. He listens to everyone, including the kids. He lets Patrick walk him with no tugging at all, even though he could easily drag him down the street if he wanted to. The kids used to ride him, pull on his ears, and play in his water bowl. He's practically their grandparent, come to think of it. When he was a puppy and DH and I went to the breeder, HE actually chose US. We had sat down in different places, and Tyler ran back and forth between the two of us, first climbing on and licking one and then the other, over and over, the entire time we were there. The other puppies played and frolicked around us, but Tyler was Ours from that moment on. Now that he's outlived his brother by two years, and put up with Baci for almost that length of time, he deserves all we can give him.

So, when my mother asked what I wanted for Xmas this year, I told her I wanted a gift card for Petsmart, and I told her why. She actually said that she thought of Tyler as another family member, and that since she didn't have any pets, SHE would buy it for him! Who is this woman?! Someone has secretly replaced my mother with Another Person, obviously! So, she's sending a gc this week, and Tyler Bear Dog will have his new bed this weekend. We'll put that one upstairs in our room for overnight, and move one of the other ones down here into the dining room for when he wants to be alone (otherwise, we get him to lay on the couch).

Oh, Baby Bear, I will miss you so. I hope you prove us all wrong and live to swim another summer. Until then, I'm squishing in on that bed with you!


AndreAnna said...

Uh, how sad. As I'm filled with glee about getting a new puppy, I forgot how soon it seems they get old. It seems that your dogs live a good happy life and you should be proud of that.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

Oh, that is so sad. We have an old dog too. Ancient. And we were told 2 years ago that he probably wouldn't make in another year (blame it on the stress of having a baby introduced into the family), but he's stuck around. And totally gets all the yummy table scraps. And less baths since now he is more of an inside-sleeping-all-the-time dog than a rolling-in-my-own-poop dog. Hang in there Bear!

Kristin.... said...

That's a lovely surprise from your mom. Who knew?

It's sad when pets get old. That's why we got the kittens, since our cat is 11 1/2. We need to be prepared for the kids' sake.

Swistle said...

Oh, poor Tyler! And I'm so glad he's getting the comfy bed.

creative kerfuffle said...

well, you know what we've just been through w/ the cat so, i feel your pain sweetie. the fact that your dogs totally have the good life though, that means a lot : ) mine are spoiled too, but $90 beds? nah. they sleep on the sofa. how nice but bizarre that your mom is ponying up for the bed. huh.

Melissa said...

I balled my eyes out :(

My doggies have been put down a year ago on November 30th, I will never forget it! They were 15 and 7. The 15 year old was getting really old and blind and they said it was best to put the other one down too or he'll fret at the loss of the other. I wish I had the time that you'll have to spoil them but it came on all to quick, :(

Give 'em the biggest o'l kiss for me :)
Hope you all have a great Christmas! and a great sleep in that bed!!! Guess it's safe to say that if your husband gets sent to the dog house ("Bed") he won't be uncomfortable! lol

Kristi said...

Poor Tyler! That bed sounds awesome. My dog is still a puppy, but it seems to go by so fast.

d e v a n said...

Poor Tyler. I'm sorry.
Our lab, when I was a child, lived to be 16 and she was the greatest dog ever. I still remember the day we had to put her down. I was 16 and it was heartwrenching.
I love that you guys are giving him all you can.

Sherendipity said...

I can't believe you asked for a dog bed for Christmas. You are so wonderful. I wish I could hug you.

Kelsey said...

Such sad news, I'm glad you are honoring him by doing so much to make him happy and comfortable. I think we learn a lot from our pets.