Saturday, March 7, 2015

It was a beautiful morning and then it wasn't

My poor Bugsy hasn't been right in quite some time.
We ran tests and gave some meds, nothing specific showed up and the meds didn't do much really.
I still have this sense that something more than aging is going on.
Despite this, he is as eager as ever for his morning walks and today was no different.

It was a cold morning but the sun was already rising, the sky was colorful and heading towards that unreal shade of blue we get so often down here.
Loads and loads of bird activity and the earth was smelling Spring-like despite the frosted surface.

As we made our way through our fairly scenic neighborhood I kept thinking about how fortunate I am to have this boy that demands his morning walks. I have seen so many things I would never have noticed.
His focus and intensity - we don't just wander, his walk is a mission - spellbind me and I hunt alongside him.
This brings even more into my experience that I would otherwise miss.

When we got to the turnaround I asked him if he want to keep going or go home, after a quick head tilt he turned the corner and trotted on.
At the next turnaround, I said, "are you ready for home or do you want a drink", less hesitation, we were heading through the woods to the lake.

We were enjoying the scenery and he was exploring but I was on a schedule so I called him back to me and said come on let's head home.
He kindly (thankfully) obeyed and trotted right past me on to the trail.
And then it happened.

He fell down.
Just typing it makes me sick all over again.
Everything was fine and then it was like he collapsed.
I looked at the area and there was no hole.
There was no reason for him to trip or fall.

When he fell, he didn't instantly pop up, he laid there and looked at me, VERY unnerved.
My heart stopped.
My phone had died so I couldn't call my husband if Bugsy couldn't walk.
And poor B looked so very confused and although he was up and moving, he looked horribly uncomfortable.
I checked over each limb and did some stretches. No sign that anything really hurt, but he was walking so bizarrely.
No need to bore you with more details I guess, we made it home.
I gave him rimadyl and then had to rush out to a memorial service for a friend's dad.

When I came home he was happy, silly Bugsy and he even was out helping me in the yard for ages. No sign of whatever happened.

By writing this post I know I have recorded the first time his hind end gave in.
I know it is our future.
I know I have to emotionally and physically prepare for it.
I'm not ready.

Then again, the memorial service I went to today was a true celebration of life.
I know when Bugsy's time comes, I will focus on celebrating his life.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pub dog, rugby dog, it's all fun

As I sit here tonight, listening to the great Beast sleeping heavily next to me, I am pondering the smiles he has provided today and how 'buddy-like' he is now.
You see as a young pup and onward through his middle age - he never really wanted you to touch him.
He wanted to sleep away from you and given half a chance he was off hunting for himself or exploring on his own.
It feels extra special now when he chooses to 'hang' with you. 
When he allows you to pet him or even sometimes cuddle him.

Heck this dog that hated to be touched, will now allow you to - in fact he'll help you - to put a shirt or a jacket on him.
For instance, earlier today hubby and I were watching a rugby match between England and Ireland and decided it would be cute if Bugsy wore hubby's jersey.
I held up the jersey and Bugsy lifted a front leg, helped me guide his foot through the armhole and repeated it for the other side. Remarkable. He even posed for a photo.

I love the tail.  He's never figured out exactly what to do with it when he sits.

Unfortunately, England got thumped. But we all enjoyed the match.

Our weather has been awful lately and we've all been couped up so I promised him we'd go to the pub.
It can be a challenge to take B to the pub. He gets very excited and he is still very, very strong.
He wants to say hey to all dogs and humans and pretty much is overly social, so I work very hard to try to get him to just chill out and relax.
I continue to refine my setup so I have hands available for holding the leash and distraction.
Today, we were a team.
A really smooth, happy, coordinated team.

It was fairly quiet and everyone there was happy to meet the Beast. Lots of young men find him a blast, so on a miserable Sunday afternoon at a brewery near a university you definitely see plenty of young men, meaning Bugsy got to meet a bunch of people and got lots of pets.
He also met some other dogs, none were as social as he is however one pretty girl was close.
I was mesmerized by one dog who just sat next to her owner, uninterested in any people, snacks, dogs or anything at all.

It was by far our best pub outing. I like to think that if we did it regularly, he'd get easier and easier to settle.
For now, I'll resort to feeding bits of kibble, as long as he is lying down.