My pup, Sandy, is thirteen years old in human years, making her approximately 91 in dog years. She is a Labrador. The life expectancy for a Labrador is around 10 human years, so she is well beyond that.
Sandy is the glue of my little family, including myself, my other dog, Mickey, and LooLoo – the cat. Before I got Mickey, Sandy was a rambunctious Lab, always jumping around and barking at everything, and yes, there were days when she chewed up things I didn’t want her to (like my DVDs). The day I got Mickey, Sandy went through a massive change, maturing overnight into the mother hen of the group. Now she is the calm, steady one of the bunch of us, dependable and loyal, while Mickey is quite rambunctious and hyper. She lost much of her playfulness and I was sad to see it go.
However, over time I have seen that Sandy transformed herself into a new place in our lives, a very much needed place, the heart and soul of us.
Over the past few days, I’ve noticed a decline in Sandy’s health, she has terrible arthritis in her hips and has fallen more than once trying to move too quickly for her body to handle. I also noticed a lump growing on her right side, which has had me terrified. To top it off, Sandy acquired an ear infection. It was time to take her to the vet.
Frightened for the worst I took her in knowing it is in her best interest to get her a thorough check up. At her age I worry about the day I will be taking her to the vet for the last time, and every trip to the vet is scary.
At our vet, they take the dog out of the room from the owner to examine the pet, so as to keep their anxiety down from being too close to an anxious owner. I was terrified the whole time she was gone. I tried sitting in the provided seat, only to find myself pacing the room, until Sandy’s return.
Upon the vet’s return, I heard what I expected to hear, she did have an ear infection, and her arthritis is bad, but they can give her something for both of those things. What about the lump, I thought, why aren’t they mentioning the lump? Frightened I asked the question, “What about the lump?”
The response was unexpected as she apparently has more lumps on her body that I missed, smaller ones in odd places, “Which lump?” The vet showed me the lumps I had somehow missed, and I pointed out the larger one that caused me concern. The vet informed me then that they were likely nothing to worry about, but if I wanted to have them tested I could. Overall, the vet told me my dog was doing particularly well for her age. I liked hearing that.
Today I chose not to put my elder dog through the pain of the testing, as none of the lumps seem to bother her, or impede her living. However, if that changes I may have to change my mind on the testing. For now, however, my pup is home and safe with me, with newly trimmed toenails, clean ears, and medicine to take care of her and although she is exhausted from the stress of the visit, she seems to be a much happier camper, and thankfully, her owner is a much happier camper too after the visit. I feel my pup will be around for at least another year, and perhaps I will be lucky enough to have her with us for much longer than that. My doom and gloom concerns for my dog are alleviated for the time being. Sandy isn’t going anywhere just yet!Tags: dog, vet