Posts Tagged ‘Dog lover’

Covid Doggie Blues

January 28, 2021

We have a miniature poodle, Rudy, whom we love dearly. But, during the past 12 months, sheltering at home with him during Covid-19, we have become even more attached to our “whoo-de-woo’ our ‘buddy boy’, ‘buddy wud’, ‘sweet cheeks’, and in particular instances “Little Lord Fauntleroy”. We’re all part of his ‘pack,’ and he’s crushed when we get in the car without him, or Lord forbid, not take him out on a daily walk. He sleeps between David and me at night, and anxiously awaits in the kitchen every morning to greet each member of the pack, as we emerge from slumber, with his tail wagging, low howls, stepping from side to side, as if to announce “Hey, it’s a new day!”

We got Rudy when he was eight weeks old. Oh my goodness, what an adorable puppy! We’ve had him for … 13 years. He’s been a great dog. But he’s becoming an old dog now, and he’s not bounding up the stairs like he used to. He’s lost his bottom front teeth. He suffers from stiff joints and arthritis in his back, likely due to his antics as a ‘stunt doggie’ in his younger years, leaping up onto and back off our high kitchen stools, and our high bed. Several years ago we installed doggie steps up to our beds. He used to skip up those steps, now he gingerly negotiates each step when climbing up or down. It’s become more difficult for him to jump up on the couch, so I bought him a cushy doggie bed. Oh, did I mention that ‘sweet cheeks’ is quite particular? He tried lying in his bed, but apparently the feel of it didn’t quite suit him, however, it might make a decent head rest:

Or butt support

You’re witnessing one of his ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’ moments. I’m guessing the bed itself is perhaps too “poofy’ for his liking?

During the past couple of weeks Rudy got sick. He started throwing up and drinking his water bowl dry. He would settle on the far end of the couch away from us, rather than on our laps. I started to worry that we were going to lose him. What if he has cancer? This past Monday we took him to the vet where he was diagnosed with pancreatitis and high blood sugar. We’ve been nursing him back to old doggie health this whole week, restricting him to a bland diet and giving him insulin shots twice a day. We take him back to the vet for a followup next week.

But we’ve had to face the reality: Rudy is fast approaching the end of his life. It’s so sad to think of him growing old and losing his faculties. Our last beloved dog, Baxter, was blind and deaf by the age of 14 – oh how I remember the heartbreak of watching him deteriorate and then putting him down; it just seems untenable to endure that same heartbreak and trauma with our fearless, loving and faithful dog, Rudy, in the middle of Covid, no less.

I know! We should get a puppy! Bring all that young adorable energy back into our house! How else to soften the grief of Rudy’s decline? It’s depressing enough all this isolation during Covid with a dog, can’t cope with even the thought of living it without a dog.

“David, I know! Let’s get a puppy!”

“Absolutely not.”

Wha? I admit to being the dog lover of the family. David, not so much. He doesn’t like a dog in the house, the dog crap in the yard, the dog prints and other mess throughout the house, the barf … or a dog sleeping in our bed. Unless it’s Rudy.

Well, I could pull a coup here, like I did with Rudy, if I bring home just the right dog. First of all, let’s see … it can’t shed. That’s why we like poodles or poodle mixes. But barking is tough to deal with and Rudy is the biggest, shrillest barker around. You can’t have a biting dog either and it has to be gentle with kids. It also has to stick around if it gets loose.

You don’t buy a dog breed because it was cute in a movie, like the Jack Russell terrier, made famously adorable in the movie “The Mask”. Jack Russell’s have no homing sense whatsoever. You open the front door to get the paper, they jet out the door and you never see them again (I know two people this has happened to). Dalmatians are a terrible choice for kids because of their aggressiveness, even though they star in the most adorable kid’s movie ever. Husky’s are gorgeous and have cute faces but they shed enough hair to stuff two large pillows for your couch every year, plus they too will break loose and end up across town. Certain dog breeds are nearly impossible to house train. Like, lots of dog breeds. This link: ‘dogs that are hard AF to potty train’ is worth checking out: listing twelve hard-to-house-train breeds (including the Jack Russell and Dalmatians). Sure, you love your dog, you’re completely attached to it, but hey, it’s peeing all over the house?

Are you a big dog person or a little dog person? I like medium-sized dogs. I like the idea of a rescue dog, except, boy you just don’t know what you’re getting. Currently there are lots of pit bull mixes and cattle dogs available for adoption locally, all who potentially shed, bite, run away or pee in the house. You can end up with a dog accidentally if, say, a close relative or friend asks you to take in their dog ‘temporarily’ while they resettle, which can turn into ‘you’ve adopted a new dog’ which is what happened to my brother, who is a cat lover to begin with. The way he tells it, his relative’s dog was a cross between a Rottweiler and a Bassett Hound, which he declared the dumbest animal on the planet, a hybrid he labeled a ‘Rotten Bastard” which he got stuck with. I don’t recall the details of how he got rid of it …

Well anyway, that’s where I’m at. We have an old dog. And you always get to this point if you adopt a puppy or a young dog; if you have the happiest, most cared-for dog on the planet, they still will only live about 15 years max, the bigger the dog the shorter the life span. And you’re totally broken hearted at the end. But a dog lover facing the possibility of not having a dog? That just seems impossible. Especially during Covid.