Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas, 16x20.
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Last weekend, I thought our oldest dog was at the end. We took her to the vet on Monday to see if anything could be done for her, and I was expecting to come home without her.
She is nearly 15, a chow-German shepherd (as far as we know), and has been creaky for a while. Last week, her night-time pacing and doggie dementia combined to make exhausting and terrifying situations for her and us. For instance, one morning, her panting woke me, and I found her stuck halfway through a small end table that, trying to escape from, she had dragged to the middle of the kitchen.
It would be funny, and I am sure that in future years it will, if it were not so unhappy and dangerous for her. By the time I got her out, she was so whipped she could barely walk.
But our miracle-worker of a vet, who himself has a 15-year-old dog, didn't say, "she's clearly too decrepit to keep living." Instead, he said he had ideas, and encouraged us to try them.
We made a recipe of beef and rice and veggies for her. Started giving her benadryl to get her to sleep at night. Put her on doxycycline and prednisone. Got a bottle of something called Sunilite, which helps not only with doggie dementia, but also with the odd flipping of night and day that many old dogs experience. We're going to try her on melatonin. And we got her a collar that has a naturopathic something in it that is supposed to help calm her.
And by gosh, she's better. She's still ancient, but she is stronger and happier and clearly more herself.
I know it's a matter of days or weeks at the most, probably. But if she can be happy and not panicked, and not exhausting herself by pacing around, then those days or weeks are going to be good for all of us.
In the meantime, I painted this from a photograph that someone sent me. Here's the photo: