Buddy is going on 10 years old, which for a Jack Russell isn't supposed to be that old. A few months ago though, all the sudden, Buddy got old. He started having trouble walking. His back leg(s) were hurting. He wasn't eating & you could tell he lost some serious weight. He kept his tail ducked and head down most of the time when he did walk, but most of the time he just laid on the couch.
We took him to the vet (no answers), we bought some spendy joint supplements (he won't eat them unless smothered in peanut butter), we put him on aspirin therapy (81mg/day), we changed to soft food mixed with dry food (worked well to get him to eat!).
He's given up his long-held post lying on the back of the couch. I brought in the dog bed to the living room so he had a soft place to rest his weary bones.
Last week, it just seemed hopeless. Nothing we were doing was helping. He would just sleep though the days, only limping around if absolutely necessary. He pooped on the floor, in front of the dog door. He hesitated for long moments before he would go up or down the small step to get in the door. I had given in to carrying him down the steps to the backyard many times a day to do his potty business.
This was no way for a spry little Jack Russell to live. Always, always, his tail was tucked, his head was hung low, his eyes were just so sad.
On Tuesday, while driving to violin, Jeff & I talked about what we were going to do. This wasn't fair to Buddy. He shivered all the time from pain. He can't be happy, & what we're doing isn't helping.
We decided I'd take him to the vet to see what our options were. Was there anything else we could do to help? Was it time to make "that decision"? I called the vet from the car & set an appointment for today (Thursday) at 7:30am. I cried the rest of the way to violin lessons. Luckily, I had on my sunglasses and Reese was watching a DVD in the car, so he didn't know I was upset. I cried harder thinking about how we would tell Reese. Austen & Jessie are older and I think they would understand better, but Reese is 5. How does a 5 year old say goodbye to his life-long Buddy?
Then comes Wednesday. Jeff & I both comment to each other about how much better Buddy looks. He's walking around!?! He wagged his tail! He came up the stairs by himself?
At the end of Wednesday, Buddy came down with some hives, but that didn't stop him at all. He wanted on the couch, so we helped him up, & then he made his way to his perch on the back of the couch. I can't think of the last time he's laid up there, where he can see everything that happens in the house.
I called the vet Wednesday evening & cancelled our appointment for this morning. Was he better, or just on an up-swing? Seemed silly to take him to the vet if he was acting like this...I had prepared the vet for a dog who we didn't know what else to do for him.
This morning....new life has been breathed into this dog! He's running, eating dry food on his own, he hasn't had any aspirin, he actually hopped onto the back of the couch himself, he played football with Reese & I (he grabs it & runs away with it when Reese drops it), he wagged his tail & did the "excited prance" that dogs do.
How did this happen?
Our poor dog, who Jeff & I both thought might be making his way to death's door, has completely turned around today.
I have no idea why. I'm just glad we have more time with Buddy, because I wasn't ready to say goodbye.