Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I Miss My Brother.

Boo is gone. He's not here any more. He was ten years and seven months old. Mom is kind of mopey and sad. Daddy seems better than she does on the outside, but I think he just lies better. I... I am tired. I am a lot quieter. I spent a lot of time making sure that mom knew whenever anything might threaten or scare Boo. Mom thought I was just being a bit of a twerp and making a ton of noise, but now she knows the truth.

Boo's Last Weeks

He got to the point where he just slept, or panted, or whined. That was mostly it for the last week. When mom and dad were in Virginia, about halfway through their trip, he got worse. Teach them to run off and play on the beach! Gerbil and Girl didn't tell them until they got home, but they knew it was almost time. He kept getting onto the slippery floor and then couldn't get up. His hips made crunching noises from his arthritis - mom called it "crepitus" which is a fancy way of saying "nasty crunching bone on bone sounds". His front legs were sore, and they shook a lot and he lapped them a lot, and that was really all he had to pull himself around with. He had an awful time on the stairs, and cried when he had to move very far. He was scared or sad or uncomfortable most of the time, but when they talked to him or pet him, he would try so hard to be happy. I felt bad for him sometimes, and other times I would try to MAKE him get up by racing around him in circles and yowling and shoving my head under his. Totally didn't work.

Boo with Daddy and Me Before He Got Worse Than "Not So Good"

When they got home, he didn't get better. They'd moved the circle of safety a couple of months ago, the rug Boo was on all the time, to make it as close to the water and the door as possible. They've been eating on the dining room table in the living room for a while now. It's reassuring to know that when I am old they will make all sorts of accommodation for me, I can tell you that! These people are serious soft touches! When they say forever home, they mean it.The worst was when on Friday morning when mom caught Mel swatting at him meanly, as if he was trying to "chase Boo onto the ice" as she said. I am not sure what that means, but since I am not a huge fan of ice on my feet I can make a guess. If you put me on ice, I'd just curl up and die. Mom said if she caught him again she'd put Mel on the ice. In defence of Mom, the cat was being really mean. Mom called our new vet, but they were booked and could not fit Boo in until Monday. They suggested we call our old vet, who'd known Boo since he was a baby. Mom called them, and they said it was no problem, and mom and dad could bring him down for 5pm on Friday. They did, and when they came back all they had was his collar and leash, which are under the table by where the circle of safety was. It's so I can smell him if I want. Sometimes I do. Today I sniffed it and sighed and then laid down right there, looking at them. I think I am getting kind of lonely.

Mom says Boo was little once. She said that she and dad got him off of an airplane. She said he was from the Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition, which is why he came on an airplane and not in the car like I did when I came from Cape Cod Shibas. That's because Boo was a "rescue", which means they saved him from something. His mom was sick when she was pregnant with him. Mom says Doc suspected this because Boo's teeth were missing lots of enamel, and the easiest reason is that his mom had a lot of antibiotics when she was pregnant or nursing puppies. The drugs are bad for dogs' teeth.

Mom and Boo at Delta Cargo in Windsor Locks, CT

He was missing half of his tail, too. Doc said that sometimes a mother dog that has puppies alone and unsupervised will accidentally chew of a puppy's tail instead of it's umbilical cord. All of the other puppies in his litter had their tails, so that makes sense. He was kind of cute as a baby, I think, although nowhere near as cute as me as a baby. Who could be?

Mom and Kioshi and Boo

She also said that back then he had a sister, named Kioshi. I am going to let it slide that she named me something that sounds so close to that other dog's name. She said Kioshi was an Akita, and a girl. I know what those are because we are related. I am, however, more closely related to the wolf, which makes me much cooler. Mom says having Kioshi first got her ready for me. As if one needs preparation to have someone like me in their life!

Boo was scared and uncomfortable a lot, and it just took them a lot longer to figure it out. I knew. I've known for a long time. Since Boo died I have been very quiet. I don't alert to every sound any more. Mom says I am so easy to manage that it's kind of scary. I don't need to be alert now; there's really no one here needing protection. Mom can handle herself pretty well. Most of the time. Sometimes I have to try and step in, but she keeps reminding me that I don't need to, and frankly it gets old trying to be in charge. It's a lot easier to just let her be the boss.

December 2012
Anyway, now that he is gone I feel much better about the dopey Christmas pictures with the antlers and candy cane headgear. And also about mom and dad bawling all over us at Christmas while trying to pose for pictures.
 Mommy "Not Crying" with Boo and Me
Daddy "Not Crying" with Boo and Me

I even feel pretty good about Boo's last day, when mom gave him my Christmas bone.

She said I could have it after he was gone, and that he wouldn't do much damage to it since he really didn't feel great. She was right. Six months ago there'd have been nothing but a stub after ten minutes. He had it to himself all day, and I had to stay in mom and dad's room because mom didn't want me bugging him, and he barely touched it.

I don't know what will happen next. I kind of like being an only dog. I get to do more stuff because mom doesn't feel so bad leaving Boo behind. This weekend I went for a hike in the woods, dug in the garden with mom, and laid outside while mom and dad had a fire and drank wine. I like it. But it's lonely. A young brother or sister could be outside too, and dig, and hike, and give me someone to play with. Boo hasn't played in a long while. But at the same time, mom says her heart is all torn up, whatever that means, and she isn't sure she's ready to let some new dog chew more holes in it.

She's wrong, and she'll figure that out soon I am sure. She's already let so many dogs chew holes in it that she should know by now - the more holes we make in her heart, the bigger her heart gets. 

And who couldn't use a bigger heart, right?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

She Went and Did It!

Mom had talked about having me neutered, and stuff about testicles, and I did not understand what that all meant.
I understand now.
Mom said that because I have allergies and because I am too tall, I should not make babies. I think she put a little too fine a point on things. One day a few weeks ago we met a new vet named Dr. Howell. I liked her office a lot. It has cats. TONS of cats! Everyone was very nice, except that I did get a distemper shot. Dr. Howell does not mind of mom avoids some of my vaccines, but in order for her to neuter me in her office, she required a distemper shot. 
About a week later we went back to visit Dr. Howell again. This time mom left me there with cricket and my quilt. She said she'd be back. I don't know where she went. I do know that when she came back to get me, I looked like this. I don't remember what happened up there. I still like Dr. Howell just fine. When I woke up I had this cone on my head, but I really didn't mind at all. Mom thought I would be completely freaked out by it. I did get her to cut some off, convincing her that I couldn't eat or drink. She had to tape the cut off pieces back onto the hood when I started licking my butt in the middle of the night.
That's when I found out the worst of it. MY NUTS WERE GONE!! GONE. Not there, completely gone!! I moped and acted twitchy for a couple of days just to make sure mom was good and upset. She and dad cleaned my stitches every day very carefully. Dr, Howell wanted me to wear the cone for 14 days. By eight days my stitches were all healed. Mom cut one out at a time over a day and a half to make sure the incision was really healed. Then she took the cone off for a few hours and watched to make sure I did not have a lick-fest. I didn't, so she let me have it off forever.
While I had it on, mom did really mean stuff to me:
Really? Come on, mom!

Things I learned about the cone:
You can catch stuff in it, which makes catching easier. Dad threw my ball and I used the cone to help me get it. Less work, still as much fun!
You have to be careful of the water bowl when you have it on. I toppled it twice. Mom eventually put my food and water on top of a bowl to make it higher and easier for me to eat and drink. 
I look really good in purple tie dye duct tape.
People will feel sorry for you and give you stuff if you look sad when you have the cone on. Totally scored some sweet treats this way!
It's not as bad as people think it is. Mostly, we're dogs and we adjust to anything if we have to.