Today is Tuck the dog’s birthday!
He is nine. That’s 63 in human years.
I find it totally unfair that dogs age so much more quickly than we do.
Two years ago, he and my husband (whose birthday is tomorrow) were both 49. Now Tuck is 12 years older than my husband. Next year, he’ll be 18 years older, the next year, 24. When my husband is 55, Tuck will be 91. If he makes it that long.
Lately, he’s been showing signs of his age. Walking more carefully and for not as long. Not able to see something right under his nose. Laying around on our back deck for hours. Still playful at times, especially around other dogs, but he’s different. Notably.
So I took him to the vet, who gave him a physical and ran some tests. They assumed he probably had some thyroid issues, but were surprised to see other markers were askew.
My telephone conversation with the vet, when she called to explain his test results, overwhelmed me. I made her repeat everything at least three times. Then I made her explain what each thing meant at least twice. She directed me to read something about a disease that his labs pointed to as a possible issue for him and we scheduled a second appointment.
Today, I brought him in. She did some feeling around, talked to me about her concerns, handed me more reading material and a couple of prescriptions and sent us on our way.
For now, the results are promising. It doesn’t look like cancer. It could be that other disease I read about but there isn’t enough evidence to support doing all those costly tests necessary to be able to say that he “might” have it.
The meds he got are for his thyroid (same med my Dad was on but at a much, much higher dose, which the vet said is normal) and for aches and pains (doggie Advil.) Unless he shows any out of the ordinary symptoms, he isn’t due back to the vet for another month, when she’ll check on the thyroid again.
It is hard enough to try and understand what is wrong with your children or even yourself when you are feeling off. With a dog, who happens to be a great communicator but hasn’t quite figured out how to use words to explain himself, it is near impossible. I’m not sure I will know something is “out of the ordinary” with Tuck unless he does something extreme.
There have been many days when I’ve wished that I got training as a doctor or nurse. These days, I’d like to add veterinary training as well. Or at least a husband with those skills.
People used to say that Jewish mothers would push their daughters to marry doctors. I never felt any such pressure from my mother. Does that means I can blame her for the fact that not understanding all of this dog health stuff is making me crazy?
Not publicly, I suppose, but privately?
Nobody has to know.
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