Even at 14-1/2, I’m having new experiences, going new places, seeing new things. Here I am in an ocean. A very big body of water. It was different – nothing like I’d ever experienced – but I love it.
We took a long drive, Mom and I, in her hot car. Once she stopped the car and we went to a store and she came out and fed me a bagel. I was shaking while I ate the pieces as she was handing them to me. Then she went inside and got me one more. Same thing. Best bagels in my life!
Soon we drove, and stopped again. This time she asked me to get out of the hot car, filled my water bowl and laid it on the ground by the car, and I drank, we rested, and then got back in the car. More driving. I was so hot and tired.
Then one more stop. It was a nice place, I could tell lots of animals were there, lots of dogs. It was a wonderful place. Friendly people. But soon I had a very new experience. Mom says, “Dad just sent you a message, Joey. He says “Show ‘em you’re a man!”” What’s that supposed to me? Soon, into a room Mom brought me – and right there in the room was a female dog! Oh my, the two people there let me smell her and boy was this an exciting experience. Honestly – I hadn’t expected this!Well, it was a pretty new feeling.
Things were happening so fast. I’m not really sure what was going on. Then they separated me from my little female friend, though she seemed to be interested in playing with me:
Pretty soon I was just being held by one of the people, it was very strange. I’m not sure what the point was. It seemed like a long time, and Mom was there too, but she wasn’t helping me very much.
The drive back home seemed to be faster than the drive down. No stops, no bagels. Back home, I was just plain exhausted, and followed Mom’s instructions when she said, “Joey, drink.”
Everybody’s wondering about why dogs eat tissues, why dogs are so fascinated with used tissues. I’m not. I’m wondering how to obtain them. I used to have a source. My source was the trash basket. There was one trash basket in the 2nd floor bathroom and one in the 2nd floor bedroom and one in the far and darkened corner of the basement room.
The basement one was the easiest to obtain my used tissues because there I had a lot of privacy and because the carpeting absorbed the sound of my walking. If the door to the basement was open at all, I could just push it open a little more and go down the stairs, over to the corner of the room, and pull out used tissues without anybody knowing where I was. If I was walking around on the 2nd floor my parents could hear my footsteps and rush up and intercept.
I did my business with the tissue right there, and left. That is, I left the tissue, the evidence, on the floor beside the basket.
When my Dad would see it laying there, he would have a fit.
It’s not like I didn’t know what I was doing. If I was in the middle of my crime and Dad or Mom came home, I would beat my tail behind me in small and rapid whipping-like motions and slink my way upstairs or downstairs. They knew, even before they saw the evidence.
One day I came home and there was a change, an extreme change, to our home in three places.
My parents are pretty smart. I’m going to just have to accept this for the moment or to try to find another source of used tissues. But of this I’m sure: If there is another source of used tissues, I will find it!
Another one of those trips to the animal hospital where I’m perfectly happy to go. More than happy. There’s always a new excitement in the air because the air tells me that new dogs whom I’ve never met are nearby. It’s not always the easiest thing to wag my tail in the car, but I manage.
Into the hospital we went, and waited. There was one dog in the “Dogs” section who was really nice – until he started barking at me. And that ended our budding friendship. Mom took me away, and then decided to try friendship again with him, and again he started acting friendly, and then barked at me again. So that did it for good.
My hope was to find another friend, or another doctor to make friends with, and soon I found one. A doctor, that is. Mom and I followed her into a little room, where I usually get lots of attention. But this time it was a real washout. Mom and the doctor talked, and talked, and talked, and talked. I had to obtain some attention for myself after a while, but it wasn’t sustaining. And then they kept talking. What a waste. I could have been having a really good time all the while they were talking.
So here is my animal nutritionist with me.
Before I went to the animal nutritionist my mom was feeding me chicken and rice three times a day, with some occasional squash. After I went to the animal nutritionist, my mom was giving me dry kibble two times a day.
I really don’t see what was to gain by seeing this animal nutritionist. Can anybody give me some sympathy, please?
I’ve always been excited about going away, getting in the car and driving away. I’ve never been excited about the sight of the suitcases that my parents place on the floors and beds – though the ones sitting up in the attic don’t phase me in the least. But recently my parents started packing suitcases and also carrying my bed to the door. Carrying my bed to the door trumped the depression I feel when I see suitcases out and about. With my bed, I know it’s going to be a good time.
This time my parents made me crazy keeping me waiting. They had my bed at the front door, but we weren’t going into the car. I had to wait and wait and wait until they were ready. They Mom carried my bed into the car, as you can see, but wouldn’t let me sit in the car with the bed. “Come out, Joey,” Dad said.
Eventually my parents let me back into the car with my bed.
And that began my overnight(s) adventure at the home of my Labrador Retriever friend Jenny, with her big family.
I’m still a bit confused about the part where my parents walked outside our friends’ home onto their porch and didn’t let me follow; and then stood outside our friends’ front door and faced me, inside the home, my not understanding why the front door was closing little by little on me, and said “Bye, Joey. We love you. We’ll see you soon” and then the front door closed completely between them and me. But that’s okay.
And just like my parents do in their home, in the evenings my friends placed my bed at the foot of their bed, and how well I slept.
Occasionally during the day I slept on my friend Jenny’s bed and made her sleep on the sofa. But that’s okay. Those are the rules!
I look pretty bad here. What’s worse is how I felt. I couldn’t run, I could barely walk, my parents thought I was dying. And I guess I was. I felt sick as a dog, and I was. My mom wanted me to see my favorite doctor in the world, but she wasn’t there. So I saw the next doctor, then another, and finally I ended up where I should have started out, with my favorite doctor in the world (aside from Dr. Kiko, but I saw him too), who was now back from being away, and my favorite doctor in the world figured out all my problems and made my parents very very happy.
And I’m no longer as sick as a dog.
Here in this photo you can see my shoulder bones, you can see my vertebrae, you can see my sits bones and you can see my hips, bone by bone. You can see my skin flapping around. That’s when my mom said “enough.” Or maybe she said, “This is ridiculous.”
A while back, when my mom took me for a checkup, she noticed that I was losing weight but that doctor didn’t think that was important; he said “He has arthritis and it’s good to carry less weight.” He missed the sign. Then my mom took me back a while later and the next doctor missed the sign too. But my mom kept worrying about me and knew that the doctors were wrong.
So what was the problem?
The good news is that my favorite doctor in the world has me on an antibiotic and I’m gaining weight and you can’t see my bones bone by bone or my skin rolling off of me any more!
And, yes everybody, I’m able to run again!!!
I don’t think about it, actually. In the mornings when I’m out walking with Dad, and I’m not clipped to my lead, I really enjoy a quick trot. Maybe a quick dash from tree to tree. It’s joyous. In the afternoons when I’m out with my Mom, and she lets me off lead, I’ll do the same. Usually she gets up ahead of me and I’m lagging behind, smelling whatever I can find, and then I see her up ahead and sprint to her. A few times she’s made a game out of it, and she’ll start running, “Come on, Joey. Let’s run” and I do. It’s a nice game. I get an infusion of energy and life.. “Come on, Joey. Joey’s running!” she says, all the way, maybe one block, maybe less, to our front door. Sometimes she arrives first, and sometimes I do. Either way, she makes a big deal out of it.
Yesterday she took me to Cat Rock Park. It was a nice day. I got to run and toss myself about, gayly and there were a lot of other dogs there and we really galavanted about, swimming and socializing. but have I had my final run?
Dad doesn’t run with me any more. After a while I just can’t make it up that big long hill any more.
I’m sleeping a lot, guys. I really am. But a few weeks ago it got really really really bad. I could barely walk back home when my mom took me out for a walk; Mom felt so badly for me drooping along that she would take off the lead and at least give me some freedom and let me walk at my own slow pace. I know that she would be up ahead of me. This was really not the order of things and she knew it and I knew it, though she tried to make me feel better about it by saying “Good boy” all the way back home.
Dad even stopped taking me out running.
My parents can remember a time when if I didn’t have anything to do, I would always find or make something to do. If I was outside, I would try to get out of the yard, or find a ball somewhere and have myself a nice time, and I think the ball was enjoying being tossed around, chewed, rolled around, too. If I was inside, I would try to find that ball, too. There was rarely a dull moment for me. Okay, okay. After I was hit by the car I definitely slowed down. And then a month ago my new doctor told my parents to give me Previcox every day for my arthritis and elbow dysplasia.
The problem as my parents saw it is that I was sleeping a bit too much. “He’s really sleeping a lot,” Dad said.
“Yes, he’s getting older.”
“Yes, but this is a lot more sleeping; it’s like he’s dropping off a cliff or something.”
Then Mom noticed that in the morning, when she would go downstairs, I wouldn’t even follow her down. “Joey, Joey! What’s going on? Come downstairs! Come! Come!” and maybe a minute or two later I would stretch and stretch and make my way, one step at a time, downstairs to the kitchen. “Joey, what’s the matter? You usually follow me everywhere. Now I have to call you to come follow me around.”
At some point one of my parents said, “Maybe it’s his medication. Ever since we started giving him one a day Previcox, he’s been sleeping like this.” And they stopped giving me the pill in the morning.
And then Dad went away, suitcases and all.
But instead of being all depressed, I started feeling better, and more energetic. Mom was so certain that it was the medication that she took me over to the doctor’s. He asked, “Has he also lost his appetite?” When Mom said “NO”, he said that it’s the first time he’s ever seen a dog lethartic on Previcox but not lose his appetite.
When Dad came back home, suitcases and all, he said, “It’s my Joey again.” While Dad hasn’t take me out running, my Mom has, for a block or two, at a time. And it’s fun again.
I’m really glad my parents know me well. And it’s good to be me again!!