Posted by: Sarah | August 18, 2009

Best Friends

Kira’s getting a bit old now, she’s 10. While that might not seem that old, remember she’s a Labrador Retriever and a big one at that.  It’s not all fat (at least that’s not all her bulk) but she’s also hugely muscled and tall, too.

She’s lazier than she used to be.  She’s needier than she used to be, too.  The last vet visit showed elevated liver enzymes, one of the possible signs of Cushing’s Disease.  If, in fact, that’s what she has, it’s not going to be a quiet, painless death for her.  But the treatment the vet prescribed sounded worse and only had a 50/50 chance of prolonging her life at the expense of its quality and our bank account.  Hell, even the diagnostic tests sounded intrusive and painful.  So, I opted to do nothing until she just couldn’t take it anymore.

I’ve put her back on another diet; she certainly doesn’t need all the food she’d been eating.  It’s too hot to walk her at the moment; I don’t need to add heat stroke to her problems.

I got her shortly after my cat that I grew up with died.  Kira plugged the hole in my heart that Magic had left, making it not ache quite so much.  She’s been with me even longer than my husband and played a part in his and my dating.  Heck, I considered making her a “flower pup” for our wedding.  (She was quite a bit younger and more energetic then, it would have been a disaster.)  She’s possibly the smartest pet I’ve ever had.  You can look at her and know she’s thinking about something.  I’m just glad she’s usually too lazy to act on what she’s thinking about.

Kira helped Missy tone down the craziness and raised Arya to be the nutcase we all know and love.

All I can do in her twilight years, though, is make her happy and comfortable.  She’s still in good health, but her sudden change in neediness worries me.  She was one of the more independent dogs I’ve ever owned, too.  Never much for cuddling or tons of attention, she was content to lie in the same room and keep an eye on me; she didn’t have to touch me.  But last night, I got up for some water and she met me in the kitchen with her “I need snuggles” expression on her face.  So when I sat back down on the couch, she curled up with me with her head on my lap so I could rub her ears, her favorite thing.

I hope I did the right thing in refusing that intrusive treatment for her.  I’m thinking of taking her to a different vet for a second opinion when her yearly rolls around again.

Love you, Mama Dog.

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