The only "fly in the ointment" we expected - his teeth are in rough shape, and they recommend a cleaning soon. Track greyhounds frequently, usually, even, come with with bad teeth to begin with, and it looks like our poor boy is going to have to get at least one pulled. I did brush his teeth, I really did, but even I could see that the teeth weren't looking that great. So I'm going to try to schedule him sometime the first week of November - after we get our end-of-month paychecks and recover somewhat from this round of vet care for all.
I am kind of dreading the day that we take him in for that - I hate the idea of him being put under, but it IS necessary. I did notice this week, and the vet noticed today, that one of his teeth is a little wobbly, and needs needs needs to come out, and of course no sane dog is going to allow extensive dental work while still awake, so I do know that he needs to be put under. Still, I will worry. Greyhounds, as many of you know, can't be put under the same way that other dogs do - they don't react well to the barbituates, and treating them like any other breed of dog could kill them. (Deep breath.) I keep telling myself that this is a good veterinarian, and they do surgical work on TONS of greyhounds every year - they do all of the spays and neuters and teeth cleaning for the Steel City Greyhounds adoptables, so they know greyhounds. They are not going to kill my dog. I will still be very relieved when it's over and done.
One thing that made me a little sad - apparently when the vet pulled out some tissue from the wart on his leg for testing, she commented that it was most likely harmless (she was right) and that these things just happen with age. Sniffle. With age. I want to say, "It's not fair, we've only had him for nine months - how can he be getting older on us?" But... we did adopt a dog who was nearly 7 years old. We knew what we were doing, but it fills me with nearly unspeakable sadness that we may not get as many years with him as we could have if we'd gotten him as a young'un.
But I've learned a few lessons over the past year and a half - since Charlotte's diagnosis with congestive heart failure/bad heart in general. As many of you have heard me say in the past, we've lived with the knowledge that Charlotte could die any day ever since her diagnosis. She could have a heart attack (she's already had several, apparently, that no one knew about) she could get a blood clot, her medicine could stop working, her kidneys could shut down. And she is young.
The lessons I have learned - you just have to enjoy the time that you have together, to the max, and do everything that you can. And that's what I intend to do with all of our animals: of course poor Charlotte, and middle-aged Argos, and the others.
I didn't intend to slide into "depressing-speak" and apologize if I brought anyone down... this is, alas, something that I think about quite a bit (nothing like having a bad prognosis hanging over one of your pets' heads to make that a difficult subject to let go of.) But it's not all sad - I really have nothing to complain about. Charlotte is dear to my heart, and I probably love her more fiercely now, knowing that our days together are limited, than I might have before. I know that I don't take our days for granted, and appreciate her more. I'm also more forgiving of her foibles, more protective of her health, more conscious of her feelings.
And you know what? That extra layer of awareness between her and I has made me a better pet "parent" to my OTHER animals as well. If I'm being extra-forgiving of Charlotte for being such a grump sometimes, or for tripping me in the stairwell, then why not be extra-forgiving towards Bit for chasing Romeo, or Argos for knocking over my soup bowl? And if I'm extra-appreciative my time with Charlotte, why not be the same with Annie, when she slides into my lap, purring? Or Romeo, when he thumps onto the bed to sleep at my feet?
So yeah, I'm a little bummed that I have less time to spend with Argos than we would if we got him when he was two or three years old (barring disease or accidents) but that doesn't mean that I would choose any differently. That cold January day that they brought out a skinny, tongue lolling, tail wagging big boned red-haired boy out to us? If I had that day to live over, I would choose him all over again.
And to end on a lighter note, I am leaving you with a picture of Argos, the world's most reluctant pirate. Okay, he doesn't look much like a pirate, because he refused to wear the red bandana over his ears like a do-rag. Jeff says that he looks more like a french painter! Argos, not so much into Halloween costumes...
|Mom? Can you please take this off of me?|