Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Cry Havoc and Let loose the Dogs of War....

There is an old joke: a minister, a priest and a rabbi argue about the beginning of life. The priest says it is at conception.  The rabbi claims life begins at birth.  The minister says, life begins when the kids are gone and the dog dies....

When my dear Clio died in 2009, we swore off dogs.  We would be footloose and fancy free. 

Regretfully, I am no longer able to jet off at a moment's notice for a weekend in Paris.  The whirling Whackadoodle  (it should be a breed recognized by the AKC) in the photo is Sam.  And Sam lives with me.

Six years ago, I told my son not to adopt a dog.  He could not afford it.  Confidently, he insisted that mutts were far healthier than purebreds.  Ha.

Sam is allergic to chicken, turkey, beef, pork, venison, rice, wheat, potato and corn.  He eats dry kangaroo pellets.  Other than the kangaroo pellets, Sam is a vegetarian.  His treats range from raw onion to raw brussel sprouts, to bananas. He used to like apples but now distains them.

Sam broke his tail and had major surgery.  His digestive and skin troubles are legion.  He went to Korea for two years with my son.  At the end of my son's tour Sam was so lethargic the vets thought he had kidney failure.  They pumped him full of fluids to make the 14 hour flight.  Back in the states, Sam was weak and tired.  My son next tour is two years in Niger, West Africa .  We didn't think Sam would survive the flight.  I agreed to keep him.  I honestly thought Sam was going to fade away by Christmas.  

But lo, a miracle...it was determined that his kidneys weren't failing.  He has Atypical Addison's disease.  His blood has to be tested regularly to make sure he hasn't slipped into regular Addison's.  With prednisone he's his old whackadoodle self.  House guests this summer found him delightful.  until he launched into marathon humping sessions.  It was a red rocket nightmare.

 Sam becomes destructive if not exercised.  He doesn't tire easily.  We took him on long walks and hurled balls with a Kong tosser.  Sam has a great midair catch.  But he will only chase the kong balls that squeak.  Kong balls look just like tennis balls, but Sam is nothing if not discerning.  Throw a regular tennis ball and Sam will look at you dismissively.

Two days before my son's plane lifted off to Niger, we learned that Sam had a torn ACL.  Surgery is next week.  His other knee is on the verge of tearing.  All those midair catches, I guess.

So Sam is ours until death do us part.  I did not want a dog.  But truth be told, in the nine years since Clio died, we never jetted off on a whim to parts unknown.