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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Woman's Best Friend

Our Shih Tzu, Tucker, hasn’t been feeling well the last two weeks (one of my reasons for an absence from Bloglandia and Mosaic Monday!). Moping and spending inordinate amounts of time in his kennel, I finally took him to the vet. He was so lethargic, I thought for a moment we might lose him.

I never wanted a dog. But when my son was 10, he begged and begged. Finally one Christmas morning, after nursing Tucker in the basement all night so he wouldn’t bark, we surprised my son with him. Our young boy threw himself onto the ground and cried and cried. “I prayed and prayed for this!”, he yelled.

I knew I’d end up feeding him, I knew I’d end up walking him and bathing him. Now my son is in his junior year of college, Tucker’s eleven, and I am so attached to this dog I can’t believe it. I come home from work at lunch and talk to him. At night, when the day is done, he’s at my feet while I read the paper on the couch. When I am cooking in the kitchen, he’s under my toes waiting for something luscious to fall from the counter. I scold him and slip him a doggie cookie. When he wasn’t feeling well, I started to panic. My son called from college. My daughters were getting upset. Even my DH pressed for the vet visit. Whatever would we do without him?

I cajoled him into the car last Monday and he was happy to be off with me. When we arrived at the vet, I opened the office door. He saw the other pooches and gave me a pathetic look, “What’s going on here?”

I realized it was probably not smart to come alone. What if the vet said there was something terribly wrong? Shouldn’t I have taken one of the kids with me in case there was some decision to be made? I found myself staring at the fishtank in the corner of the waiting room so none of the other dog owners would see me starting to well up.

We were finally called in and I described Tucker’s symptoms. Sluggish. Tail down. Didn’t want to go outside. Accidents in the house. Fits of shaking. The vet was a really nice woman, such an animal lover! She said Shih Tzu’s are predisposed to disc issues in the spine. He’d need a cortisone shot and some meds and he would be all right.

Getting in the car, I was delighted! He even seemed better from the cortisone shot right away. The girls hugged and kissed him when he came in. Texts were sent to my college son. A sigh of relief all over!

Oh, and the vet also recommended glucosamine/chondroitin tablets. I take these myself for relieving minor joint pain. They have these pills for dogs. Apparently they are perfectly safe and help dog joints. Who knew?

But as I read the paper tonight, in front of the fire, with Tucker curled at my feet, it’ll be nice to know; we’re just getting older…together.

24 comments:

Dishesdone said...

Glad Tucker is on the mend :) I know the attachment. My 20 year old son came home from the mall with a Beagle puppy three months ago, he was supposed to be getting sneakers and surprised us with a dog we now adore. We already had two big mutts! I know exactly how you feel :) Enjoyed your post, and glad Tucker is ok! Very sweet mosaic!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Tara,
That was so beautifully written...all the dogs I have ever had always either ran away or were given away due to moving, or whatever reason. I have never had to deal with losing one to the inevitable. Therefore, I don't have one at the moment because it is too painful. These creatures are special, but here you beautifully take us through your experience and remind us at the end of the bigger picture at the end. Wow! Thank you Tara for coming by my blog. Your kind words are special to me!

Anita

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Tara this was such a sweet story and I'm so glad Tucker is OK and just showing a few signs of middle age! I'm taking glucosamine for my creaky knees, so I can commiserate. :-)

x0 Pat

M.Kate said...

Good to know Tucker is getting better. AND like Pat, I need those same pills Tucker is taking. My knees are wobbling now and walking up the stairs give me huge discomfort..ah, the joy of aging hehe! Actually, doc said it simply - loose the weight and it will be ok :(

Carolyn said...

A nice mosaic and I enjoyed reading about Tucker-glad he is fine now.

Carolyn

eileeninmd said...

I am so happy to hear the Tucker is OK. Tucker is a real sweetie too. Wonderful photos.

Firefly Hill said...

I am so glad he is going to be OK! We are so attached to our animals...I think I know how you feel about him!

Have a great week Tara...

annie

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Beautiful Tucker is so lucky to have such a loving family...I know how scary it is to love an animal this much!!! Beautiful photos...

Tracy said...

Oh, how cute is Tucker--love his little face! So very sorry he's been doing poorly though...Hope very much the vet can help, and Tucker will be on the mend soon. :o)

bj said...

O, Tara, this is the sweetest post. So glad Tucker is fit again.

I was just checking and discovered I wasn't a follower..I AM NOW !
So sorry, I don't know how I missed signing up...it just happens, I think.
Have a good day, dear heart..
xo bj

KarenHarveyCox said...

Oh Tara,
I just posted about my little Cocoa today, she hurt her hip when she lept off a HUGE rock out front. You read my mind...I vowed when I bought my girls their dogs that I would not get attached. I didn't want to feel the heartbreak of losing a dog again. My twinkles had just passed away when I broke down and bought Sarah and Ashley Cocoa and Sam. Well, when you do care for a dog and they look at you so lovingly, and during those times when your kids make you feel unwanted, they are always there. So, I too am so in love with my dogs.

Tucker looks like such a cutie. They are woman's best friend.

Karen

Cass @ That Old House said...

Well I am SO glad that Tucker's issues are manageable! Whew!!! Our Dion is nearly 11, and it's nervewracking. We thought we were losing him last fall, when he collapsed in pain ... turns out he was badly constipated. Aren't you glad I shared that???

KV Vet, on the 'net, is a good source for the joint compound medications for dogs. They usually have very good prices and cheap shipping!

Give Tucker our very best good wishes for a speedy recovery. And keep him quiet! Dion recommends crate rest on a comfy pillow, from one spoiled doggy to another.

Cass

Deb said...

Tucker is gorgeous! So happy to hear he is feeling better ♥

Bernie* said...

Oh, I am so happy Tucker (and you) are ok!
I love my Sophie and don't know what I would do without her. I didn't want another dog after Daisy (Old English Sheepdog) and Ollie (Lab/Husky) had to 'go away'. It breaks the ♥. But on an unexpected Friday in August almost four years ago, I found Soph and we have been best friends since then. And Bob (the Manx cat) came to live with me shortly before Sophie. When I am home, we all spend our time together. And at night we cuddle up in our big bed and sleep the night away.
May Tucker continue doing well.
Blessings to you.....

theUngourmet said...

This post made me all teary eyed! Tucker is so adorable! I'm glad he will be okay. Pets can become such a close part of the family. I hope Tucker gets to enjoy many more years snuggling at your feet!

pve design said...

I spoke to the dog sitter last night and said, "Do i sound like a neurotic Mom" - we love our pets like our kids, they are after all a part of the family, right.
Glad Tucker is doing better and you too.
pve

Donna said...

Glad to hear Tucker is feeling better. What a sweet dog. Somehow they always become just like one of our children.

Sandi said...

HI Tara, thanks for visiting me...you have a beautiful blog. I am following you and will look at all your wonderful stuff later. I hope your adorable dog is feeling better...I love shih Tzus and I hope Tucker is feeling better.

Have a great day,
Sandi :o)

PS. I posted a new recipe, if you would like to take a look

Sandi McBride said...

So happy to hear about Tucker's easily remedied problem! Our little Sheltie, Duffy, also had joint problems and took gluco/chon, in fact took the same ones I took...I bought the first from our Vet and his assistant told me to take the bottle to WalMart and compare ingredients...who knew? People pills were half the cost of the doggie pills and they were identical! Duffy took his pills with no problem! I'm sure your little Tucker will too! Hugs to him...from all of us
Sandi

Time Worn Style said...

Tara I can totally relate to this post. our little Cavalier actually had a heart attack this summer and is no longer allowed to go for walks etc. We love her to bits and cant imagine not having her around
alicia
www.time-worn-style.com/blog/

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

I welled up just reading this Tara. So glad he will be okay.

Mary said...

Awww, he's such a cutie, Tara! I'm so glad he's OK. Stay warm, and thanks for sharing at MM. :)

Spot said...

Has Tucker had his thyroid checked out? And Uncle Max scratches like mad on glucosamine (probably because it is often derived from fish products somewhere down the line)although it keeps him mobile. The dying issue is difficult; we don't like leaving you on your own because how will you manage without us? In fact as anyone can tell you, we are endlessly recycled upstairs (we think) into completely adorable puppies so that there is always one of us waiting around just for you.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

So sweet!
It is nice to grow old together.

We have this new puppy~ I call t.r.o.u.b.l.e. One more pair of shoes and he may not live to see old age. :-)