Monday, April 1, 2013

duke and i have a problem

The Schwan's man. He's a really good guy. A really nice guy. He's a great salesman.
The problem is that he shows up at the door every other Thursday.
I really don't know how to say no to someone who shows up at the door.
It is a serious disease that probably needs a diagnosis.
I'm a pure sucker for anyone at the door.
I've taken to hiding when he comes around.
Two weeks ago I was on the back patio when he came by and I relayed messages through Anna.
This week I was taking a nap when he came. Thank goodness.
I think I might start scheduling my naps for Thursday afternoon.

Take for instance the young man who came by selling magazines one day awhile back.
He was hilarious!
Hilarious enough that I felt too dumb to say no and ended up ordering a magazine that I've never opened.
They show up in the mail religiously and someday when I'm not researching something like the Affordable Care Act or writing a paper on diabetes in the Native American/Alaska Native population, perhaps I'll even get around to reading one. I might even glean something from an issue or two.

So, our dear Duke has a problem. He has been with us for many years and celebrated his 11th birthday on March 14th. In dog years (as long as those aren't a myth) he is 77 years old. He still has some miles left in him, but he had what I thought was a growth on his bottom and a serious case of hobbling going on. Some mornings he wouldn't even get up to go outside with me at 4:30. Bad sign. He always follows me outside and lays down with his back to me. He's my fierce protector. If a cat is running along the top of the fence, he's sure I'm about to be eaten or something. We're not talking bobcat or anything like that. We're talking the house cat variety. I'm safe. Guaranteed. The poor old thing was just getting quite gimpy and I was getting worried about him. I have a name for a pet communicator in Virginia Beach that I was going to call. I was really going to call her and probably will at some point. Instead of calling the pet communicator, I called a mobile vet. I didn't think I could get Duke into the car ... it's that bad.

I should have just tried the car. Calling the mobile vet meant that they came to the door. Just like the magazine sales kid and the Schwan's man. I was the only one home which didn't help. No one around to be my middle man. The collar (he never ever wears one) and the leash are enough to get him hopping. He's always ready for an explore. He walked for the doctor, laid down for the good doctor and gladly took his shots from the good doctor. And I was busy making him comfortable. Not asking how much these little things were costing me.

Grandpa says he's worth it and I agree. The problem is that my air conditioner in my car isn't going to make it through the summer. Tia needs wisdom teeth pulled. Jari needs a root canal and crown. I gave up any one of those things that day out on the street. By the end of the day, his step was lighter and his limp was nearly gone. That medication did wonders for him. It was worth it. My dear hubby nearly had a stroke, but he got over it.

He did good for about a week. His hobble is back. I guess the bright side is that we know he doesn't have sepsis from his gingivitis. We do know that he has hypothyroidism. Apparently that could be the reason he's a little overweight. That's a relief. I thought it was the pulla I've fed him for years!

For you dog lovers out there who spend oodles of money on your pets ... I get it. That's fine. That's great. I've seen conversations on Facebook about people who can't afford treatment for their pets. They've said that those people shouldn't have pets. Pets are kind of like kids who need wisdom teeth pulled. Just because you maybe had some extra cash in the bank when the kid was teething doesn't mean it is still there when the teeth need pulling. Life happens sometimes. Sometimes it involves the checkbook.

Then there is the issue of palliative care. The equivalent of 77 years old and I am made to feel guilty (well .. no one made me feel guilty ... I did it myself)  for not treating his hypothyroidism. All I really wanted was a diagnostic visit, but how do you do that when it's a doctor whose job is to cure the sick animal. I can say no when I go to the dentist. I have no problem sitting there and telling them I want to hear my options and then I make the choice I can afford to make. I can't say no when they come to me. It's that door thing.

The worst part is that he now has more pills on the counter than anyone in this house has ever taken at one time and he's back to limping like an old man who needs a new joint, just like he was before that mobile van came into my driveway. At least what I thought was a growth is just fat and thank goodness it is his wacked out thyroid and not my pulla causing it. I really should just go defrost a piece or two for him right about now. 

Double and triple ugh! I should have called the pet communicator. So, on my next trip to Costco, I'll add some glucosamine chondroitin to the cart. Maybe that will do the trick.

In the meantime, you might want to call before you ring my doorbell.
I'm going to just quit answering the door.


  1. Oh my goodness can I relate (at least about pets). I have an elderly (12 or 13 years old) cat who has hyperthyroidism and the meds are really expensive so I stopped treating her. And talk about feeling guilty! She is so skinny and she eats and eats and eats. And she probably has a polyp in her right ear that needs/should be removed. So I guess I fall into the category of people that shouldn't have pets....

    1. No, Selma, we should certainly have pets. :) Although I'm not glad that you share my feelings of guilt, I'm glad someone else understands. I even started looking for some homeopathic remedies that might help, but haven't made it too far in that department. We'll just keep on loving them and doing the best we can for them until we can do no more. Good luck with yours!