Yesterday was all about dogs for me. While at the New England Veterinary Center & Cancer Care in Windsor there was a stunning 11-week-old black German Sheppard waiting for his shots with his family.
I could not help myself. After getting permission to pet him, I sat next to the pup who immediately stood up and started licking my face. The feeling was incredible: there is no drug out there that can compete with the love a dog can bring to your life. A part of me was saying what a joy it would be have a puppy again.
But let me tell you why I was at the 24-hour clinic. Our 15-year-old (we are guessing because she was adopted) Muffin – a terrier mix – had not eaten in four days and was getting lethargic. I took her to our vet in West Hartford, who after running a series of blood and urine samples determined that Muffin had kidney problems which required that water be given to her intravenously at a hospital for at least 48 hours. Odds were that she would recover with treatment and maybe live with a diminished kidney function for another year or two. The tab for her hospitalization and diagnosis – $2,000 or more.
Back at home we have our second adopted “child” Nitza, a 95-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback who is also a senior at 11.5 years. Over the past week she has defecated in the house at least five times – once last night once this morning. She isn’t acting out, she simply can’t control herself. We give her medication for her arthritis and for incontinence – $100 monthly – and they help.
Thankfully I work from home. Otherwise I don’t know what we would do. We limit the time away from home to four hours unless we can take the “children” with us.There is not a day that goes by that we don’t think about how long they will be with us.
If I did not have Nitza and Muffin in my life I would have missed a lot of unconditional love and TLC.
But when we adopted the two did we really consider what we would be going through when they became seniors? No and nor do most people.
So yes, if you can financially and emotionally care for a dog, adopt one. Just remember it is a HUGE responsibility and not just fun and games.
Please check out our other stories at CtPetLovers.com.