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Right around the time our Old Man, Ginko, died in January 2016, I was working on an article for a veterinary trade magazine about the growing field of pet hospice. Not the easiest thing to be talking to people and writing about dying dogs when your own dog is dying. Among the many things I learned about palliative and hospice care for pets, I found out about “emergency kits” many hospice veterinarians provide. Such a kit may have prevented the deep regrets I have about Lilly’s last day. Here’s how.
The same day we had Clover spayed, I asked our veterinary hospital to run genetic tests too. My primary goal was to learn Clover’s MDR1 status (multi-drug sensitivity gene). Depending upon the genetic test you choose, you can also find out your dog’s breed heritage and whether or not your dog tests positive for other kinds of possible disease-causing genetic markers. The good news is that Clover is indeed 100% border collie (cute family tree graphic ahead), and she tested NEGATIVE for all 90 genetic markers. The bad news is that the testing company won’t tell me what all 90 of those markers are, which makes me really crabby.
It took me more than 2 years to find something just right for Lilly’s ashes. I thought about it often, but I didn’t look around much until after Ginko died in January 2016. Suddenly, I needed a container for each of them. Off we went to a local antique mall.
Today, Ginko crossed over. He was 4 months shy of his 16th birthday – by far, the oldest dog in our family history. Rest in peace, Monkey Man, Snuffle Man, Stinko Monster, Golden-Eyed Good Boy …
Fan of toys, fetch, and food.
Lover of Rock music. Hater of Bluegrass.
Long-suffering brother to 4 sisters (2 super bossy, 2 super sweet).
Sofa Captain … faithfully piloting the couch so that it never ran aground on his watch.
We never knew which of his potentially fatal conditions would be the one. A survivor, Ginko ultimately succumbed to the ravages of time.
Friday, October 9, after a LONG wait for Clover to go into heat (in hopes of solving her UTI issues) and then more waiting for her to recover from an exceptionally long false pregnancy that lasted WAY longer than a real one, Clover will be spayed. I’m very much looking forward to having this surgery behind us, but I’m also a total wreck. Once you’ve lost an amazing dog to something that should have been routine (a rabies vaccine), it’s hard to look at anything — big or small — as no big deal.
Author Peggy Frezon serves as master curator of laugh-worthy, awww-worthy, and cry-worthy animal stories in her latest book Faithfully Yours: The Amazing Bond Between Us and the Animals We Love. Whether it’s a tale you may have heard on the news, a viral video of unlikely animal friendships or everyday stories from people you may know in the online animal community, you’ll find something to love, something to smile about … and yes, a few things that will bring tears to your eyes. In other words, get ready to cry happy tears.
Whirlwind of a week, so I’ll have to tell the full story later when I’m not so tired and preoccupied with having TWO puppies in the house. Yeah, you read that right. Here is the short version. Someone at our main veterinary hospital rescued a border collie + Australian shepherd puppy from a bad situation, while visiting family in New Mexico. Our pals at the hospital called early Wednesday morning, asking for my help finding her a home. Tom asked to see her photo. He went to the hospital to meet her and fell in love. She came home with him that day on a “trial visit.” Today, we made it official and adopted her from the veterinary hospital. Photos and one short video below.
I’m forever amused at the estimates circulated in the media about the costs of having a dog in your family. The annual figures shared by major pet or veterinary organizations always feel WAY TOO LOW. So, I decided to test that theory and keep track of my puppy spending from Clover’s adoption on September 13, 2014, through her Gotcha Day anniversary, September 13, 2015. Are you ready to see what it really costs to bring a puppy home (at least home to a family like mine)?