A friend of ours has a sick dog. Even the veterinary specialists can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with her. The dog has wonky liver values, is reluctant to eat and sometimes lethargic. She’s only five years old. Our friend did everything right when he was looking for a puppy five years ago. But there are no guarantees on dogs.
Mistakes of the past
When he was searching for a responsible puppy and breeder, he did everything right. He’s involved in his breed’s club, and found a responsible breeder. He made sure all the health tests were done on the sire and dam of the litter. He went a step further. His older dog went blind at a young age from a genetic disease. So he made sure the parents were both tested for that, as well.
And he brought home a lovely puppy girl. They were off to a wonderful start, for the first three years. Our friend’s preferred dog sport is agility and his puppy loved it, too. Then she started feeling ill. She was coming up lame. And not wanting to run.
Again, our friend did everything right. He’s taken her for every test the vets recommended. He treated her with the medicines they prescribed. Fortunately, he has medical insurance on his dog, and most of the impressive expenses incurred have been covered. Even the cancer drug they tried.
Art and science
Unfortunately, no one’s been able to find an exact cause, or a cure, for what ails the dog. He brings her to our obedience club’s Rally class, just to be able to do something with her. Because she doesn’t want to run the way dogs need to for agility competition.
Is our friend disappointed? Of course he is. But he’s also willing to do what’s best for the dog he got. He’s sticking with his girl, taking her to her physical therapy, getting the regular blood tests, adjusting meds and diet as needed. Because dogs are family.
Not giving up
He’s still hoping to find an answer that will let his dog return to the bouncy, mischievous girl she used to be. He isn’t giving up on his dog.
We all live with uncertainty. We open ourselves up to the unconditional love of dogs, even though we know that one day we’ll have to mourn them. It’s never long enough, whether it’s long and fulfilled, or short and sweet. Because dogs don’t come with guarantees.
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