It started this winter, our girl looking stiff as she stood up after a nap on the floor.
We noticed she didn’t hop up on the couch or bed with ease anymore & so we started her on glucosamine pills every morning. Two pills that she took happily, thinking they were treats & oblivious to us watching her hips with care. The cold nights seemed to be the worst & we bought her a dog bed for the first time in 8 years & covered her with blankets. She was stiff at night but comfortable & chased a ball in the backyard on the pretty days.
Then four weeks ago, she didn’t greet me at the door & her back feet touched when she hobbled over when I called her name. I took her to the vet immediately – it was a Friday afternoon & I lifted her 55 lbs into the car & she yelped from pain. The vet looked her over, tested her legs & couldn’t find damage but confirmed what we’ve known for several months – arthritis. We left with big pills that combined an anti-inflammatory & pain med. For 2 weeks she was better & when the pills finished, per the vet, we waited to see if the pain would return. For 2 more weeks she seemed fine & we wondered if the diagnosis was wrong, if maybe she had sprained something before & now it was all better.
Yesterday she woke us at 5:30 am crying at the foot of the stairs. I poured a cup of coffee & sat with her & we waited for the meds to kick in. Last night, Doug carried her up the stairs for bed & the worry showed on both our faces. She spent the night whimpering.
This morning I took her down the 4 stairs to our front yard & when we headed back to the house, she screamed in pain up all 4 stairs. I sank to my knees beside her & cried & Harry stood at the door wondering what is wrong, is Tucker okay, why did she make that noise?
She has her medication & is finally resting quietly & I’m sitting here with her on a Friday morning because nobody should be left alone when they’re hurting, even a dog. She’s only 8 years old & that keeps going through my mind as I ruffle the red fur on her neck. She’s only 8 years old but when we got her, all we had was a marriage license & a hand-me-down plaid couch. She’s only 8 years old but that’s 8 years with her at the foot of our bed & 8 years of her little face peeking out of the windows when we pull into the driveway.
She’s only 8 years old & she’s not just a dog.