We took my dog Biscuit for a check up last week, and the doc expressed some surprise at how well she is doing. Two years ago February she got so sick we thought she was a goner, but she gave Death the 5 Finger Death Back at You Punch and here we are today.
She got pancreatitis, I’m guessing, from drinking skanky puddle water at Bidwell Park. I read online that leptospirosis is prevalent in “natural” areas where dogs can be exposed by sharing water holes with wild animals. Bidwell Park is full of feral cats, unvaccinated, and cats, as well as rats, can carry the disease.
So now we have to watch her diet and give her two shots of insulin a day. Yeah that’s expensive. We manage the cost by ordering the syringes and insulin online, from Valley Vet Medical in Kansas.
If we had to buy it from our vet we couldn’t afford to do it. They were a little weird about that at first – when VVM tried to get them to authorize the purchase, the office manager just ignored their calls and my husband would have to argue her into it. I stayed out of it because I don’t have his charm – I would have demanded a written prescription, required by law, even of vets – but it was fun to watch my husband flirt her into doing it. It still took days, every time, but as soon as she okayed the shipment, it was here within 48 hours, packed in ice. After the first year, we convinced her to file the prescription with VVM and it’s done.
Giving the shot still isn’t easy – some mornings my arthritis makes my hands almost unusable. Sometime she winces and even yelps – this always sends me into a fit of shivvers and gags, and I have to ask my husband to help. We split the task between breakfast and dinner.
She’s lost a couple of pounds lately, and she’s getting cataracts, but she’s still frisky and still can’t be trusted not to vault off after a pack of deer. We don’t take her to Bidwell Bum Park anymore but she gets a good walk every day, maybe even chase her boy on his mountain bike.
And she’s got her little partner Badges to keep her on her toes – he throws down his toy – lately a plastic Recharge bottle – and barks his ear-splitting bark until she gets up. They bark and bark.
That’s the Australin Cattle Dog’s secret weapon – well, maybe not so secret. I think Biscuit could break a glass.
The worst thing, but also the best thing is, we have to take them everywhere now, we can’t take a chance leaving them for more than a few hours. So this Summer we’ll have some good road trips, which I’ll be sure to post here, on “This Old Dog, with Biscuit!”