Posted by: fireweaver | October 18, 2007

plateaus & valleys

sometimes when friends call, they ask after Sheba, the way people ask how any other member of your family is doing when they haven’t seen you in a while. used to be that the answer was a breezy, “well, she’s just super of course,” but for quite a while now it’s been closer to, “well, she’s hanging in there ok.” she’s been with me for over 11 years now, and the girl’s showing her age some. those back legs don’t work like they used to, her main activity is sleeping, some mornings the stairs are a real obstacle course, senility has started creeping in.

she was par for the course when i left last week, but wow, when i got back, what a dramatic difference.

saturday afternoon, when i got home from the airport, she wasn’t able to get out of the crate on her own. after that assist, she made the few steps to the top of the stairs, but only successfully navigated 3 or 4 of them before a crashing skid to the bottom far to quick for me to catch her. ok, check, time to move her crate downstairs, though she’s been sleeping in the bedroom with me for our entire life together. i carried her the rest of the way through the house and out back, and after a quick potty break, she just laid down up against the fenceline, and eventually had to be carried back into the house. she hadn’t eaten her food from that morning, and she didn’t that night either. sunday wasn’t a whole lot better on either that self-ambulation thing or the eating, and monday am was the worst. i had to get up early to be at work by 6.15 for some timed procedures, and opened the crate door to discover a diarrhea blow-out in addition to the untouched food and weak legs.

after doing our procedures at work, and staying long enough to make sure the fort was being held down (with everyone else away at the AALAS meeting, it’s just me in this building, so i couldn’t bail as early as i would have liked), i headed home to take care of my sick kiddo. as a friend pointed out recently, it’s been a bad year for pets for me…after Morrrolan, Atlas, Jason, and yes, even Bathroomfish and Admiral Akbar, i’m just primed for depressive thoughts about my animals. all day at work, i was trying to come to grips with the thought that it may be her time to go. i had to decide which of my private practice friends i should take her to, since i can’t count on a peaceful death in her sleep.  returning that last bag of dog food i bought would be just too damn depressing, so i’d need to find a local animal shelter to donate it to.

but lo, when i got home, she was sitting up in her crate, food eaten, ready for her afternoon trip outside.  the crate got scrubbed out, the bedding was all washed, she got a bath and an hour to run around outside to dry off before returning to perpetual naptime, and all was right as rain.  she’s been just fine ever since, back to the baseline of “ok”, though she’s gotten confused on a few occasions as to the new location of the crate (living room downstairs, not bedroom upstairs) .  i’m theorizing that what happened was just an unexpected snowball of events while my dogsitter was in residence:  she’d ‘had an accident’ one afternoon, and he’d washed the bedding and left the thick foam pad out on the patio to dry.  well, without that foam pad, she’s a bit restless, tossing & turning, and i think she kicked over her food…tumping her meds out under the folds of the towels…so she didn’t get one dose of her arthritis-relief…so she felt crappy…so she didn’t eat…so she didn’t get more meds…so she couldn’t walk, etc.  foam padding restored & meds dosed orally instead of in the food, and we’re back on track.

last night, i was having a bite of ice cream after dinner, and she came right over to try and acquire a spoonful or two.  she’s still just as talented at scooping up a melty morsel off my spoon as she ever was, so there you go.  things are still just fine.



  1. Oh so glad she’s doing better! I read the first half of your post through some tears like… Noooooo and then you made it all better by the end. Don’t mess with my emotions like that, girl !! Bad friend, bad! 😉

    *Hugs to Miss Sheba*

  2. Glad she is doing better! 🙂

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