Friday, February 15, 2008

Custodian Duties Are Difficult

We have a menagerie of many critters on our ranch. And we take our custodial duties very seriously. In fact, the joke in our family is that the humans are allowed to live here because of our ability to pay the bills. We have dogs, cats, horses, a rooster, not to mention the voles, red-tail hawks, garter snakes, gophers, owls, rabbits, quail, coyotes, foxes, mice (no rats, thank goodness), woodpeckers, starlings and a variety of other birds.

We are good custodians. Two friends have requested that we care for their animals should something happen to them. Very seldom do we either over or under react to an injury or illness. I check and double check with experts and most times, we are right on the mark for their care. And we have had some big issues. I also don’t think we keep them around longer than they can handle. Our Vets are the BEST!!!!!!

Cocoa lived to be 15; Joe was 14 (four years as a diabetic canine); Chi was 17; Bo was 13; Tush was 33; Geoffrey was 9; Dawg was 12 when she got lost last spring during a storm; Ryan was only 3, but not very bright as she was hit by a car. So why am I so bummed?

Our 18½-year-old dog is not doing so well. Not bad, but not well. About three weeks ago, we noticed he had a broken toe nail. It had become infected. We took him to our Vet. Soak him twice a day for a week. Antibiotics. Pain pills. He never missed a step. He has been a quick and bossy as ever. Back to the Vet, who is happy with his progress. Swelling is gone; infection is mostly gone; however, toenail is splintered beyond repair. Continue soaking two times daily for a week and then bring him in for a quick snip of the splintered toenail. He will be under no more than 10 minutes. That was this morning.

Just talked with our Vet. His toenail removal went well, but, there is always a but, he has a small tumor in his toe. Removing it means being under for nearly 60 minutes. We knew we were taking a huge risk with the ten minutes today. There is no way I will let him do 60. NONE. Now the question is, is this the first of many, or the last of many? We now wait.

18 years for a dog is a long time. It is just very hard, given the month that it is, to think of saying good-bye. So, we wait.


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