UPDATE: I wrote this in advance, several days ago. Since then, we are unsure actually of what his medical diagnosis is, but…my tone of guarded optimism here seems to be turning in the other direction. There is an appointment with a different veterinarian coming up this Wednesday. We’ll see.

The Dee-oh-gee, referred to ’round here as Cane, is ten years old today. Here he is, from this past Sunday:

He’s had a rough time of it of late, as age is starting to catch up to him. The thing now is arthritis in his joints, which is making it hard for him to walk. He has a pronounced limp, favoring his front left leg quite strongly. It’s honestly hard to watch sometimes, for a dog who for all the eight years we’ve owned him (we adopted him when he had just turned two) has been up for walks and hikes and car rides and playing with other dogs and adventures of all kinds. This issue developed very quickly, so quickly in fact that we feared a certain dreaded kind of cancer that is almost always fast and deadly to dogs. That, fortunately, is not the case.

We’re still figuring out treatments for him and he has days that are better than others, as we all do. Otherwise, his mood and his appetite are certainly unchanged; he bothers us for cookies and gobbles his dinner and he comes to the kitchen when he thinks we’re making something he might like a bite of. And he gets excited when he hears a plastic bag rustling, because grabbing a bag for picking up waste is always the last thing we do before we suit them up for a walk outside. The other day he actually tried playing with a friendly dog who lives across the street. It’s not easy seeing him not quite able to live the way he wants, but he still wants, so we’re working on it. As in all things…we’ll see.

If nothing else happens along the way, you eventually reach a point with pets where you start having to wonder if the good days are still outnumbering the bad. We’re not there yet with Cane, but we know that time is coming. But in the meantime I’m gonna keep scratching his ears and feeding him cheese and hoping that maybe I can get him to a forest path again.

Happy birthday, Cane!


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