Saturday, 2 June 2012

It's a dog's life

Our beloved German Shepherd, Nell, is elderly. At 14 and a half, an age we never thought she'd reach, her life has become one of sleeping and eating and going out for an extremely short stroll in the morning and afternoon and that's pretty much it.

Last weekend, when Mountain Man was away, she really struggled up the stairs and this was one of the things that MM and I had talked about as being a pointer to us that it was time to call in the vet.

When MM got home on Sunday and before I escaped up the A9 to Inverness, we had a long talk while sitting in the sunshine. Nell was sitting quietly under the cherry tree, but (anyone who hates anthropomorphism turn away now) as soon as she heard what we were saying she grabbed her ball and wanted to play, as if to say to us 'Not yet, folks, I'm not ready.'

The rest of the week, according to MM, she has been back to normal - as in sleeping all day every day and only getting up to go for a stroll. Both MM and I have spent quite a bit of our week, albeit separately, thinking about this, and then when we were out walking yesterday and out of Nell's earshot we discussed it.

It's very difficult when you don't want your dear friend to suffer, but do we know whether she's actually suffering? It seemed to both of us that it was us who were suffering with watching her not doing what she used to and not having much of a life, just a sleeping existence.

For most of her life, Nell has been allowed onto our bed first thing in the morning, when we've invited her and then in the evening. A kind of 'pack treat', both for her and for us. We welcome her closeness to us - maybe not the mountain of hair that accompanies it, but there's always a downside! For the last 6 - 9 months Nell hasn't been able to jump on the bed and we've got out of the habit of her being there.

Imagine my surprise this morning, not long after I woke up and was contemplating the day's activities to find Nell by my side of the bed. On enquiring what she wanted it became obvious that she wanted to join us and so MM got out of bed and lifted her up. It was a lovely start to our day to have our old friend back with us.

Not only did she partake of the old morning bed routine, she also went and had her morning biscuits, something else she hasn't done in a while.

So I just thought I'd let you know that the vet won't be called this weekend.

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