Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#075 In which our hero takes the dog to the vet... again.

So, the dog.

I haven't written anything about him recently because... well, because it's not that funny. Tucker will be 13 in August, and as a large breed dog he's just not built to last much past 12.

Just like the world did for the Pope, The Scientist and I are on deathwatch... waiting for the poor old boy to finally kick. However, unlike the Pope, Tucker shows no signs of quietly fading away.

His intermittent stomach/bowel problems (and if the phrase "bowel problems" doesn't fill you with fear, that you've never had a 90-lb. dog crap up your house) seem to be getting worse. It seems like every so many weeks he refuses to eat, prompting us to change his diet from the already easy-to-digest special (and none too cheap) dry food to boiled chicken and rice. After a week of this king's diet, he usually recovers, his poop firms up, and things go pretty much back to normal.

Well, most recently the chicken and rice wasn't doing it, so we took him to the vet. The Scientist and I had talked about all the worst-case scenarios -- ulcers, stomach cancer, liver failure -- and were more than a little apprehensive about the results.

An aside: the other day my wife says to me, "It makes me sad that you hate the dog." My first reaction was I don't hate the dog! ... but, upon further reflection, I think that yes, I do hate the dog. I mean, I don't hate the dog ALL the time, only when he is destroying our new house. I mean, I could go into detail and explain how, for example, when he wasn't keeping any food down that we laid old towels all over our bedroom floor and down the hallway just in case he yakked in the middle of the night and how he then proceeded to go to the very end of the hall, to the only two foot square bit of carpet that wasn't covered and puke there, and then made a quick detour into the little girl's room and leave a little spatter there, too, bringing the ratio of carpeted areas that he has pissed and/or vomited on to carpeted areas that remain unstained to 6-8. Once he manages to hit the two spare bedrooms, it'll be a grand slam.

And yeah, I fucking hate that. This is the first house I've ever owned (the old house belonged to The Scientist, I wasn't on the mortgage, she was just kindly enough to let me live there for free as long as I cooked) and it's the house I plan on living in forever. It's a grown-up house, complete with fireplace and office, a great house to raise kids in. But now, the floors are covered with faded beach towels and the family room is covered with this hideous area rug that my wife and I literally found on the side of the road. Right now, this place could be every college apartment I ever lived in. I just need to start collecting empties for the beer can pyramid.

And, as I've explained to The Scientist before, she's known the dog for 13 years, the vast majority of which were spent in walks and playing and rolling around on the floor having fun. I've known the dog for about six years, the majority of which have involved cleaning up his puke, steam-cleaning his shit out of the carpet and fighting with him to remain in his kennel. And while there were plenty of playing moments for me, too, the bad has been so bad that it makes it hard to remember the good times.

But, my constant rage with this animal doesn't make me completely heartless. I'm still concerned and I don't want him to suffer. Truth be told, I would be lying if I said I didn't want him to die ... I mean, daily puking and being yelled at isn't fun for him, either. Drifting off quietly to sleep and never waking up wouldn't be the worst fate. And lord knows this can't be the way he imagined spending his golden years. There's a three-foot person in the house now that wants to pet the doggie all the time, and there's another one coming... his share of the affection pie has been lessened considerably. We still try to play with him, but the spontaneous trips to the park have pretty much evaporated. Health issues aside, this must suck for him.

It was with these thoughts in my head that I sat in the sterile little room at the vet office, waiting to hear how bad the news was. But, as it turns out, the dog's bloodwork all came back fine. Other than the inflammatory bowel disease which we already knew about, the animal is in fantastic shape for his age.

And, we're told that this condition is cyclical in nature... there's nothing we can do to avoid flare-ups. They will come, regardless of what we do or do not do, and subside. For maybe a couple more years, this is just how it's going to be.

Let the toga party begin.


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