Vet’s Day

Dearest Rachel –

I’d like to think I’m starting to get the hang of dealing with Chompers (I’m probably wrong, though). As problematic as last night was, at least I got a fair amount of rest on both sides of that two-hour, fourteen-checkup nightmare. So basically, I’m adopting a rule of “sleep when he sleeps,” so I can be awake when he needs me. Which means actually falling asleep earlier than I ordinarily would – and maybe explains why you used to always nod off on the couch between nine and ten p.m.

So last night, Erin was over, originally to help us with our dishes, but really only managed to put away the ones that she and I had loaded into the dishwasher last week. Then, we spent most of the couple hours identifying what stuff in the kitchen should be thrown out versus what could be recycled. I’m afraid none of those old food containers are going to make it to Betsy’s Table, wherever that may be. And while she also spent some time cuddling Chompers (I swear, he takes to a feminine touch – be it you, Ellen, Kerstin or Erin – so much better than he does to either Daniel or me), she agreed with my assessment of how to deal with his nocturnal restlessness, and cleared out only a little after nine, so I could join him in slumber, just in case.

(By the way, when I took him out this morning, I found a container of driveway salt on our porch. It seems that after she left, she went and picked this up for us, in preparation for the deeply cold and icy conditions on our front stoop. She’s so thoughtful.)

In any event, I rocked myself to sleep in the recliner within sight of the old boy lying in front of the couch in the family room. I figured he would wake me up at midnight or one in the morning to get him outside or get a drink or whatever.

Nope. I woke up on my own. At about half-past five in the morning. And he was still sleeping. I guess he’s alright as long as he knows someone’s nearby – which isn’t really the case in the bedroom, as I have to cross over past the bathroom and laundry room to get to him when he’s sleeping on your side of the room.

So, I guess this is gonna be the “new normal” (gosh, I hate that phrase, especially after surviving the bulk of the Covid pandemic); I’m not gonna be sleeping in the bedroom for a while going forward.

Well, I’ve just gotten back from taking him to the veterinarian. We’ve been trying to figure out what’s been bothering him, between his whining and his crossed legs and whatnot. Daniel has been concerned it’s yet another UTI, I’m thinking it’s arthritis that’s bugging him, and Ellen, with her degree in zoology, is concerned that there might be some form of neurological decay. That last would be particularly troubling, as it’s not something that the vet could treat, only ameliorate.

Turns out, it’s a little bit of both of the last two (we’ll have to wait until Monday about the first item, as they have to send the sample for analysis): he is of course getting old and arthritic, but he’s also losing proprioception in his back legs. Basically, he just doesn’t know where his back legs are, so he winds up getting them crossed and falling down. And again, there’s not much to be done about it. But she says he’s not so far gone that we can’t encourage him to walk around in the house (she’s okay with limiting his outside exposure right now, with the temperatures hovering around zero) – and she’s definitely endorsing the Splash Dog therapy.

I’ve arranged his next session on Tuesday evening. I’ll let you know how it goes – it’ll be his third time, but my first time. I know I’d be skipping out on Alton and Elizabeth Brown’s Quarantine Quitchen show, but that was so much your thing; neither Daniel nor I can bear to watch that these days.

You made dealing with Chompers look so easy, honey. I don’t know how you did it.

Oh, and the vet sent him home with an additional prescription: a steroid of sorts, if I recall correctly. Actually, we had a few pills left over from before the accident, but I didn’t know about them until a week after, and there were only a couple of capsules left – I wanted to refill the prescription before using them indiscriminately. Since they have some seriously sedative side effect, I’ll probably just give one to him an hour before I intend to go to bed, along with all those other night time treats you used to give him.

And then I can actually sleep in the bedroom after all.

See you in my dreams, honey.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

5 thoughts on “Vet’s Day

  1. reading along with your Randy. Just found this tonight, crying with you. I am so glad for the time we spend with you and Rachel in Tom and Paula’s group. Tom and Rachel – gone too soon. Much love to you and Daniel


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