Monday, April 27, 2009

high on the dog


I nearly posted a premature obituary Sunday afternoon.


Recall when the Australian media prematurely snuffed the Queen Mother in 1992? It took her nine more years to catch up with the news.


My story would have been about Professor Jiggs. He fell twice on Sunday afternoon. His back legs simply would not hold him up. It reminded me of those news reels where race horses struggle to get up with broken legs.


Traumatic for him. Traumatic for me.


I spent a couple hours on the ground with him. Massaging his leg. Giving him a back and ear rub.


I was about ready to call the vet to make The Appointment. But I needed something upstairs in the house.


When I came back down, he was standing at the bottom of the stairs wondering where I had gone. Standing, but wobbly.


We went for a short walk that ended prematurely when he wanted to go wade in the ocean. Not with those legs. Not with those waves.


Other than heading off to church this morning, I spent the day at the house with Jiggs. And I am glad I did. I came down here to enjoy Jiggs's last days with him.


I am doing that.

20 comments:

Islagringo said...

Sad. Just plain sad. We pet owners know exactly what you are going through right now. If you are the one who has to decide when the right moment is, it will be one of the hardest choices of your life. But you know that. Our hearts are with you.

Chrissy and Keith said...

Oh Steve. I know exactly what you are going through. God gave us the animals to take care of and the bond becomes so strong. The power of love does many good things regardless of the pain of heartbreak and grief. My prayers are with you and the Professor.

Anonymous said...

is there a nearby beach that is not so rough that you could take him to? i bet he would enjoy swimming and maybe that would be like physical therapy for him. it's sad to think that after making it all the way down there he would not live long enough to enjoy his beach time. i'll keep you both in my prayers steve. i know it's difficult seeing a beloved pet suffering and trying to make the right decision.

God bless,
teresa

American Mommy in Mexico said...

S- Thinking of you at this bittersweet time of starting a new life and loosing a dear friend.

Babs said...

Oh Steve I'm so sorry.

Felipe said...

What church have you got your sights on there in Melaque, señor?

Beth said...

Jiggs may outlive us all! Gracie has periodically forgotten her three legged status and lunged at the front window to lambast a passing cat and the dreaded downstairs neighbor, Mr. Oppossum. I dropped her off for surgery this morning. I'm preparing my sleeping bag and air mattress to sleep with her in her "garage aparment" when she comes home tomorrow. Pats to Jiggs.

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

I believe our pets have a way of "sending us off" when they know we are making life changes. My deaf Siamese cat died on the foot of my bed the morning of my wedding to Mike. She wasn't even sick, but I truly believe she was "letting me go" so I could be Mike's best friend instead of hers. Enjoy your time with Prof. Jiggs. Maybe even let him get in the water a bit...

1st Mate said...

Wow, he not only stood up but went for a walk! Good boy Jiggs.

Brenda said...

He is a tough old fellow. Wish him the best.

glorv1 said...

Oh Steve, I hope it's not his last days. I will be so sad. He was looking so happy with a smile and even this picture shows him smiling broadly. Those smiles always stay with you. Happy dog is what I say when they grin like that. You must know by now that I love Jiggs and when he is gone my heart will fill with sadness and I will cry. As long as he has you to care for him, he will try to be strong for you. It's you who needs to be strong for him as well. I'm so happy that you are spending his last days with him. My heart is with Mr. Jiggs and my prayer's are with both of you. Take care. ::hugs:: to precious Jiggs.

maria luz said...

Steve,

My heart goes out to you. It is incredibly difficult and painful to see our best friends slipping down the path to their old age. We often feel helpless.

Is Jiggs on a medication for arthritis? Their are anti-inflammatory drugs that dogs tolerate and that may be all he needs. Rimydyl is one, and even human drugs like meloxicam can do wonders. I even had my Flat Coat, Bruiser on aspirin for the last two years of his life and he lived to be 16 and was still walking.

You might take him to a vet to check his liver and kidney functions before putting him on them. That way you have a baseline and then he can be monitored for tolerance to the medication. Bailey has to use meloxicam now and then for his "elder" issues. It makes a huge difference.

Also, I will dig around and find the site that sells a doggie sling that allows you to help your fourfoot to get around with your assistance on bad days. Maybe someone coming down can bring it to you or you may be able to trust delivery to your home there.

Also, go to the mercado and buy a bunch of those big cheapie rugs for that slick tile. That will help him maneuver around the house. Just don't go tripping on one yourself.

I will get back to you.

Hang in there Jiggs!
ml

Anonymous said...

Poem

The old dog barks backwards without getting up.
I can remember when he was a pup.

-- Robert Frost

John

CancunCanuck said...

My heart is with you and Jiggs, it's incredible how animals become part of the family and how much love they inspire in us. I don't want to think about you losing Jiggs, it will be a sad day for all of us I think. Tell him we all love him and give him a snuggle for me.

maria luz said...

Steve,

Check these items out. One of them do the trick for Jiggs.

Also, this company sells cooling vests which I understand from other Bearded Collie owners really work in hot weather. They dissipate body heat.

http://www.scoutshouse.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=65

ml

BoBo's Mom said...

Hang in there Jiggs. It must be hard to watch him struggle with his legs. I am sure he is grateful that you brought him along with you. Cherish every day you spend with him. Our hearts go out to you. Please give him a kiss for BoBo.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, everyone. Jiggs and I have had our battles of wills over the last 13 years -- and he almost always wins. But that is what makes him a good friend. He is doing fine today. I tried to get him to a vet for a cortisone shot, but both of the vets were out. I will try tomorrow. He is being quite a trouper.

Anonymous said...

Prof Jiggs did a good job escorting you home to Melague. He might just be needing extra time to recuperate and adjust to the new settlement.

I concur with all the above sentiments. Mr. Jiggs is a special guy and fortunate to have you as his best friend.

Mic

Steve Cotton said...

Mic -- I trust he will hang around a bit. He enjoyed a walk on the beach this morning, but it exhausted him.

New Beginnings said...

Steve - I am so so sorry to hear that Jiggs is having a tough time. You are both in my thoughts. Sloppy kisses from the two J's.