Tuesday, May 19, 2009

dog watch for the watchdog

I fear that Jiggs is taking a turn for the worse.

It is not just the heat; though, that is a factor.

Age is simply having its way with him.

On Monday afternoon, it was almost as if an internal switch turned off. He had no interest in any of his food. He would not leave the house for his usual walk. He would bark frantically if I left the room.

I thought a cortisone shot would help. But I ended up in the same predicament that I experienced last month: I could not find a veterinarian. I still have not seen the English-speaking veterinarian that so many people recommend. And, even if my Spanish was perfect, I could not find a Spanish-speaking veterinarian, either.

Jiggs did calm down when I got him in the truck to go look for a veterinarian. I don't know if it was the air conditioning or his belief that FINALLY we were going back to his house in Salem.

When I got home with him and took him out of the truck, he seemed to have dropped another step on the life ladder.

I am writing this because some of you care a lot about Jiggs. And, if this is the inevitable, I may be away from the keyboard for a bit.

Tonight, I will sleep on the floor with him. And tomorrow -- we shall see.

The only moment I have is the one before me, and I will live it before tomorrow comes.


Constantino said...

My heart goes out to you and your friend. I have been there before, and for the love they bring, they bring sadness sometimes also. No words can say your feelings and no words said can help.

zannie said...

My thoughts and sympathies are with the both of you.

I hope this is just a period of adjustment for him, and that he will become accustomed to this transition very soon. But if the worst should happen, at least you will know that no dog could wish for a more loving friend than you are to him. What a gift you have been to him, and he to you.

Mic said...

Ditto to what Zannie said.

Thanks for putting up Jigg's picture...it was good to see his face.

When the final walk comes - as it does to us all - just remember your friends walk with you in spirit if we can't in fact.

CancunCanuck said...

Big hugs to Jiggs and to his papa, we're thinking of you both.

Todd said...

Our prayers are with you!


Paul said...

"The only moment I have is the one before me, and I will live it before tomorrow comes."

Wow! I am speechless. You two are in my thoughts.

MD in Texas said...

Jiggs has been blessed to have you as his keeper, or has he been your keeper?

Nevertheless, prayers for his comfort and your wisdom to care for him.

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

He looks happy in that pic. Just keep that in mind and think of him as happy in Mexico.

diane said...

My thoughts are with you. I have been down this road and know how hard it is.

Anonymous said...

Steve,Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and Jiggs.


Anonymous said...

i know how difficult this is for you. i hope and pray that jiggs will make a come back. you will both be in my prayers.


please give him a pat on the head for me.

glorv1 said...

You know Steve that my thoughts and prayers are with you and Mr. Jiggs. He of course misses his home, after all, wasn't it always his home? That's the problem when it comes to family pet members, their home becomes "them." This is what they live for, their home and their parents who love and care for them. Jiggs is old, but he may still be able to go on for a bit longer. Chorizo was 14 and she too wanted us there next to her when her time came. And we were there for her till the end. You are such a good parent to Jiggs and your relationship will always live on. My prayers and comfort I send to you and Mr. Jiggs. Take care.
Take a lot of pictures of Jiggs at this time, you'll be happy you did.

glorv1 said...

p.s. Steve, I saved the picture of Jiggs to my computer, I hope you don't mind and if there is a problem, please let me know. I just love Jiggs and wanted something of him.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Steve, Dogs are pack animals going places with the pack is much more important than the place itself. Jiggs is happiest being with you. I understand how you feel, 13 years is a long time and not long enough. Mr. Dog is also 13 and slowing down too, so I understand completely.

Nancy said...

You've known this was coming and it sounds like he might know, too. Take care, Steve. It is a hard time.

Anonymous said...

Sending special thoughts your way from another who has been there.

Brenda said...

So sorry to hear this. Hopefully he will come around again. Give him a pet for me. Take care.

Steve Cotton said...

Thank you, everyone. I stayed up until about 4 with him -- positive that he would be dead at any moment. He woke me at 6 barking to go out. We took a short business walk, but not far. He would not eat unless I fed him from my hand a few bites at a time. But he ate his full bowl. Now, he sleeps.

1st Mate said...

Steve - I saw a vet on the highway in Melaque, the one you take to go to Barra. Don't know if he speaks English, but he'd know the word cortisone. Take a drive along that street; it's on the side away from the sea.

Glad he got his appetite back. Hope you find that vet. And that you get some sleep.

lavachickie said...

Peace be with you both! Sounds like he's perking up a bit.

Anonymous said...

I lost Gretchen after 14.5 years. It was not easy. Spending the time I did with her at the end was precious. You are doing the same.

Bill Olson

BoBo's Mom said...

I am really sorry to hear that. No matter what happens, you've made the right decision bringing him down with you. He would not have it any other way. It would have been more stressful for him to be away from you. Please keep us posted. Give him a kiss for BoBo.

aighmeigh said...

I so hope this is just fleeting and that he perks up bit by bit. Sometimes animals just have difficulty adjusting... especially to new climates.

My thoughts are with you both!

Steve Cotton said...

Constantino -- Like all of our loved ones, the more we love them, the more sadness comes when they are dying.

Zannie -- He has been the most wilful dog I ever owned. And, for that reason, the best of friends.

Mic -- Part of who I am will always be part of him.

CancunCanuck -- Thanks. I wish all of you could physically hug him. He is quite the guy.

Todd -- That means more than you can know. Thanks.

Paul -- Something I am trying to live each day.

MD -- In many ways he has been my keeper. Only now, this late in both ofour lives, has he allowed me to keep him.

Cynthia -- He has been as happy here as I have ever seen him. The only thing he seems to have missed is the ability to get in the ocean like he did in Oregon when he was strong.

Diane -- Thank you for the thoughts.

Corrine -- Thanks for both the thoughts and the prayers. Sometimes just knowing people are holding you up is enough to bear through some of this.

Teresa -- I gave him a pat on the head and a rub on the belly. He likes both.

Gloria -- Please feel free to copy anything about Jiggs. That is why I am sharing his tale.

Theresa -- It is because Jiggs is a pack animal, and is now unable to get around much, that I have decided just to stick around the house as much as possible. My other adventures can wait.

Nancy -- Thanks. I appreciate your support. It was your decision to bring your dogs to Mexico that made me certain bringing Jiggs was the right thing to do. I have no doubts about that at all. I wouild be far more worried about him dying in Oregon without me.

Anonymous -- It is amazing how many timnes we can travel the same road, but the pain is always here on parting.

Brenda -- Jiggs is starting to wonder why I type -- then pet him. But he likes every gesture of sympathy. As do I.

1st Mate -- That is the veterinarian I have been trying to contact for a montgh. I will keep trying.

Lavachickie -- One day at a time.

BoBo's Mom -- I agree. There is no way I would have left him behind. We are truly companions.

Aighmeigh -- This time he has far too many of the dying symptoms. But I will make him as comfortable as I can.

Jonna said...

I too have been there and know how hard it is, and how necessary it is for you to stay with him. It's true that he will be fine and without fear as long as you are there with him, and that is the blessing you can give him for all the years of love. We all take this last bridge but those who do it in the midst of love are truly blessed.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I read your blog everyday with anticipation! I was with our black lab when we put him down years ago. None of our family members could do it (too sad) so I was with our lab when the vet injected him. It was incredibly sad but I was so glad that I was strong enough to be there for him. We buried him on our property in Bend and gave him a proper burial as a family. He lived to be 13 years old and taught us much about life. He was willful as well and he had us well trained. My thoughts are with you and Jiggs. Kirsten

Steve Cotton said...

Jonna -- Watching him cross the bridge is the tough part. And I realize that is selfish.

Kirsten -- Thanks for sharing. If I need to take that step, it will be difficult. But it may be necessary.

Anonymous said...

Steve, Jiggs will always be in our hearts, here or in heaven. These words are easier to type than they would have been 11 months ago when we lost our Lucy. She was 15 years old and when we returned from Barra was going into renal failure. We took her to the vet each day for an I.V. and that gave her only a week. I know from reading your blog that Jiggs has the same wonderful life Lucy did. Whatever happens, you are the one that knows Jiggs and will make the right decision. My thoughts are with you and Mr. Jiggs. Kindest Regards, Joan

mdoneil said...

I can find you a veteranian in Melaque or at least close to it. I called some friends at State and they suggested one.

Have you tried El Establo the phone is 355 20 95. I just called them but they close at 19:30

I started reading your blog a year or so ago as you planned for your trip and the first article I read was about Professor Jiggs. I want him to be well.

Let me know if you still have trouble finding a doctor for him I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. You may mail directly at matt (the appropriate symbol)oneil dot cx (for Christmas Island)

He will have his veteranian. I can also get a conference call with a Spanish speaker if you need to do that.

Nothing is too much trouble for the dear Professor Jiggs.

New Beginnings said...

Steve - you and P Jiggs are in my thoughts. Sending hugs and strength. Keep me posted ok? I may be in LM at the end of this week. If there is anything I can do, please let me know

Lori said...

I'm not sure what to say, Steve. I read your blog daily and my thoughts and prayers are with you and Jiggs.

Steve Cotton said...

Joan -- You cannot know how much some of these comments mean -- even though they do turn me into an emotional wreck. I was able to get a cortisone shot for him this morning. But he has effectively been on hospice care for the past eighteen months. I should be glad for that time. And I am.

mdoneil -- I drove Jiggs over to Cihuatlan for a cortisone shot this morning. He is now doing what he does best: resting. Thank you for your immensely kind offer. For now, all is well.

New Beginnings -- When you go to La Manzanilla, let me know. I will bring the Professor over for a short visit. Or stop by the house to see him there.

Lori -- What you said is more than good enough. Thanks.

Steve Cotton said...

Bill -- Sorry I missed your comment. I know how special Gretchen was to you and Becky. I am spending as much time as I can with Jiggs -- even while he sleeps. Why not? I can't.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy every moment with your Jiggs. I lost my Riley a year ago - he was a 15 year old golden and a old soul. My best friend. Took me so long to stop crying. Months. Then a friend came to me and said they had a 5 year old rescue golden that needed a home.... Im now the owner/friend of "Bailey" another beautiful "old soul" golden. = Trina in Idaho

Steve Cotton said...

I will, indeed. It is hard to think in the long run when all of the crisis is going on. But he has been a lovely dog. I just do not want him to suffer after giving all those years of affection.