Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Poor Old Rosie!

I dearly love this dog.  We lost her "brother" 4 years ago, and now her health is failing, also.  She's considered a medium- to large-sized dog, being an Irish Setter, and she's now 14 and 1/2 years old.  Her muzzle and face are almost - but not quite - white; her ears have streaks of blond; and the red of her coat is more orange  than red these days...  According to the veterinarians, and she sees four different vets, she no longer has any feeling in her hind legs.  She powers her way up from lying and sitting using her shoulders and forelegs.  If we get her hind legs under her, she can walk and trot normally.  Since her hind legs don't cooperate very well, she rarely runs any more.
  Her left hind foot turns inward, and then pivots out when she walks.  Her right hind leg frequently collapses on her.  The vets say she isn't in bad enough shape to put her into a wheelchair - yet.  This past week, she's been dragging her left foot with the tops of her toes - her "furry knuckles" - tucked under, and has rubbed the fur and skin off.  This morning we got a good, professional paw wrap from her vet, and, if we keep her off hard surfaces, she should be okay.  The problem is there are wooden and stone steps at both the front and back doors - and when she starts downstairs, her hind legs collapse and she drags her feet.  We have earthen ramps for her to use, but most of the time she chooses the steps.
   Today, I drove her over to my sister's for our hour in the back yard.  Had no problem getting Rosie into and out of the car, and she used the bathroom at my sister's (which I dutifully picked up) and enjoyed wandering around the grassy acre.  I loaded her into the car to go home, and we drove there without incident.  I had all the windows half-way open so Rosie could scent the wind as we rode.  When we got to her house, I grabbed my bag, and then opened the back door for the Rose.  I slipped my right arm in front of her hips to make sure she was standing square on all four feet in the garage.  An intense odor greeted me.  I thought she had farted when I pressed against her belly.  I took her inside, gave the owner the car keys, and left.  She caught me at the foot of the drive - Rosie had pooped all over the back seat of the car, apparently just as we pulled into the garage.
   The owner had to meet with patients at her office in 30 minutes, so she and I both wiped up, and washed down the back seat of the car, so she could leave.  We went back inside the house to wash our hands, and realized that Rosie had pooped again, while sitting down in the kitchen.  I sent the owner on to her meeting, and Rosie and I took a shower; then I blew her dry with her hair dryer.  Then I got to clean up the kitchen floor.
   The owner was on time to see her patient, and tonight she and her husband called me and announced they'd be doubling my usual wages staying with her over the next few days.  I told them that a raise wasn't necessary, because I consider Rosie a part of my family, and that we all need to accept the changes of growing old.   I do love that Rosie!

No comments: