Monday, June 23, 2008

Poor Old Girl

My best friend went away for about five days and left the family border collie/mix at a kennel. He picked her up today and was most upset with what he heard. The woman who cared for the dog this past week said Gumbo was stiff and slow moving and at times seemed to be in pain. Naturally when she heard my friend's voice she went nuts with happiness and exhibited no symptoms at all, but he's going to keep a very close eye on her.

He somehow senses this may be "it" for her. In the past year she's had one health problem after the other … allergies that made it hard for her to keep her food down, an inner ear infection that temporarily had an impact on her balance, etc. Now this.

I told him to just watch her closely and get her to the vet, two things he was going to do anyway. It could be arthritis or some back problem that can be treated easily with meds.

But Gumbo has been a member of his family since before his 6th grade daughter was born, so I know she must be at least 13 years old. Today wasn't the time to ask, but it's possible she's 14. She is an elderly and much-loved lady. This may just be the beginning of that awful, slow journey that all pet owners dread. I hope it's not, but the instincts of an owner who loves his dog are often right, even when they're heartbreakingly sad.


  1. what a cute dog. There is nothing worse than watching our best friend get old and frail.
    It is heartbreaking. My poor wheaten terrier was only 5 when she became ill and we had to say goodbye. It's been many years, but I still get blue when I think of it.
    good luck to your friend.