My Caged Heart

My Sweet Sam

Today was one of those long heart hurting days. For the past two days my dog (My sweet Sam)has been acting strange and walking weird.  Being the closest animal I have to a child, I worried and watch and fretted. He is an older man, a 12 year old dachshund , but has been injury free for close to five years.  So his recent change in adorable bounciness caused me to take him to the vet, which caused him to be imprisoned for a minimum sentence of one month.

I dislike the vet more than my animals do, always fretting they will give me horrible news (Yep, I hate the human versions too). After two days, Sam’s trouble walking got worst and I knew what would have to happen, veterinarian visit. Prior to his downfall (mostly this morning), I had been watching him closely.  Having recently moved, both of my dogs have been adjusting. Unfortunately, Our new home has a drastic change; it is on the second floor.

Although I did not realize when I adopted him (I could not resist the cute stare), Dachshunds are known to have spinal issues. Fortunately, we had only had one incident over five years ago. I did worry moving into a second floor apartment, but after watching him take the stairs with ease– I let my fears go. A few days before he started showing signs of problems, I passingly noticed he was not taking the stairs as quickly. With no indication of pain or discomfort, I assumed he was distracted or pacing himself with me. Unfortunately, it was the start of his issues.

After taking him to the vet, we learned that he had injured a disk in his back. The doctor said he was fortunate– it was a mild case. Even with his luck, the vet gave us three medications and a jailhouse prescription. He is not allowed out of his crate, except for potty time and eating, for a month. One wrong incident could make his condition require surgery.

Logically, I know it was not my fault. The doctor even gave me a pat on the back for bringing him in before it got bad (Yeah, it already felt bad to me!). He will be okay, after his extended bed rest time. Even with this assurance, I was told that he is never allowed to take stairs.  His poor life is forever changed and I feel horrible about it.

Sam has always been a stubborn, independent man. Only 7 hours into his required resting time, he seems miserable and plotting an escape. I sit by his crate and talk to him about stuff I am sure he does not care about. I try to play relaxing music to sooth him, anything to help him. After a short conversation with him about his brother (My Cat, Victor). I realized something. Everything I was doing, while trying sooth him, I was doing mostly because I needed soothing. Since ’06 Sam has been my constant companion (He even put up with his Christmas sweaters) and for some reason this vet visit scared me more than I knew. Chalk it up to his old age, or me being a crazy dog lady, I have been scared to loosing him.

I have had many animals in my life. My mother is your typical crazy cat lady and my father is an in-the-closet cat lover. I have always had animals around me. What makes this crazy Dachshund different? I am not completely sure. Maybe because He was the first animal I adopted after leaving my parents’ house, or maybe because he has been a constant source of love, but I can’t imagine him not being in my life. It is possible that I am just crazy, but most animal lovers know the feeling. Finding an animal that is so in tune with you that they feel like an extension of yourself is rare and when you find it it is difficult to imagine living without them. Luckily, Sam will be fine. He and I will both be miserable during his ongoing prison stay and I am sure I will be annoying him with my nagging (Lucky for him, My partner will drag me away occasionally). Time will fly and he will plot the demise of everyone who passes his crate, possibly with the cat’s help.

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