There are several things you have to know to appreciate this story:
(1) Dawg is a herding breed. With no stock to herd, he herds people. If there are no people around, he herds his dog toys. He has this large chest full of every kind of dog toy imaginable, and he takes them out every day and herds them around the room until they get so underfoot that I pick them up and put them back into the chest. That makes Dawg very happy, since at that point he can take them out again.
(2) Dawg has a severe form of arthritis. In fact, he has the same sort that I do. Whenever you hear anyone dispute the adage that pets and their owners become more alike the longer they are together, laugh in their face. Dawg’s arthritis is being treated with an NSAID made especially for dogs (note: ibuprofen can kill a dog).
(3) Dawg just got over some sort of intestinal problem that mimics a problem that I suffer from. (See item 2 about pets and their owners.) During that time he was off his arthritis medication.
That should do it. Now on to the update: I’ve tried to figure out just when to put Dawg back on his arthritis medication. Because NSAIDs irritate the lining of the stomach, I didn’t want to push him too fast. On the other hand, I know what I feel like when I come off my meds for a few days. So I’ve watched and waited, putting off making a decision (which we all know is actually a decision).
Then it happened. I was dozing in my chair yesterday when I heard a sound from the area where Dawg sleeps when I’m in the living room. It was a sort of high-pitched “eeeehhhhh” — just the sort of whine/whimper/squeal he makes when his own movement causes pain. Being a good Doggie Daddy, I woke up immediately and looked over at the dog bed. Sure enough, Dawg was stiffly trying to stand up. And every movement he made, that noise happened again.
“Crap,” was my first thought. “I’ve waited too long and now he’s in serious pain.” (He has to be in serious pain to make that noise.) Dawg struggled upright and took a step.
“Eeeehhhhh” came again. He stepped sideways: “Squeak!” A mouse being stepped on? Wait a minute…He stepped backwards. “Oooooooohhhhh Noooooooooo!” came the cry. Okay, now that was his “Mr. Bill” doll! As I got up, Dawg shook his whole body in order to finish waking up from his nap. He’d been stiff, not from pain but because he’d slept all day. I shooed him over to one side and lifted up his bed. Underneath were all his toys, safe and soundless while he slept — full of noise once he started to move.
Okay Dawg, you got me on that one. Just you wait though. I’ll get even when you least expect it. But I did start him back on his meds today, just in case…