I get presented with senior dogs every week that I know we can not help. CPR does a good job with seniors but no one organization can help every dog at every moment in time. Bandit’s timing was really bad.
But I said yes, feeling very right about bringing him here. It was an easy decision and I felt very at peace about making it. I did not realize why until he actually got here and then it struck me.
I brought Bandit here to die. His emancipated body was hunched over with arthritis. Every bone in his spine stuck through the fragile skin. The spine itself was bowed almost in a U. His eyes were full of thick, black debris. He tottered on unsteady legs that seemed as snappable as match sticks. And his breath. It smelled like a sewer long untreated. Rancid. Nasty. In short, he was a classic example of a severely neglected dog for whom things had gone too far. Whether it was kidney failure, congestive heart failure or simply old age, I realized the analytical part of my mind had kicked in after all. My instincts were saying that there was very little that could be done medically for this dog – but I did not want him to die in the shelter. I wanted him to pass surrounded by people who he didn’t know well but who could love him even though we had just met. After all, as my husband often jokes, Poodles R Us.
Bandit and a very competent veterinarian had other plans. Much to my surprise, Bandit did not pass peacefully upon arrival at the poodle farm. The vet did not recommend we let him go to the Bridge to find peace. He went in for a routine checkup and next thing I know instead of being so far gone nothing could be done, it turned out the little guy healthy kidneys and liver and other than a near septic condition from infection from rotten teeth, he was not that bad of. He had a heart murmur but an otherwise strongly beating heart.
Two dentals later and Bandit doesn’t have a tooth left in his head. But he happily chomps down on his mixture of soaked dry food, canned food, meaty Bil Jac and whatever leftovers his daytime caregiver, Tara, slips him out of her lunch. He’s hungry.
He’s hungry for more than food. On old man legs but with a puppy dog heart, Bandit actively seeks out attention and asks for all the love and all the cuddles. When he’s not pestering his caregivers for hugs, he can often be found soaking up the sun. He loves the feel of warm summer rays bathing his body. In short, he’s living his life thank you. Maybe he can’t run with the youngsters, but he loves hanging out on the porch.