Noble beasts…

For two days I’ve been struck down with the stomach flu. My trusty dog by my side… under my feet… twice tripping me as I’ve rushed to the washroom.

She takes up all the room in my bed. Snoring rudely. Not willing to move. Her back lined up with mine… pushing against me… moving me to the edge of the bed as I sleep.

Pumpkin was our first dog. She was a rescue dog from the SPCA and was a most noble beast. She was about the ugliest bull you could possibly imagine. Fat… lazy… smelly. Oh so terribly smelly. She never wanted to walk… could hardly get out of her own way… snored like nobody’s business… but we were “her people” and she was so damn proud of us.

She had cancer. Two summers ago we had her put down.

It was one of the oddest moments of my life. We’d already been through two surgeries and decided that enough was enough. We made the decision that the second she showed signs of distress… we’d do the right thing. It happened on a Sunday. We arrived at the Metro Animal Emergency Clinic in record time. The room was oddly like a funeral parlor… wallpapered, furnished with a couch and end tables, lights down low, music softly playing… we sat with her on the floor saying our goodbyes while she drifted off to sleep. Her ashes are in a box in my family room, her picture hung by the front door… sitting on the front porch of our house… her doghouse!

Zucchini arrived about a year before we lost Pumpkin. She was energetic and rambunctious… kept us running! We’d thought she’d be a good “transition dog” as we figured Punk only had a few months to go… but she lasted a full year training that pup. Her pup! The only thing she never did teach her… how rude it is to take up the whole bed!

Three times last night I woke and told her to move over. She looked at me… quite indignant, moved over… begrudgingly… and went back to snoring. THREE TIMES!

She follows me everywhere… tripping me as I go up and down the stairs. Crying to come with me every time I leave the house. Rushing to the car as I’m taking a quick run to pick up the kids or run to the store. Waiting for me if I don’t take her with me…. always moving the front mat to another room in her attempt to be rebellious and have her voice heard.

Two days in a row… there she is… at my feet… all day long… in my way. Making sure I’m ok. Somewhat stressed that I’m not feeling well. She’s funny and special… she does tricks for treats… protects my family… adores my children… makes us laugh. Our trusty noble beast.

Cases of Canine Parvovirus have been reported in Halifax with over fifteen cases in the last two weeks. It is a contagious viral disease that is the leading cause of death in dogs. Puppies and unvaccinated dogs are more susceptible. Parvovirus causes vomitting and diarrhea and can be fatal. Phone the vet immediately if you think your dog has been exposed or is infected. Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date. Keep puppies and unvaccinated dogs away from off leash parks for the time being.

I’m not feeling too good. Sure hope it’s the stomach flu!

(Photo of Punk by Lara Debruyn Photography)