Friday, November 19, 2010

Dakota and vets

It has been a while since I wrote about Dakota. He is still going strong, doing the job he was born to do.  We had a few rough months when I started on my new medication. He wasn't alerting as much and just didn't know what to do with himself. He went from alerting almost constantly to alerting a few times a day or every several days. Poor thing went through an identity crisis but I think we have worked most of that out. He still has his moments where he gets into trouble when I am up and doing something. He still isn't used to me being out of my chair so much and being more active.

He has come up with a couple of neat tricks on his own. Now if I am sitting and he is alerting, he will take one of my hands and force me to touch him. If I pull my hand away, he keeps doing this until I focus on him. I guess this pulls me out of my zoned out state and he is actually getting quite good at it. The other trick that perhaps isn't so neat is that when I am working at my knitting machine and I am tired, he will purposely pull out a cone of yarn and start chewing on the cardboard. He never touches my yarn otherwise - just when I guess he thinks I should be resting instead of knitting.

We have had a bit of bad news and I am trying not to get too upset over it. We had to make an emergency trip to the vet in September and then another one yesterday. Both times Dakota was lame in at least two legs,without any trauma or reason for it. This time he was in quite a bit a pain, to the point where he hadn't eaten for almost two days (unheard of for Dakota). He has been diagnosed with OCD (no, not obsessive compulsive disorder). I still don't fully understand it, but he is on pain meds and a supplement which will hopefully help. Actually I think the supplement is helping more than the pain meds. The last time this happened, it took 5 days for him to stop limping. I gave him a dose yesterday with this pain med and he was much better this morning, so here is hoping that the supplement will do the trick. I so hate seeing him in pain.

The down side according to the vet is that dogs with this condition almost always develop arthritis at an early age. This part is heartbreaking for me, but I know Dakota will fight to keep going as long as he can and I will just enjoy our time together. He definitely is one of a kind and I don't think I will have another dog after he leaves this earth. I just feel really blessed that I have had the opportunity to have a dog like Dakota in my lifetime.

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