Saturday, January 8, 2011

With the Territory

With retiring sled dogs comes the time when they are failing. Our house tonight has five dogs
resting . Skinny, age 14.5 is newly blind, so we are learning to guide him, after his years of guiding us as a gee haw command leader. Sierra, age 14.5 is very arthritic and still wants to keep us on schedule for everything... she struggles to stand up or sit down, but once going she is in command. Buddy, age 12.5 has his mouth issues, teeth, tongue, but he does his kennel herding/guardian job well. He loves sleeping inside, but loves guarding Ruthie and Josie by day , outside. Eos, is in with another problem, this time an under the tongue infection, the third dog to have it. She 's pretty much ready to go back out after days on antibiotics, but it's going to
be in the minus teens tonight so we're keeping her in.

The sad one to tell is about Quattro. Today she was diagnosed with a tumor in her heart. She's already fought mammary cancer, but this one is hard to fight, you can't remove it and there's very little medication that would be helpful. We just settled her in the house and she seems to be very grateful for it. She's always been an outside sled dog (racer), but her tongue and gums were gray this morning, so I don't want to risk leaving her out in the cold tonight. She's settling right in, and sorry to say, she is wobbly. We will be able to keep a close eye on her tonight.

My bed is in the middle of four of them so I will be right there with them, as always, tonight.
It would be hard for me to even come close to being as good to them as they have been to us.

Sleep well, old dogs, good friends.
Photo: Quattro is in left wheel in this photo (right side on picture). Leaders are
Buffy and Ruthie. Swing are Medio (deceased) and Matilda. Team, Kiddo, Sherpa. Wheel, Herman and Quattro.

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