Monday, September 04, 2006

Tenacious D

We were staring to get really worried.

Over the past couple of days, he had gone from his usual happy self, to acting tired and run down, to extremely lethargic, vomiting and shaking.

Dexter the Wonder Dog was under the weather to say the least. X-rays at the vet showed some inflamed vertebrae which could be causing pain and explain the lack of willingness to jump up on everything and chase anything.

For the first time in six years, our Jack Russell Terrorist Terrier wasn’t bouncing off the walls.

Friday morning when he refused to drink or eat (even the special extra soft and chewey sausage-flavored treats I bought him), we finally had to consider that it might be Dexter’s time.

This breed typically lives for 15 years or so, and Dexter has always been as tough as they come, surviving a broken leg as a pup and a scrap with a dog four times his size.

But as he lay on a blanket Friday morning, laboring to breathe, my Supermodel Wife and I were forced to consider the worst. Will we need to do what a broken leg and a big dog bully weren’t able to do? Will we have to “put him down?”

Major bummer. I thought about all the good times we’d had. I taught him all the tricks he knows: sit, stay, shake hands, roll over. He even does this cool thing: When I make my fingers into the shape of a gun and “shoot” him, he falls down dead.

How could we ever consider getting another dog after Dexter?

Luckily, we don’t have to. Dexter was up and around Saturday morning. He had his appetite back and by Sunday afternoon he was eager to go out to the back yard and play Frisbee.

We still don’t know what was wrong. The vet says he probably injured his back somehow – falling down, bumping it or twisting it. I tend to disagree. He’s like the Mikhail Baryshnikov of dogs. He has more agility in his stump tail than most dogs have in their entire bodies.

My theory is that he had some kind of canine version of the flu, hence the vomiting and lack of appetite.

Either way, it’s great to have him back to his old self. Here’s to Tenacious Dexter.

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