Thursday, March 30, 2006

Milk Bones for Algernon

Some choose to celebrate holidays by quietly spending time with friends and family. Some choose to observe any religious obligations associated with said holiday. Some, on the other hand, have their own special way of observing these holidays. Take Trudy, my trusted canine companion, for instance.

She celebrates holidays by pooping in the house.

Trudy has always been a little shaky on the whole house training thing, but most of the time she gets it. Inside = bad; outside = okay. Sure we’ve had incidents over the last couple of years, but what relationship doesn’t have its ups and downs.

So this year, my dog celebrated Valentines’ Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Ash Wednesday by relieving herself in various rooms of my home. She also chose to do so for several days afterwards. She’s also been behaving more erratically, staring into corners, sleeping more frequently and generally acting more confused than normal.

I hit my limits after one particular post-Ash Wednesday session, where I spent an hour with some industrial strength cleaner on the rug in my sunroom upstairs. After a phone call to the vet, we determined that either Trudy is suffering from CCD (canine cognitive dysfunction – basically senility for dogs, or dumb dog syndrome as someone I know refers to it) or she’s losing control of herself.

So at the vet’s prompting, I started giving her some pills (smart dog pills!) that might alleviate the CCD. So far, no real changes, except that last night she pointed out that I forgot to carry the two in some calculus problems I was working out. It was a nice catch - that could have caused some trouble down the road.

If the pills don’t actually work, then it may be Trudy’s time. I can’t keep cleaning up after her, especially if I want to sell the house this year.

Trudy is a sweet dog, but she’s a difficult dog as well. She’s not particularly affectionate; she never plays and only acts happy to see me when I come home in the afternoons. She's also flatulent like you wouldn't believe. She can clear a room in six seconds. I’ve spent more money on inconclusive vet visits and kennel trips than I like to think about.

However, I also hate giving up on someone – even if she is a dog. I agreed to take care of her, and so it’s my responsibility to do so, even if she becomes an inconvenience. And, most importantly, she's still my friend.

Inconvenience or not, though, she may drive me to ulcers, especially if we have another argument like we did last night. I mean, come on, who really believes that given a little more time, McClellan could have revitalized the Army of the Potomac and beaten Lee? Smart dog pills, indeed.


Shoes said...

When I worked at a vet folks were okay with their dogs geting older and less capable of their previous lives but when the bladder and such went the eventually became time.
Its a tough decision that I haven't yet to decide with a pet that I've been close to. Good luck to you

Bloody P said...

For reading purposes, may I suggest "Walter the Farting Dog"? It's one of my kids favorites.

You may change your mind about taking her out.

Lisa said...

That's a very difficult decision. I DREAD having to make it with either of our dogs.
I just recently spoke to my vet about Claire's stinky farting issues. He said that's it's from fiber. Her's can not only clear a room in seconds, they are LOUD!
I do know how to train a dog not to bark or dig (tip from the Dog Whisperer)..can full of pennies. Dogs doen't like pennies.