About the dog

Buttercup, my mom’s dog, will be celebrating her ninth birthday in August. So imagine my concern when, on Monday, she was sluggish and tired and was hard-pressed to hop on the couch the way she likes or stand on her hind legs while dancing about for a treat the way she always does. She was fatigued and slow and moved in a way that suggested full body ache. She even climbed into my lap, which is unusual for her – she prefers to snuggle up next to your leg, or your feet, if you have the couch in a reclined position. We checked her all over and couldn’t find anything wrong. I checked the computer. It said if she was better by the next day, then no problem.

Buttercup sleeping

Hey Butterstuff. Butterlump. Butterbiscuits. Muttley. Hey, hey – are you listening to me?

She wasn’t.

My family and I were very worried. Buttercup has always been a very energetic dog, eagerly bouncing about when she heard the word mail same as when she heard the word walk, because it meant to her “go outside in the front.” She almost staggered out the door and barely made it to the sidewalk instead. She had no appetite and wouldn’t drink any water. She didn’t even finish the jerky strips, one of her favorite treats, which she always demanded to eat every morning before going to the bathroom properly.

So Tuesday, when I went to Target to pick up some bread I also grabbed a FreshPets sausage. When I got home I chopped up a quarter pound of it into little pieces and put it in her bowl. As she went to eat it, she wagged her tail, if rather slowly, but at least she ate all of it.

Mom then decided to add olive oil to it, as her mom used to give olive oil to her children and their pets if they weren’t feeling well. Buttercup seemed to like it as well, even though when Mom tried to give straight olive oil to Buttercup before she wouldn’t eat it.

At work, I talked to the coworker whose dog had died. It was on their walk, and they noticed the dog wasn’t doing well. They had tried to cut the walk short and took some short cuts to get home faster. If the dog was smaller (he was a boxer) they would’ve carried him, but he was much too big to be carried. Fifteen minutes from their house, the dog had a heat stroke. Twenty minutes later, with she and her kids crying around him, their dog was dead. Emergency services for the pet got there too late. It cost her seventy-five dollars for animal control to take the dog. She was going to cremate him – one hundred twenty dollars – but her husband was in a car accident that weekend and it cost two hundred forty to get the truck fixed, so she has no money for that. They can’t bury the dog in the backyard because they are renting the house they live in. Hearing about this made me even more jittery and anxious to get home to see Buttercup.

My car overheated, popping the cap off the coolant overflow and almost didn’t make it home. Steam billowed from under the hood. When I got home, Buttercup seemed to finally be resting well, curled up on some blankets we put on the floor because she couldn’t make the hop up to the couch.

Wednesday dawned bright and early, and Buttercup seemed to have perked up a little bit. Her appetite for the sausage had definitely improved and she was drinking water again.

Thursday she was still improving. When I got home from work, turns out Buttercup had eaten too much olive oil and messed herself. Oops.

Today Buttercup seems back to normal. If her joints are a bit achy, and she is a bit hesitant about hopping up onto the couch, it’s only a tiny bit. She dashed to the front door to help us bring in the mail, danced on her hind legs for a treat, and went skittering around underfoot like a hazard to our health as usual.

Buttercup’s a fox terrier mix. The way I figure it, she has at least another five good years to go. I’m glad she’s doing better. We think it was a bug bite. It might have happened in her cage on Sunday night because we’re always very good about killing spiders (I have nothing against spiders, but if I think any of them might possibly harm my pets, I’m going all gung ho on their tiny bodies.)

And now she’s begging for a treat again. Stupid mutt. It amazing how we get so attached to troublesome dogs like her.

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~ by cerridwyn eldritch on July 26, 2013.

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