Having a constant furry companion is one of the joys in my life. It's also one of the heartaches in my life. Pets, dogs especially, become a part of the family. Everyone says this. I think it's more than that.
My dogs,(all the dogs I have had), know me better than family or friends. They sense my sadness, sickness or happiness and they adjust their own feelings accordingly. People allow us to feel however we do, but dogs and I say some cats as well, morph themselves to fit our emotions.
Right now, my 10 year old Aussie is under the weather...she's pretty ill. She has been incontinent for 2 years now She fell back on her hind end while trying to jump into the truck and did spinal nerve damage. She is extremely arthritic in her spine. Being incontinent, she does not void her bladder all the way, so she has infection after infection....which means antibiotics quite often. I feel we have been lucky to have her these past 2 years. Aside from all the floor cleaning, and the p-p pads and the baths and grooming, it has been normal dog owning maintenance. But, she is over 10 years now, and the normal aging has increased her problems.
Giving her the necessary meds, usually pill form, has become a nightmare. She figures out what foods have the hidden nastiness and she refuses to eat the pill caddy, no matter how tempting. She is devilishly smart. I have tried all the suggestions and then some, but it has come down to either sticking them down her throat...hence the bites on knuckles and fingers...or crushing them up in peanut butter, and often having to mash the peanut butter ball of crushed pills against her teeth, so she has to get it in. I'm at my wits end. She is so leery of my advances, I can hardly pat her without her look of, "Oh crap, here she comes again".
But we will persist, and we hope that she will once again rally. For how long, we never know. Meanwhile, I will love to look at her, and talk to her and pat her soft furriness. She seems to enjoy her elder dog year naps, walks and talks we have together, and for now, that is enough.