Big trouble


I swear I didn’t do it. Really! I’ve just been here the whole time looking cute. (Photos by Matt Greenberg)

Whatever progress we made with the Thundershirt, quickly unraveled with a late-night car ride to 7-Eleven.

I could tell Matt was feeling hopeful, as he pulled out the red retractable leash belonging to Charlie.

“Do you want a doughnut?” Matt asked. It was almost 11 p.m., but I smiled and said “Sure.”

As they pulled away, I was relieved. Daddy spending some quality time with his boy.

Fifteen minutes later, the front door flew open. Something (possibly profane) was said about the dog. One thing was clear. The dog was in BIG trouble.

“He (bleeping) pissed on my front seat!!! Matt said, just shy of a scream. He was incredulous. “He peed on my seat when I was in the store. I can’t believe it. He peed in my truck.”

By now, Charlie was nowhere to be seen.

Looking back on it, the obvious question to ask: Was Charlie wearing his Thundershirt? The answer is no. It was just a quick trip to the store. Still it was just enough to illustrate it doesn’t take much time for separation anxiety to rear its ugly head.

Charlie resurfaced, trotting through the front room without a care. I could see the temperature rise in Matt. He decided to seclude himself in the library. It was for the best that Matt and Charlie take a breather.

Charlie remained on good behavior for the next couple days. I think he knew it was in his interest to lay low, and to administer lots of puppy kisses.

Matt and I started feeling confident again. We suited him up for a visit to see Matt’s grandma. Upon arrival, Charlie cowered and immediately peed on Matt when he picked him up. Somehow, the Thundershirt just wasn’t working in this instance.

When Matt came home, we left Charlie in his Thundershirt and went out for lunch. I didn’t notice the destruction when we came home. After all, he was wearing it. The Thundershirt. He had chewed through the neck strap and reduced it to a sweater band around his belly.

Matt was forlorn.

In the next few hours, we played with Charlie, talked about our options, then wrapped what remained of the Thundershirt around him. We were exasperated. We left for dinner, and two hours later hesitated before walking back in. The house was in one piece, and so was the tattered shirt.

Hallelujah for small miracles.

Documenting Lex in her favorite chair.

A losing battle

With all the hub-bub caused by Charlie, it was easy to miss something is wrong with Lexie.

Her hind legs are buckling under the impossible weight of her frail 28-pound frame. Just standing at her dog bowl, her legs slide out beneath her. We’ve placed a rug by her bowl to provide some traction, but that leads to her next problem.

Her appetite has diminished. I’ve taken to spoon-feeding her wet dog food. But the last two days, she’s just turned her nose to the food. She’s managed to get by on a handful of biscuits, a slice of turkey and a piece of cheese.

And there’s the matter of her peeing on herself. Sigh. She has no idea, but she’s been wetting her dog bed and our couch.

Lex nibbles on a piece of cheese. Apparently much tastier than mushy dog food.

I brought all of these symptoms to the vet today. She said Lexie definitely is experiencing kidney failure, which affects her urinary habits and possibly her appetite. The vet prescribed a kidney-friendly painkiller to hopefully help Lex stand without pain. Lex also will go on a med to help with her pee issues, and we added in an antacid in hopes of making food a bit more yummy.

All-in-all, we are fighting a losing battle.

The vet said many dog owners simply will euthanize their dog when it starts wetting in the house. My heart sank.

“I’ll get doggie diapers if I have to,” I offered.

Lex doesn’t have much time left.

This much I know.

This much I can hardly bear.

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