Sunday, March 22, 2015

Larry the Lab

Larry is our Yellow Lab. We rescued him as a 3 month old, even though Hubby stated, “NO PUPPY!” Larry has been the best dog ever! He makes us laugh; he obeys our commands; he is mild 
mannered; he sleeps in my bed. Ok, he’s a little spoiled, but he has earned it. He doesn’t chew on anything other than his toys. He doesn’t counter surf. He doesn’t beg. He even has his own desk calendar, “Larry’s Words of Wisdom” – which can be ordered here:

End of commercial.

Larry has been a little costly as a rescue. When we first got him, it took almost six months to find the right food that wouldn’t cause him to have diarrhea. I even boiled chicken and rice for several weeks. His stomach caused him so much trouble, he got dehydrated and we took him to the emergency animal clinic. They found an obstruction, so he was transferred to another clinic where they did an ultrasound. We were an hour away from a $5,000 surgery, when he passed whatever was causing the problem.

His stool samples were still not fully formed, so while we were trying to get it all straightened out, we had to report to our vet as to the consistency of his deposits in the yard.

“Is it like soft serve or chocolate milk?”

“Well, no, it’s more like pudding.”

“Are they like tootsie rolls?”

“They are more like small tamales without the husks, but complete with corn chunks, which would be pieces of his yellow Kong toy.”

I’ve haven’t had so many discussions about poop since my children were toddlers.

We thought we were home free after settling on the right brand of dog food and treating his giardia, an intestinal bacteria. But, alas, in Minnesota last summer, we discovered a lump on his neck. Several trips to the vet, two different kinds of antibiotics, and an aspiration, lead the doctor to say simply, “Swollen lymph nodes…don’t know the cause…not worried about it.” The end.

The lump disappeared, until last week, when we felt it again. Hubby and I disagreed on the size. He said golf ball, I said large grape. Perhaps it was more like a small plum. I made an appointment for Monday with our vet, but on Saturday night, I spotted blood on his neck where the lump was. So at 11:30 pm we took him to the animal emergency clinic. After sitting in the 40 degree waiting room while the other emergencies were being taken care of, the vet took Larry in and gave him some sleepy juice while they shaved the area around the lump to see what it was. It turned out to be an abscess that had started oozing blood and pus, cause unknown. At 2:30 am we finally got Larry home as he staggered into the house, collapsing on the hallway tile. I’m sure you can relate to the feeling, like when you’ve come home after a night out with the girls. We got him to his little bed next to my bed, and I lay down with the light on, barely dozing off at 3:00 am.

Poor little guy. Now he’s on antibiotics and pain pills, which is affecting his appetite.

Larry is our life, and we certainly have learned some life lessons from our little doggy companion:

  • ·      Trust the ones you love, as they will take care of you.
  • ·      Show others you don’t want to leave the ones you trust by jumping over the kennel gate.
  • ·      Don’t complain or argue.
  • ·      Whimper when you hurt so you can get several pats and a pill.
  • ·      Sleep close to the one you love.
  • ·      Wag your tail, even when you don’t feel very good.
  • ·      Stay in bed if you need to rest.

We will do anything for our little guy, Larry the Lab.

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