WHY did I do it?! WHY did I click on all those links in Rachel's homage to Digger? The first time around it made me weep and I didn't even care about dogs. Now it's making me all sad again because I do and I cannot even fathom having to deal with that decision in a dozen or so years.
It's hard to look at Ranger and even imagine a time when he's not running around like a maniac or standing his ground, leaning like a wolf. Or trotting like the small pony he is. But I know the likelihood is there.
We've been so careful - glucosamine treats, feeding him very slowly to allow his bones to mature and grow. We don't let him get overweight and overstress those muscles. We make sure he has supportive beds. But...I know that the day will come when he, too, is slow to rise in a morning. I was just hugging his huge neck and crying into his deep fur and feeling his concerned kisses. He was anxious for me - giving me the WTF look.
I didn't want a damned dog, people.
But...there he is, young and healthy and wishing we'd go to some lake or pond so that he could play in the water. Or, short of that, turn on the damned sprinkler. I torment his father with the "he probably has some lab in him, you know" statement. Labs being the "hose draggers" of the dog world, you see. "Fucking life guards..." he says. But he is also quite proud of those swimming skills.
And the PetSmart bill every week? Very impressive. 90% of the expense is for his treats and chew goods. And toys. The cats? Same old crap, the basics. Of course, cats don't need chew toys. I had no idea...
I had no idea one mangy old furball could snatch hold of a heart...damn it. I am NOT a dog person.