It's the "puppies" tenth birthday. 10 years old today.
We took Fiona to the vet today. I know, not a very nice birthday present. We wanted to get some x-rays of her hip dysplasia and check the status of it. The last x-rays we did were when she was diagnosed at three years old, so we were looking for any major changes. Fiona's hip were good, at least as good as they could be. She hasn't had any pain since fall, but it was good to check.
Then the vet and us starting talking about Chance and how we could get him in for an x-ray. He is very scared of the vets and screams before they even touch him. We end up having to pin him down for shots or blood draws and we use a muzzle on him because he will get snappy. It is always a tough situation. The poor guy is just petrified of the whole thing.
So, our vet came up with an idea, and we were talking about what kind of x-ray to get. A cancer screening (chest and abdomen) like we've gotten with all the dogs so far. I was also interested in checking for arthritis and finding out if Chance was well enough to continue dog sledding. I told her I was already seeing signs of arthritis in his lower back and she concluded that it would be much to painful for him to dog sled because of the compression on the vertebrae.
Tears sprung to my eyes. My heart sunk. Chance has always been my main dog sledding dog. He runs with the power and speed of stallion. And for those moments, when we sled together, it is like riding a race horse.
It isn't like I didn't know it would end, or that the arthritis would stop him, I've known all along. I think I just needed to hear the words from someone I trusted and make it official. And really we have only been out sledding the last three or four years very sporadically because we didn't have hardly any snow. I guess God was letting us down easy through those years and now it is time to let go.
And while all the dogs are still in good health, it is a sign of the times that they are getting older and that every year with them is a gift. It breaks my heart about not dog sledding with Chance, but hopefully it will lengthen his life for the better without doing it anymore.
But I think we are both going to miss it...
I know, kind of sad story for their birthday, but that's only because we haven't had the party yet! Birthday party pics, coming soon!
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