Yesterday evening Dietrich was in the yard by himself when he let out a sharp, panicked bark. I opened the back door for him to come inside and he barreled down the steps and into the laundry room (which is the same as the kitchen–have I mentioned we live in a shoebox?) like black greased lightning, crying.
His fur was up and his ears were down and he let me poke and prod him all over to see if something had bitten or clawed at him, but he was physically sound. For the rest of the night he shadowed me or the husband, whimpering when he changed positions. All day today he slept at my feet or cried in his bed, although he was fine on our lunchtime walk and trotted merrily through the park.
After some hemming and hawing about whether or not to find a vet and take him in, I called the other middle who said, in short, that obviously we want to take good care of our furbaby and if he’s acting so different than he normally does, it’s worth checking out.
So the husband and I paid the ER fee for a vet visit tonight (actually cheaper here than in the old days, which blew me away) and came home with a dog diagnosed with a chronic bad back. Yes, Dietrich is a 2-year-old grandpa. Poor baby.
He was a perfect champ during his check up! I rubbed his muzzle and talked to him the whole time while the husband held his collar and the vet lifted, pulled, twisted, bent, and flexed every last hair on our little guy* who didn’t bat a lash. He stared at me with his melty chocolate eyes and, call me a sap, but there was 100% trust there that I’m proud to have earned from such an amazing dog.
In conclusion, our not-even-three-year-old dog has a senior spine, which makes us sad for him but relieved it’s not something more serious, although as he gets older we have to watch for degenerative disc disease. And (surprise surprise, a customer service shout out) I could not have been more impressed with the customer service, friendliness, care, and efficiency at Caring Hands Animal Hospital and if you’re in DC or NoVA and need a vet, go here!! Major, major props to them.
We went to Caring Hands, by the way, because a stranger walking her dog in the park today saw me and the Dietster and wanted to introduce her little dog. I said Dietrich wasn’t feeling like himself and I didn’t think he’d make a great first impression, so she didn’t come closer but she did suggest that we go to Caring Hands on South Glebe if we needed to have a vet. Lo and behold, we did so we did now we do. 🙂
For the next five days Dietrich will be on pain meds and his bed. I guess I should probably start my meds too so we can lay around and cry together.
*He’s down from 85 lbs to 77 lbs, which is just right. When he weighed in at 85 for his last vet visit, the tech told me that’s really on the high end of what’s good for him. 80 would be perfect, but he’s my exercise buddy and we can’t help that we’re walking away the pounds. Although we will put him back on 4 cups a day instead of 3.