I have been trying to spend extra time with my little buddy, Gravy. I adopted Gravy in 2007 and he was an older dog when I got him from the shelter. I’m not sure how old he is now, but I know that he is old. Every time I see a dog at work who looks like Gravy and approximately the same age, that dog is usually 15 or 16 years old.
Gravy has been the best little guy, and a great companion. He is bursting with personality and a thinks that he is in charge of the whole house and that he gets to do what he wants. He is always by my side. There have been several times that I actually have looked for him around the house and even asked my boyfriend if he saw Gravy, and my boyfriend looked at me like I was crazy because Gravy was right behind my feet and I didn’t see him there.
A little over a year ago Gravy almost died. I ran every test on him I could fathom, he had multiple blood tests, x-rays and contrast studies of his gastrointestinal system and I couldn’t find an answer. He felt so yucky and wasn’t getting better with treatments that I tried and I was in the process of making final decisions for him and deciding how best to euthanize him and what to do with his remains. He felt miserable but I still decided to give him one more chance and I took him to the specialist to get tests I couldn’t do myself, and he had endoscopy, ultrasound, and biopsies. The short version of the story was that it was discovered that he had Valley Fever that wouldn’t test positive and helicobacter bacteria in his stomach. He was treated and he rallied. I almost couldn’t believe how well he did, and he has been doing really well since that time and back to his normal self, although he takes valley fever medication every day.
It’s been a year and three months of borrowed time now. I have cherished and continue to cherish every day. Over the past few months I am starting to see him feel slightly worse over time. He still is happy most of the time and powers through most days. He is sore a lot of the time and he has bad arthritis. Most arthritis medications give him an upset tummy, which is unusual for most dogs, but part of Gravy’s valley fever symptoms have been a very sensitive stomach. Some days he’ll stand staring at me and he is trembling as though he is working hard to fight gravity. He can’t go on long walks anymore. Most of the time he feels fine, but it is hard to watch him grow old and feeble. I realize his days are limited and I’m so grateful for all the time I have gotten to share with this beautiful soul who has made my life so much better.
I recently started him on an injectable arthritis medication called Adequan. I hope that will help him and he’ll have a lot more quality time with me. I try to tell him every day that I love him. I think he knows. He’s the best!