Patches, our white collie, is 14 years old. We call him our Grandpa Dog. It's crazy to watch a dog go from a toddler to a grandpa sandwiched between not having any children to not even having a teenager yet.
And Patches is definitely showing his age. He has horrible arthritis and we have to carry him up the stairs at night and back down the stairs in the morning. Some days, this is pretty much my most taxing exercise. Which is sadly, not saying very much. ((Hmmm, perhaps I need to also blog about going from a marathon runner to looking like a walrus about the same time we've had Patches.))
In any case.....
Poor doggie. He has "fecal incontinence." This means that often he has no idea he is about or is actually pooping. He just walks along and drops a turd. Lovely. And also one of the reasons we have a lot of paper towels around the house and request visitors to sign a form about not reporting us to DSS when they leave.
He's deaf as a doorknob and is frequently surprised when he wakes up and sees who is in the house.
And, poor thing, he had a horrible flea infestation over the summer. We were still doing monthly flea and heartworm treatments, but the flea treatment wasn't working anymore. We ended up getting a very fancy flea collar from Chewy.com, which has been incredibly effective. And the company ended up sending a postcard asking how the flea collars were working AND sent up our first Christmas card with a handwritten note wishing us and our pets a happy holiday! ((WOW!!!))
And although we got rid of the fleas, Patches' skin was already so irritated that he didn't stop scratching. And scratching and scratching and scratching. And because he didn't know he had pooped, he would sit it in little turds which got stuck in his fur. We would cut them out but by then, his skin became even more irritated. And he would lick and scratch and lick and scratch and lick and scratch.
Patches would scratch in his sleep. He would scratch and lick all night long. He would spend the first few hours in the morning licking and scratching until he became so tired he would nap to wake up and scratch and lick some more. He has pulled the fur off his legs. And then this week, I noticed he was actually breaking skin and getting bad hot spots.
Back to the doctor yesterday.
And an antibiotic shot.
And this morning, for the first time in weeks? Months??? Patches isn't incessantly scratching. He's still a little interested in his skin. And still licking and scratching a bit. But he slept soundly all night and most of this morning. There is mass rejoicing in the house that our old Grandpa dog has turned a skin healing corner.
And as Conor said yesterday, our animals never die. ((I just chased Patches around the room spraying some medicine on his wounds. It was a slow speed chase and he was giving me some serious stink-eye)) We are looking forward to a puppy or two in the future. But we promise to Patches every day that he is our priority now and that his retirement years will be as restful and peaceful as we can possibly make them.
Just an update on the animals around here. And one very special Grandpa Dog.