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  • Writer's pictureTina

Chubby Update

Yesterday, my Chubby buddy returned to the vet for a checkup. Several weeks ago, Chubs, our senior pitbull, was diagnosed with anaplasmosis, a tick-born disease much like Lyme’s. Although our old boy is doing better, he is not 100% by any means. Chubs has a few more days left of his antibiotic but has completed a twenty-eight-day course of steroids. Taking Chubby to the vet is always an adventure. Yesterday, The Bibbed Wonder was on Chubby duty because I had a hair appointment. Thank goodness, my husband understands that making an appointment with my stylist is no easy feat, and I am scheduled every four weeks until the end of the year. Taking Chubs to the vet takes precedence, and he felt he could handle Chubby alone.

The Bibbed Wonder and Chubs left for his appointment before I had to go. Eric was good enough to send me updates throughout the morning. Chubby enjoyed his truck ride and sat proudly in the front seat, enjoying the view. The Bibbed Wonder promised Chubby an Egg McMuffin and a hash brown if he behaved. We both knew this was a long shot, but it was worth a try. Chubby’s excitement ceased when they entered the vet’s office parking lot. He immediately began fussing, and my bib overall-wearing buddy knew it wouldn’t go well, promised Micky D’s visit or not.

When my two boys entered the waiting area, Eric said a large Labrador retriever was sitting quietly by his person but was wearing a muzzle. The Bibbed Wonder reported that the retriever looked indignant when he saw a pitbull enter without a muzzle. Fortunately, Chubby could walk into the vet’s office on his own accord. However, he had no interest in saying hello to anyone and sat quietly with Eric as they waited for their appointment. This is not typical Chubby behavior.

Once they were taken back to the exam room, the theatrics began. Chubby began his usual whining and fussing. When the vet tech came in to take his weight and temperature, he refused to cooperate and had to be muzzled. Of course, he screamed when he saw the muzzle. Sigh, he is an embarrassment. Eric tried to distract him with a treat while the vet tech used her ninja-like skills to complete a sneak attack and slip it on before anyone knew what was happening. The Bibbed Wonder was impressed with her prowess in the sneak attack. Although warned there would be no Egg McMuffin if he didn’t behave, Chubs did not seem to care, and the theatrics continued.

His temperature was taken, his weight was measured, blood was drawn, and the muzzle was removed. Our boy, Chubs, is not that easily manipulated, and he bid his time for retaliation. When the vet came in, Chubs played nicely until she tried to examine his hips. Again, he began screaming, and the vet requested he be muzzled a second time. Sigh. The doctor reported that his bloodwork looks good, but his hips are showing signs of severe arthritis. She told us to expect him to demonstrate more pain when the effects of the steroids wear off in a week or so. Eric talked to her about pain management. Chubs was given a prescription for pain medication to manage his arthritis, as well as Dasuquin treats to aid with joint health.

A big production was made to remove the muzzle, and Chubs was allowed to wait in the truck while Eric paid and collected his prescriptions. Although our grumpy old man did not behave well at his appointment, Eric took him for a treat like a doting parent. Chubs was taken to McDonalds, and he and Eric enjoyed Egg McMuffins and hash browns. Chubs enjoyed his ride in the front seat and was relieved to be home, where he waited patiently for Eric to lift him out of the truck and place him gently on the ground. He then took off like a puppy to monitor the front yard and the field behind the house.

We know our days with our old man are limited. Our goal is to make him as comfortable as possible with the best quality of life possible for as long as possible. This episode was a real eye-opener of how difficult it will be to say goodbye to our dear old boy. I no longer fight him about lying on the furniture. He is given bites at the dinner table by everyone, not just The Bibbed Wonder. We all have taken a protective stance with him and scold Buster for being pushy and rude.

Chubs is moving more slowly; he has dropped eight pounds, and his hind legs don’t work as well as they used to, but there is still a lot of puppy left in our boy. We have decided to make the best of his remaining years and are all trying to brace ourselves for the day we say goodbye. There is never enough time with them, that is for sure. On this sunny November day, stay safe, be smart, enjoy the time you have with those you love, be they two or four-legged, and, of course, wash your hands.

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