God, the relief! I have just returned from a trip to the vet. Its purpose was two-fold: First to get both Jumble and Pippa inoculated for the coming year; secondly, and more seriously, to flag up various concerns I have recently had about the former. Given that I am going to be moving some time soon, I wanted to ensure that the beloved canine was fit to cope with such a major upheaval.
Had he not been, I was fully, if tearfully, prepared to consider the alternative no pet owner ever wants to bring into every day consciousness.
He is showing signs of ageing and wear-and-tear (know the feeling) – but nothing disastrous, or immediately life-limiting: A slight heart murmur, needing no treatment as yet; a touch of arthritis; a failing of the mental processes (Elderly Brain Syndrome) which is probably why he just stands there in the garden as if unsure who, or where, he is.
The nice young vet has prescribed a two week course of brain assisting tablets. These, with any luck, should perk the old boy up (and the dog!) and make him more alert, less vacant and, I hope, give him back some of his former juice and joy.
The best news is that he is fine to move – and, with luck, could be with me for months to come, maybe even a year or more.
I would have had him put down if it had been inevitable, and deemed kinder, but I am so pleased that this agonising decision has been deferred for the moment!
So, Jumble, now aged fourteen, lives to sniff another dead badger, to roll in unmentionable droppings, to swim in foetid pools and to enjoy all the sensual pleasures of Velvet Bottom.