As I’m writing this, our eldest dog, Vincent, is having lots of treats and being pampered. But by the time you’re reading it, he will be gone. He has had a number of medical and mental problems over the past few months, which have been getting steadily worse. The vet has been seeing the change in him, and presented us with a realistic but very grim picture. Essentially, all of the options of what could be causing his problems are non-curable or the treatments would be very difficult for a dog his age to survive (such as surgery). Further, his quality of life has drastically decreased over the spring, and it is extremely unlikely that it will go back to an even keel, let alone improve. In a very emotional discussion, we decided that the best course was to euthanize him so that he doesn’t have to live in more pain and mental confusion.
The fellow you see in the picture is Vincent, a new pug we adopted a week ago. We adopted him from SEPRA, a great organization in the Atlanta area that not only handles pug rescues, but also holds awareness events like Pugfest (which we keep trying to participate in, but it keeps being very inconveniently scheduled).
Vincent was originally “Vinson,” but when we were introduced to him, we kept hearing “Vincent.” When we came to his home visit, we started calling him “Vinny Mac,” so the name in its current spelling stuck.1 SEPRA doesn’t know how old he is, but they are estimating that he is around 12, which would make him more than twice Puck’s age – hence the title “the pugediluvian”.
After we got him from his foster owner, we noticed that he had a lump on his back left leg. We took him to the emergency vet, and it turns out to be a lick granuloma, so the area was shaved and the cyst scraped off. This is why Vincent is sporting the stylish cone on his head in this picture, so he won’t continue to lick and worry the spot (although we took it off as of today, since his leg is looking a lot better).
The first night, we brought him upstairs with us, and he spent hours banging around the walls with his cone and panting. David and Michelle took turns staying up with him downstairs to figure out what was wrong. Michelle took him to Puck’s regular vet the next day, and he hadn’t had his heartworm medication, might have gotten some of the spots on his coat from fleas, and seemed to have ear mites. He was given even more medication, and came home to being pretty miserable. That night, after much reluctance, we decided to let him sleep on the ground floor while we went to bed upstairs, and the next morning he was sound asleep in his green bed next to the couch.
He’s been improving in health and temper over the course of the week. He’s started playing with toys, and even playing tug. He had a couple of accidents the first day or so, but we’ve found if we take him out several times when we’re home and in the morning, he’s fine while we’re at work and asleep. His hearing and eyesight are both pretty bad – at one point, I was sitting on the couch, and he was lying next to me in the bed, but not where he could easily see me. After several minutes, he started howling. I looked over to check on him, and he immediately stopped in mid-howl once he saw me. We’re also trying to teach him commands with sign language as well as spoken commands to help him connect the two, but it’s slow going. And a couple of days ago, we came home from work and couldn’t find him anywhere on the main floor, only to discover that he made his way upstairs on his own to sleep in the blankets in our bedroom.
Despite his challenges, he’s a great and lovable guy, and I’m really glad that we’re able to give him a good home for the remaining years he has left.