Our Diesel Dog

As I am sitting here in my living room looking for inspiration to write, I am comforted by the light snoring of a handsome dog at my feet.  I glance to my framed pictures on the wall and see a cute Diesel puppy sitting happily with his father in an over-sized leather chair. On the table next to me, are two more photos taken of Diesel his first trip up state. I realize that I haven’t written about my dogger in quite some time, and maybe some of you would like an up date. Or maybe some of you haven’t had the privilege of meeting this wonderful beast.

For just little over a year I wrote a blog that featured my sweet dog, Diesel.  Diesel Stomping was a big part in getting me back to writing and focusing on my life more. And I am truly thankful for each of you who read the blog and kept me motivated. It was the first time I felt I had an audience. Unfortunately for me, the steady stream of inspiration dried up and I just couldn’t come up with anything new and exciting.  There were also new personal developments in my life that made finding the time to share with Diesel ever more difficult.

Diesel would spend his earliest years going through Schutzhund training. This training is generally used to determine if a dog is capable of doing police work. It focuses on Tracking, Obedience, and Protection. To be honest, when I saw it I thought they were turning the poor puppy into a vicious attack dog. But as I grew to know Diesel, I knew that any instinct to attack would only be to protect his owners.

Diesel eventually formed a very tight bond with Mike. Following him just about everywhere and listening to his every command.  Over the years, Diesel has surprised us with his intelligence, made us laugh with his amazing spirit, and given us a few frights. He’s a happy dog, that lives his life to the fullest he can.  Even if this means spraining his ankle chasing squirrels, nonchalantly being hit by cars twice, or jumping from a moving boat. With these exceptions attributed to his over-excitement, Diesel is well-trained, and listens when he wants to, is a great snuggler, and a fabulous walking companion.

It was up until this past summer that Diesel still had the energy of a young pup, but we could tell the years were closing in on him. It started taking a bit longer to recover from a weekend up state. And his 10 PM bedtime was not to be taken lightly, his cute way of snarling while also giving kisses is just adorable! But over all things were still good with Diesel. Towards the end of last summer we noticed he was limping, which tended to happen when he would run too hard, especially after twisting and spraining his ankle a few times. But this time it seemed to get worse and not better and so off to the vet we went.

A few x-rays later and we now know that he has arthritis all along his spinal cord. The calcium deposits pinching on nerves that extend into his legs and makes it painful for him to run/walk.  This past week the vet lined up a treatment plan including steroids, enzymes, an anti-inflammatory medication and lasers. After the first shots we started noticing a significant difference.  He got is first round of the lasers today and was all wound up like a coo-coo-clock when we got home this afternoon.

The true sign of the treatment working will be when he stops dragging his rear paw. Unfortunately, we were late in noticing the dystrophy in his muscles and we are working slowly, but diligently to build those muscles back up. Mike has been taking him for brief walks in the morning, and I have taken him in the afternoon.

We were scared for a while, thinking the absolute worse, but I think Mike is sleeping better now knowing that we can reverse some of his old age problems and that we might have our old pup for a few more years. 10 may be old, but it ain’t that old yet. 

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