Speak, Dude!

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Most of us have them, want them or have had them… pets!

Right, we know – “a mans best friend.” There is no doubt or question, Dude IS my best friend and will go down in the history books as such. However, sometimes I am certain I am not his. What kind of a friend leaves you alone for hours, feeds you the same food every day, constantly asks you to stop talking (barking), doesn’t walk with you nearly as long as you like, (or too long) and can’t read your mind? A human friend, that’s who!

Recently and for the first time in Dude’s life of thirteen years, I have been working in an environment twelve hours a day and he can’t go with…I have however arranged a friend to come and hang with Dude for a couple of hours a day, and then I come home for lunch and we hang out. Trust me – it’s an adjustment for us both. I’m laden with guilt and Dude is sad and doesn’t quite understand.

Here’s a frustrating scenario that occurred this week, but let me first preface by stating it was already a tough week for me and Dude; I left for a needed road and hiking adventure out west for two weeks and this was the first adventure Dude was not able to go on due to his age. In addition, Dude lost another good friend, Shelby (beautiful Yellow Lab, due to old age of thirteen), I lost a friend (due to cancer), and I also started this temporary work leaving me stressed out!

Well, I get home from work and I can’t wait to hang outside on this beautiful afternoon with Dude and he was equally excited, pinning me down, giving me hugs and sprinting around the yard. We walked down to the deck for a few minutes, and upon calling Dude to come up and follow me to the house, he wouldn’t budge. He did however hold up his right paw and I could visibly see that he was trembling. Damn, bur in his fur again – so I thought. Upon realising that there were no burs, spurs, or other, I became concerned. I carried him up and into the house, inspected and inspected and couldn’t find a thing. By this time he was panting, wouldn’t hydrate and was obviously in pain. “SPEAK, Dude”. Where does it hurt and what’s going on?” I have to leave for work before the veterinarian’s office opens tomorrow morning, and they close in thirty minutes. Dude is a pretty tough dog – he rarely complains, and has not required an emergency visit to the doctor EVER. Arg – off we go to the doctor. While driving, I kept wondering, “could this be a bee sting, did he break a bone?” There was no yelp.

At the doctor: Fever, still not hydrating, miserable and clearly in pain, occasional tail wag.

Later at home: Eating, playing, hydrating, constant tail wag.

Speak, Dude! Had I known it was a bee sting you wouldn’t have been stressed by my stress, had to ride in the hot car, we could have hung outside longer and I would have saved $100 bucks!

I love you Dude…

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