We humans sure love our dogs. Take a look at the above 1912 headline about “Mike” who went missing from 70 West 57th St. in Manhattan nearly 103 years ago. Even private detectives were put on the trail. I’m sure the article helped sell some papers, and hopefully it, and all the hoopla surrounding his disappearance, got him found. I know I’d be as grief-stricken as this poor lady if any dog (or cat) of mine went missing. Not long ago, I watched PBS’s fascinating NOVA show “Dogs Decoded” which really helps explain our remarkable 10,000+-year-old bond with Canis familiaris. As life goes on, I’ve discovered that it’s hard to have a really bad day when you have a dog.
I was going to post last week about my own little Pomeranian dog, Luigi, who’s marking an anniversary this month, but then I thought it would be better not to mix the blog anniversary post with his story. And now that over a week has gone by, I’ve decided to give you the very abbreviated version, since all that really matters is that he is still alive and doing well.
We’ve been blessed to have Luigi since 2006. He came to us as a toothless rescue dog who’d been abandoned by a breeder who had no more use for him. He is in his 19th year and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension when hospitalized two years ago for acute pneumonia. At that time, the options were to put him down straight away or put him on medication (Sildenafil & Vetmedin) and see how long he’d last. The doctor gave him 6 months and said to monitor for seizures, fainting, or any other clearly alarming development. With TLC, Luigi slowly rebounded. Six months came and went. Then a year. Then 18 months. And just about now, we are at the two-year mark. A week ago Friday, we thought we’d hit the final bump in the road with him, and almost had him put to sleep. But, thank heavens, it was a false alarm, and we are back to sailing calm waters again.
So, this month we’re marking his two-year anniversary of surviving with pulmonary hypertension—an anniversary we never expected to see. When his time does come, it will be too difficult to talk about it—you’ll probably just see a brief RIP here—so let this post speak to how much this little guy is loved and cherished.
“Why Every Man Should Own a Dog” by Jim Thornton for Men’s Health dot com
“Man’s Best Friend” in the Economist online
“Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend Thanks to Bonding Hormone” in the Guardian (UK) online