Over the weekend I gave my pups their own spa service that I share with my customers. We go all out, aromatherapy (more for my nerves than theirs!), canine massage, nails polished and soothing joint bath!
My babies love their bath! I spend quiet time with each of them for their own special treatment. Nail trimming for them, turns into face washing for me! One touch of the paw means time to lick ALL of the make-up off of Mommy's face and a couple of hair nibbles for the fun of it!
Somehow, they always figure the WE need to take a bath together! So when we are off to the truck for OUR spa, I am sure to take my shower cap and a dry pair of socks! I have to admit, I love it! Every minute of it! Navigating thru the tickle spots to get the massage started is the best! My girl, is so silly! Everything results in scratch my belly....even the bath.
This time was a little different. I noticed my "big dog" moving a little slower this go round, where he would happily jump in the truck for his spa...he hesitated and I could see doubt in his eyes. I felt a small pang in my heart, as I examined his face closely I could see the grey starting in his muzzle. He still has the heart of a lion, his coat shines like a brand new money, his very presence still commands respect!
115 pounds of stubborn independence, that is what my Rottie is. As I massage his sore joints with a hydro peppermint bath he releases a deep sigh, and my mind reels back to the time he showed up at my door 9 years ago. Someone had discarded him in the woods like bag of trash. I don't know how long he had been there, all I know is he found the pet newsletter and found his way to me. My first thought was to patch him up and find him a good home, but by an interesting turn of fate his "good home" was mine! I found at nice size doghouse at the Goodwill store and kept him the yard for a couple of days hoping that his rightful owner would come to claim him.
I thought about taking him to the humane society, but one look into those big brown eyes, and I was a goner! The vet had informed me that he was infested with fleas and worms. He encouraged me to do a blood test, and we discovered that he had heartworms. The vet told me what the procedure would entail, and my heart sank! He suggested that I have him put down. I changed vets! I went online and did the research for a holistc approach to the infection and I found it! I followed the instructions to the letter, I found a vet that would work with me on the natural approach, and we did blood tests every three months to check for signs that worms were not producing. We were on the right track! Six months went by, no babies, one year the worms were still present, six months after that he tested negative! Good nutrition, and a diligent program were the key, but I was terrified the whole time!
The bond that we built is tighter than any glue manufactured! As were rolled around town running errands he sports his own pair of mirrored shades with the sun roof opened enjoying the fresh air! Yes, he has come a long way baby, from that scrawny little sick dog that showed up at my door! He is a strapping handsome man-dog all shiny are brushed out. All the neighbors comment about the difference that they see in my boy from what seems like way back then. Now there is a new difference....arthritis. When I counted up the years I was floored that nine years had passed in what seems in a blink of an eye. He tries not to let on, his desire for ball playing is still strong, but he has to take a few minutes to get started.
As I guide him across the ramp back to the table he hesitates. I wrap my arm around him and whisper quietly. " it's okay baby, I will NEVER let you fall" he leans all 115 pounds against me and moves slowly to the table. He plops his rump on the table and looks at me sheepishly, as though he was embarrassed that he couldn't make it on his own. I scratch his forehead vigorously and tell him " you still the man,baby!" He wags his nub happily and lays down on the table waiting for his massage.
After his spa he stands in the yard with his sexy Rottie stance, allowing the people passing by to admire him! He finds his favorite ball, and he's ready for business! He reserves his energy to a trot, but he still has the desire to go after his ball. It is just unbelievable that time has slipped by so quickly.