I, Farfel, the ONLY Airedale in the Village, have not blogged in a coon's age -- depending on the coon! Today, I think I will let MOMMY do the writing, so without any further ado, here's MOMMY!!!
Several weeks ago Farfel was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy, or DM. It is basically the same disease as Multiple Sclerosis in humines. Since the diagnosis, he has deteriorated every day. He has probably been getting progressively worse over the last year, but due to my stupid health issues, I really didn't notice, or thought it was old age, or -- the fact that Star is younger, and very bouncy. Don't get me wrong, Farfel has never been ignored, but many of the symptoms are very subtle.
DM is a despicable disease. The spine deteriorates to the point of paralysis in the back legs. As far as I know, and according to what is written about the disease, Farfel does not feel any pain. He does however feel fear, and frustration. I have had many serious upsets in my life, but none have made me feel this sad -- every minute of every day.
Farfel is my best friend. I cannot begin to describe how much he means to me. From the first time I laid eyes on him, I knew he would be special, and he is, very special. Here is a bit of his backstory -- I saw him at a pet store -- not one of those chain stores, but a store that sells pups from local litters -- or at least that is what they led me to believe. Farfel was from a litter from Sugarcreek, Ohio -- Amish Country, and they are the worst when it comes to puppy mills, cruelty to animals, and much more. Gee, they (Amish) come across so sweet and religious ---riiiight! Anyway, aside from his sordid past, he turned out to be a wonderful guy --- except for the fact that Yoder (the breeder) cropped his tail like a sheep!! It never bothered Farfel though -- he thinks he is normal and even makes fun of Star's long very waggly tail!!
Then there is Star! To Farfel she is his niece, sister, ....well,in reality, she is an annoyance to him, but a cute one!!!! Star is pregnant again, and should be having her babies around the end of June. It wasn't the best of time for her to get pregnant because of my health issues, as well as Farfels, but there was a miscommunication -- I took her to get groomed, and when I called to pick her up she was in another state being bred. or as my son likes to describe it --"She was kidnapped against her will, taken across state lines and raped repeatedly!" Not the case, but it makes for a good story. It's all good. Star has very beautiful, very smart healthy babies!! I just don't want to be apart from her when she has her babies, and caring for them -- but, maybe things happen for a reason -- Farfel may need 100% of my attention at that point. Star is the biggest sweetheart, and so well mannered, and polite -- very quirky, but I love quirky!! It's sad though..Star does her play bow....and Farfel can't :(
There is no good outcome to Farfel's disease. His body and movements will deteriorate, but his mind will remain the same. He has become needy, and clingy, which is fine with me.he gets panicky when I have to leave. He can no longer come upstairs and sleep in my room. I have stayed downstairs many times with him, and would continue to do so, but one of my Docs insists I need rest in order to manage my Hashimoto's disease -- yes it sounds like a sumo wrestler, and yes, I look like a sumo wrestler! It's very hard for me to have gone from a size two to a size FAT in a few months!
There are doggie wheelchairs, water therapy, and expensive drugs which may or may not slow the progression of the disease. Euthanasia always comes up as a solution. I don't know what to do. Farfel is doing OK now, but even though he is not suffering pain wise, I know he is suffering as far as his fear and frustration...and the confusion. He doesn't know why this is happening to him. How can I explain it to him? How can I tell him not to feel bad when he ...for no apparent reason, falls down. He loves to go on walks. How do I explain to him why he can only go 30 feet and he has to lay down? I don't know if I am physically or mentally strong enough to go through this ...but, I will do my best. He is my best friend. He would and has been there for me. He doesn't deserve this.
Patti, Farfel, and Star :)
My very dear "Dog Lover" friends here and on FB will understand -- to others that do not understand, or say "They're just dogs, or he's just a dog!" Your loss ...and if you read this and feel that way -- delete me!