I think I’ve made it pretty clear how much my dog means to me, but I’m coming to the realization that she is almost 11 years old. Ridiculously old for her breed and, hence, prone to be a crabby little beast somedays.

Aside from moodiness, her teeth are getting soft, her hips are tightening up, her back is starting to sway and she has a rather weird bump on the side of her ribs (which I had checkd out and it’s just a fatty tumor, but it still looks weird). All of the above, I have been informed, could be fixed for the low, low price $6500.

You should have seen the look on the face of the vet when I told her there was no chance in hell I would do this to my dog. She reacted like I just said I was going to throw my grandmother in a ditch. Luckily, this is not my normal vet and my normal vet is a much more sane and rational human being. It didn’t make this conversation any less uncomfortable or unconfrontational.

I love my baby girl, but no freakin’ way. First, the recovery. She’s too old to be going through that kind of treatment and the recovery would take forever. Secondly, I work. I have to work and not working to take care of the puppy who eats $50 a week worth of food is not an option. Third, there’s no guarantee that that much treatment at her age wouldn’t kill her.

Then there’s the money.

Let me make it very clear that I’m not opposed to paying for the best for my pumpkin pie. I’ve paid more than enough over the course of her life. In fact, in the first year of her life, I paid $400 for general vet bills including shots and spaying, An additional $500 to remove a gland causing cherry eye in her left eye, then another $500 to do the same in her right. Because she is a giant breed, she grew exponentially and tore a ligament in her knee (another $900), so I think you get the picture.

But there’s more, aside from the jumping out of the second story window incident, Sailor Man and I were out of country when she developed a near-fatal case of bloat at the kennel. The kennel rushed her to a vet who performed emergency surgery which saved her life. When we returned to the country we had a very sick little girl and a $2000 vet bill waiting for us. I didn’t even blink and happily paid them every cent.

But when we get to this point in Salome’s life, I have to put on the brakes. She’s like 80 years old in human years and at that age, I’m less inclined to go to super-human efforts for the simple fact that you can’t cure old age.

I discovered on Slate.com an excellent article on the subject matter. I had no idea that yearly shots were such a scam.

In the meantime, I’ve forked out $100 on an orthopedic dog bed for the slobber monster to be more comfortable.

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