My Dear Tony Bologna
Suddenly my sweet baby has become an old man.
We’ve been noticing little changes. Over the last year, he’s been walking next to us on our off-leash walks instead of running ahead. He is hesitant to get into the car or onto furniture. Spencer had noticed a “tick” in his step as if he was forgetting how to use his front legs.
This Sunday in an excitement to get out the front door he slipped, yelped, and wasn’t able to help himself up right away. Once back on his feet he was wobbly all over. It was obviously something neurological that caused the slip, not the slip that caused an injury. We made a vet appointment that both of us could go to, fearing we would have to make The Choice.
It is neurological, but it is treatable. Tony has intervertebral disc disease. As our vet explains it, there are several layers to the spinal cord. Tony’s inflammation between the discs is such that he cannot sense his natural walking gait, but can still feel, which is why he tries to correct himself and looks so wobbly. The inflammation is treatable with steroids and medication, which we will be using. Surgery is also an option, but it is one we are not willing to do on our ten-year-old. He had surgery on both legs as a younger guy and the recovery was awful. We will not put him through that again.
Overall, classified as another Good Day, but a scary one as we know our years with Tony are limited. I mean, we always knew that- it is a vulnerability you have to understand when you choose to love a dog- but it is more real now.
Tony is happy as ever. As always, he is most concerned with how we are acting on the situation and is doing his best to be in high spirits. He’s enjoying his new “bed” on the floor (my knitting blocking mats with an old comforter) and Bruce has been keeping good company.