Happy Birthday Moseley

Moseley is 13 today.  She and I are hanging out this morning, watching the sunrise, appreciating the little things as we’ve done for the close to 4700 days we’ve been together.  This has been a challenging year for her.  She’s become arthritic and deaf in her old age.

Then, nearly three weeks ago, she walked in the back door and suddenly began to stagger, and fell down.  She got back up and did it again.  I watched in alarm, firing thoughts that she was having a seizure or a stroke, I noticed her eyes darting back and forth, her head tilted in a bizarre looking way. We loaded her into the Moselymobile, and headed to the ER.
The symptoms came and went; we’ve had two more follow-up visits with the vet, one involving a doggie gurney because she couldn’t stand or walk at all.  Warning:  this experience is not for the faint of heart.

At the vet 12-09

Her head tilt, the eyes darting, the staggering and loss of balance all add up to what we now know is “Idiopathic Geriatric Vestibular Syndrome”, which means, “we don’t know why, but your dog has lost her sense of balance the way a lot of older dogs do, and she may very well recover, but we can’t say for sure, but try these antibiotics, just in case it’s an ear infection”.

The good news is that she is showing signs of improving, for which we are both profoundly grateful.   And once again, as she has for 13 years, she offers yet another lesson in gratitude.

She is an amazing companion, true to a dog’s reputation for loyalty, she is fiercely so, with the possible exceptions of a new Frisbee partner or a cheese wielding visitor, once they’ve been cleared by security of course.  She is obedient, protective, dignified, and sometimes stubborn.  And loud.  The dog has a bark.  A friend recently asked if it was possible for a dog to go deaf due to the sheer decibel level of her own bark?    Does anyone know?

I am looking over at her as I write this, and of course she is looking back, communicating with her expression as she always has.  We both know these are cherished times when we can be together.  She gives my life so much joy and meaning.

Happy birthday, beloved dog of mine.

You continue to teach me.  The latest lesson is about not giving up.   Life throws curve balls – we can complain… or we can adapt and find the meaning.  Life is sometimes painful – learn the lesson and move in the direction of healing.  When you’re off balance, find a trusted friend to share the burden, and prop you up if needed.

Cherish now.  Live fully, appreciate the little things, and keep your head up even if you have to tilt it to find your way.

To Moseley!  Here here!

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