Poor Jake’s got aspiration pneumonia. Apparently after he exhausted himself repeatedly retrieving a hard rubber barbell-looking dog toy he found on the “other” hill last Friday, he sucked in water too fast and some of it ended up in his lungs. He sounded like a tug boat. Freaked me out. Anyway, so he’s on major meds. No frolicking with Fergie—that’s a whole other story, keeping her from bugging him—no pogo’ng up and down against the front fence when the UPS or mail truck passes by, and no mini ball playing while I’m on the “throne”.However, for the next week he’s allowed two, ten-minute strolls a day. Ha ha ha ha. Fergie doesn’t allow strolls and of course she has to go along. And when I turn around at Llewellyn Drive, he stares at me, eyebrows furrowed. Seriously? his look says. Sorry, toots, I say. I love you and that’s how it has to be. So after a couple of days of this, Fergie’s energy had built up to where she was constantly goading him, making him cough. So, on Monday, I took him for his itsy bitsy walk, waited until he was back in the house, made furious hand gestures for Fergie to follow me back out, then slowly closed the door, all the while apologizing profusely to Jake. I can still see his stunned expression, eyeballs stretched beyond their limits as he leaned sideways to follow my guilty gaze out the door. He didn’t say a word; no howling followed me and Fergie out the gate.
When we returned home an hour later after doing the big hill, Jake was pressed against the door, a look of reproach in his eyes. You did it, you actually left me. I know, I know, I told him, kissing him on the snout. Hey, how about a treat? I said brightly and went to stuff his pill into a tasty chicken-flavored “Pill Pocket” and offered it to him. It was time. For the first time in his eight-and-a-half years on the planet, Jake turned his head at the prospect of a treat and stared at the floor beside him then trudged toward his leather chair. I followed him. You sure, I said holding out the chicken pocket inches from his nose with a cheery smile. He didn’t even lift his head. A tiny flare of panic. What if he didn’t take it? Painful memories of my dear Sweetpea, who had major medical problems that required daily meds: all the fear and heartbreak that she would die if she didn’t continue the regimen. (She eventually died but not from refusing her pills.) I slipped the pill into a leftover meatball. He liked those. No way. Even a car ride along with the pill wrapped in bacon didn’t do it.
Quieting my fear, I threw the pill away (by now it had to be ineffective) and decided that Jake would come through, he just needed time. Hard for me to do. But I did it. An hour later, he gulped down the med which I had wrapped in a piece of cheese. He even gave me a lick on the nose. All was forgiven. Funny thing, when I leave both of them behind it’s okay; it was taking Fergie that did it. I learned my lesson.