I really wanted to go to the Writer’s Police Academy again this year. Last year was so much fun. I did sign up, and I did have classes arranged and everything, but I am really sad to say I have a very sick dog and cannot go.
Many of you know that at the last Writer’s Police Academy, I watched a demonstration of K-9 officer training, and while I was there, I fell in love with German Shepherds again. We had a GSD growing up, and I never realized how much I wanted to find a GSD to love until I met Ledger.
So here he is. He is a rescue, an elder statesman, and a really sweet boy. While we’ve been together, I’ve learned the most important thing about German Shepherd Dogs: They choose a person and stick to them like glue. They are, in fact, a little bit clingy. Like big, furry skirts, they swirl around your ankles everywhere you go, even if it’s only two feet. Back and forth. Sink to stove. Bed to bath. They follow. Everywhere.
And I don’t mind. Except when they’re sick they will not leave their “support bi-ped’s” side. And they do not appreciate being left.
But we found out that Ledger is actually older than anyone realized. They thought he was about 8, but X-rays show he’s probably over ten now. He’s has had a very difficult life. It’s always tough for older GSDs because they develop a number of issues due to bad breeding practices–things that make their final years especially difficult, like hip dysplasia.
None of which would stop me from adopting him all over again tomorrow. I love my dog.
Now we are dealing with kidney problems and Ledger is on borrowed time. He is still eating, sometimes, but he doesn’t like low protein food. Just look at that face. He still thinks he can eat an In-n-Out quad, animal style. (Not that he’s ever done that on my watch.)
Most of the time, he enjoys sitting by my feet while I work. Or he sits by the pool while I float. Unlike Pepper, our Lab, Ledger dislikes the sun, so he sits in the shade. He gets up and walks over when I float his way to say hello.
Animals make us into better people. I hope I’m doing a good job of seeing to it that he doesn’t suffer unduly. The kids are all sad, but we’re philosophical. One does what one can.
At any rate, this is why I won’t be going to the Writer’s Police Academy, the family affair that started with Frantz, the K-9 officer, will probably be ending for me and Ledger pretty soon.
But Ledger’s the dog of my heart, and we got some great time together. Adopting senior dogs is tough, but so worthwhile.
Please give your pets an extra hug for me and until we meet again, be well.