Dozer turned nine last month. I promised him a birthday party, but that didn't happen. Not even a little present, unless you count the allergy shots he's getting every three days or so (hey, he gets cheese as a treat for taking his shots so well).
Nine years is decidedly senior for a big dog like him (90 lbs). But he doesn't show his age, except that he's slowly falling apart physically.
Last week he had a major allergy episode, and had a staph breakout. He's on antibiotics.
He's also on a special prescription shampoo. I have to bathe him every 3 days. I gave him the first bath on Friday and he sloughed more fur than I've ever seen him shed before. I had a Chihuahua-sized pile of fur on the shower floor at the end, and Dozer continued to drop huge dust bunnies as I dried him.
Dozer also has an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon--finally--to officially diagnose what appears to be a torn meniscus in his leg (the one that previously had a torn ACL and subsequent surgery).
If it is a torn meniscus, Dozer will probably have surgery the week before Christmas. Yes, another surgery.
So his Christmas present--and ours--will be... surgery! Yay!
I'm still recovering from the bill for his dental surgery to remove his cracked tooth. And it looks like we'll need another surgery in the future because of an odd growth on his front leg.
I'm still working two jobs. Actually, the freelance job is on break for the holidays--but that only helps me in that I don't have to come home from work and do more paid work. I come home from work and do unpaid work instead.
Byrd swore up and down that, if I went back to a regular job, he would absolutely help out with the housework, cooking, and all that jazz. Let me give credit where credit is due: Byrd has done 1 load of laundry (his pants only) and 2 loads of dishes in the last two months. (Note: At our house, I fill a dishwasher in two days, and do about ten loads of laundry a week. So Byrd has assisted with 3% of dishes and 2.5% of laundry in last 2 months.) He also cooked three meals in a row! (7.5% of meals) OK, you get the point. I still love him. I just wish he understood how much time gets sucked out of my evenings and weekends by chores.
I've worked full time before, and it seems like Byrd was a lot more helpful then. Or maybe I had more time for chores, because I wasn't as involved with volunteer work, website maintenance, and the like. Maybe it was a combination of both.
Anyway, the discouraging thing is that all of the money I'm making from my awesome new full-time job is going straight to vet bills. I can only give my most heartfelt thanks--and a sparkly greeting card from Target--to the people who hired me just when I needed the money the most.
Happy Holidays to you all! May you have a surgery-free vacation. :)