San Diego County went to the dogs a very long time ago. Specifically, one of the most scientifically- significant fossil specimens of an ancient dog, Archaeocyons, was discovered in a construction site in the Otay Ranch development of San Diego a few years ago. The findings were published today in an article I was reading on my phone as I waited with Comet to see the veterinarian this morning. Several million years younger, though definitely feeling older and under the weather, my dog has been on medication for a touch of arthritis that may have gotten worse this past weekend. He developed a limp in a rear paw which by Saturday morning changed to him hopping while keeping it off the ground much of the time. Other than a few trips outside to relieve himself, following us to our bedroom at night, and a couple times greeting people at the door, he has been laying on the dog pillows for three days. The prescribed Gabapentin (with a dab of peanut butter) which I have given Comet most evenings since the beginnning of the year should not have contributed to worsening joints, the vet tells me.
Dropping him off for the day, I hope the vet will diagnose a condition and give a remedy to help Comet. What we had noted, and the vet confirmed, is that Comet is losing weight. Apparently, the vet wants to analyze the old man for other potential ailments, but these come at significant cost. And therein lies the rub, as Shakespeare might say. While I am able to get prescriptions filled at a cost-savings (see a post I wrote about pet medication being filled at Costco), his treatment is not covered by human family health insurance and is a decision to take on significant debt to care for animal friends. At a time when we are living in inflationary times and very modestly on self-employment, it becomes a thorny problem.
With aging Dexter still in sound health, we will just keep Comet comfortable and at home. Dexter, never one to suffer gently any loss of attention, does not seem to mind Comet missing today, though I plan to monitor them both at meals going forward so Comet eats – and Dexter doesn’t help himself to both dishes. I am hopeful that the vet will report nothing adverse when I go to pick him up today. Comet still has life in his bones. I read (also today) that some medical workers learned when they carted someone off in a body bag from a Chinese hospital to morgue only to discover the man was not dead. This last reminded me of a scene from a British comedy troupe satire I watched in my youth.