I have been distracted for the last two days because of difficulties with my older dog. Clifford is a four and a half year old brindled Akita who has been in severe gastrointestinal distress, with problems coming at both ends. We had him at the vet all day yesterday and he is back there today, which has reduced my blogging to zero. I had to be close to him all last night, just in case there was a blockage and a problem ensued (the x-rays and barium were not definitive at that point), checking him every hour or so.
Everyone loves Clifford, including the whole staff at our veterinary hospital. He is the only Akita that our vet would ever consider letting near her children. An 85 pound mass of snuggling goodness, Clifford is our fuzzy bear and will lick you to death if you let him. My daughter lived and breathed his initial adjustment for the first two weeks we had him. He was coddled, hugged, snuggled, brushed, and was generally the center of her attention from morning to night. At the end of that effort he was fully housebroken and already the lover he would later prove to be.
The exceptional start she gave him shows in his wonderful demeanor and temperament. While it is sometimes possible to help an animal recover from early mistreatment, nothing beats a really good start in life. With animals, as well as most things, I am reminded of the aphorism that Socrates said was ancient to him, “Well begun is half done.”
I will resume regular efforts shortly.