Prioritizing Pets: when there isn’t enough time in the day


Someone recently commented on one of the Saved by dogs posts, “Is this a current active site? Doesn’t appear to be.” 

My immediate response was yes.

I understand the question though. We don’t always look active, do we?

My last most recent post was in September and here we are in November. So in some ways, I guess it hasn’t been very active – even though people continue to find the blog and continue to use it for reference purposes, which is designed to be one of its main uses. The information about breeds, training etc. remains relevant.

So where have I been? Like I’m guessing everyone who finds this blog, I work. I’m also a writer and ironically, I’ve been so busy writing I haven’t had much time for blogging – because when I’m not writing for more pressing publishing demands I’m using more of my time for being with my dogs and less of my time these last few months writing about them. And there’s a reason for this.

Those of you who have stopped by in the past know I live with a wonderful Collie, Jenny. I also live with a few other dogs –  Gracie the English Bull Terrier,Lil the Labrador, and Chi Chi the Chihuahua. I tend however, to think of Jenny as ‘the good dog’ because she is usually the lowest maintenance, happy to just be, gentle natured, a sense of humor that doesn’t require her to bounce off the walls or me, and a spirit that makes her a pleasure to be around. 



Of my current crew Jenny has been with me the longest and while each has their spot in my heart, Jenny has that place that an oldest child has in a family – the one who tends to be responsible and can be counted on in a way the ‘puppies’ and younger children maybe can’t be (can you tell I’m the oldest sibling in my family? Fortunately my younger siblings don’t read this so I can slight their birth order without fear of reprisal.)

 

As said, Jenny is usually a low maintenance dog. This fall, however, Jenny has not been well. She started with a cold that appeared to be kennel cough. She hadn’t actually been to a kennel but even so, a cold isn’t impossible to catch outside kennel conditions. The first round of antibiotics which was meant to help clear this up seemed to be helping at first, then she started getting sicker. Back to the vet for chest x-rays (we were all worried she maybe had a heart condition) only to find she had developed pneumonia. Several medications and months later with many medical ups and downs and it now appears that Jenny has doggy-emphysema, or as it is more commonly known these days, COPD. How? Who knows. We don’t smoke or mine asbestos but these things can happen. 


The result of all this though is that I’ve been spending a lot more intentional time with Jen. She needs her nose wiped regularly. Her walks need to be by herself – no doggy siblings – and slow. I keep a humidifier running for her and otherwise seem to find a lot more little things to do for her. She is eating well, enjoying taking her casual strolls, and still maintains her role as big sister to the pups. She scolds them when they get too rowdy and invites them to the occasional game when they get too quiet. She still nibbles my arm when she thinks I’m working too hard or otherwise needing to pet her. She also has coughing spells, sneezes a lot, and seems to constantly be fighting a low-grade infection. How long can we go on like this? Who knows. We take each day as it comes and we try to remain optimistic, although some days that is a little more of a struggle than others.

  

I enjoy this blog, I enjoy the interaction with both readers and fellow bloggers whom I’ve met online. I realize though that lately, with the limited number of hours we each have in a day, we sometimes have to make choices between the handful of things we enjoy, and then give priority to some over others. I miss my blogging community but I know that most of the blogs I enjoy reading will still be around in a month, or ten. So I will blog and read blogs when I can and that may not be as often as in the past – not that I was ever the most frequent commenter. I’ll try and keep my toes in the water. I know that those of you who read this will understand my priorities, just as I know your best wishes will be sent out for Jenny to do as well as possible as long as possible. Meanwhile, I am reminded once more that dogs live in the moment and we must do the same when spending time with them.   

 

  

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