Why We Love our Pets

Our beloved Welsh Terrier Taffy

Our beloved Welsh Terrier Taffy

I just recently read an article about a research project that was commissioned by the Purina Pet Food company. According to the research, one in five people let their dog sleep in their bed every night and 61 percent of women talk to their dogs. (only 61%? What do the rest do?).

They also added the following:

* 31 per cent of women feel their dog is a better listener than their partner.

* 24 per cent of men used their dog to talk to a good-looking stranger in the park.

* 14 per cent of men said their dog showed them more affection than their loved ones.

– Source: Purina Pet Survey

The article at http://www.globalanimal.org went on to say that “more than half of pet owners bought birthday presents for their dog or cat, spending up to $50 on presents. Many of them threw birthday parties or sent their dogs and cats to be specially groomed. (They are not talking about a regular hair cut here)

A good sleep !

Nothing like an afternoon nap!

A multimillion-dollar market is being built around the move to spoil animals with pet weddings, makeovers, clothing and luxury goods. (This is crazy – but that’s just my opinion.)

Ms Statham said there were downsides to coddling pets, however. Dogs could suffer behavioral problems if treated too well, and become too dependent on their owners.

A Sleepy Girl

Ok I admit it – this is a picture of a coddled pet!

I have to admit that we have been treating our Welsh Terrier, Taffy, somewhat differently lately. We have our reasons. About five months ago my husband and I started to notice blood in our dog’s urine when we took her out for a walk. It didn’t happen all the time but we were concerned enough to take her to the vet.

We were told at the clinic that she might have an infection.. or it could be worse. The only way they would know was to get a sample of her urine. This is not an easy task. Picture me running after my dog with a ladle under her butt every time she peed! It took a while but eventually we were able to get enough of a sample to bring to the vet. Then we waited for the results.

The fact that Taffy did not have a urinary infection was not good news because it meant that the situation was even more serious. The only way to tell,said the vet, was by performing an ultrasound. Then we would know for sure…

We were ready to leave for our holiday to go to Spain and the vet told us that we could deal with it when we got back. However I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I contacted Dr. Zimmerman via email and told her to go ahead with the ultrasound. Then we waited again.

My husband and I were in the lobby of the Regina Hotel in Madrid waiting for our room to be made ready to occupy. I opened up my Ipad and we read with shock (and a lot of tears) what the vet had to say. She wrote:

I am very sorry to report that Taffy has a large growth on the inside of her bladder wall. Given her age, location of the mass, and slow-growing nature, there is a high likelihood that this growth is a Transitional Cell Carcinoma. There is also a round mass on her spleen which may also be cancerous.

Dr. Zimmerman went on to say in her email that chemotherapy is not effective in such cases and radiation was not a viable option. She continued “Sadly this leaves us with palliative care as the most viable option“. She prescribed drugs to make Taffy more comfortable and help her maintain her appetite. Taffy is a little piggy when it comes to food – she would sell her soul for ice cream so losing her appetite would / will be a huge indicator of how she feels.

Taffy in her favorite Victorian armchair

Taffy in her favorite Victorian armchair

We have seen a gradual decline in her energy and appetite. We try to have her with us as much as possible which is easier to do because I am home for the summer. She follows me every where. (She is in her favorite chair watching me write this blog entry). According to the vet, when Taffy stops following me around and prefers to stay in her own bed, we will know the end is near.

I don’t know how much longer we will have our beloved pet with us but we will do our utmost to make sure she has as good a life as we can give her!

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