Just so as ya know, I am still battling lice on Doo Dog. It’s weird that he has them. In the first place, he’s rarely ever around other dogs and when he is, it isn’t like they are rolling around together. Doo is too old for rough-housing. And, second of all, dog lice tend to be a winter ailment (according to the vet). Nevertheless, there they are. I was squicked out about them at first but I’ve sort of gotten used to dealing with them now (especially since they are species-specific and so my cat and I can’t catch them). It has been a month and a half of the stress of weekly (or more frequently) baths and of picking the little parasites off of him. (And probably 2 1/2 months since he contracted them.) I had to get him shaved down again last week because his hair had grown so thick and curly again, I couldn’t see the pests anymore. I haven’t found any on him yet this week (although he is still scratching in places, but that could just be dry skin from all of the pesticide baths). So, I’ve got my fingers crossed.
Fortunately, I found that a nearby pet supply store has self-grooming stations that I can use. Since the bathtubs are up at arms’ height, I don’t break my back anymore, chasing Doo around and scrubbing and hosing him down while he’s scrambling to escape and flapping around, throwing suds everywhere. Plus, for Doo, he thinks it’s a big adventure to go to the store and back. As a result, he doesn’t get so wound up and anxious that he evacuates his bowels at the first opportunity (which I then have to clean up–joy, joy), trying to bite me in the tub, and then defiantly peeing on the carpet afterwards to show his displeasure with the whole scenario (which I then have to clean up–joy, joy–as if I wasn’t already tired and stressed and in back pain enough already). The self-grooming station has been a life saver (both for my back, Doo’s safety and sanity, and for me so that I don’t end up in jail for losing my temper with him for being such a shit through it all). So, we all get along and end up even having a little fun. Thank the gods.
Still, it is stressful for us both. At his age and with all of his health conditions (heart murmur, arthritis, mild dementia, and increasing incontinence), his overall ability to keep it together has dipped lately. He now wears a diaper full-time when I’m not home to deal with leaky faucet #1. (I gave up on the wimpy doggie pads they sell at the store and now use Huggies strapped on sideways.) He has started having problems with leaky pipe #2 (on the backend) and so I have to cage him off in an easy to scrub down area whenever I go out (which is a real joy for me to come home to, let me tell you.) And, this weekend, he had a hard time calming down; he threw up a couple of times and just paced and paced but couldn’t really tell me what he wanted.
He still sleeps well. And he’s still able to sleep with me. (I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t have him with me in bed at night. Erf.) And when we go out for the little bit that he likes to go out, he has such a puppy spirit and attitude that people often say, “Oh, how cute, how old is your puppy?” They are also shocked to find out that he’s 16 1/2 years old!