Thanks to all who have responded with sympathy at the recent news that our dog, Tabasco, is dying. She's been a wonderful companion, and I'm going to miss her terribly.
She's also a scrappy survivor. We don't know how long she survived on the streets as a stray before we got her; she was scrawny and starved when she showed up at the animal shelter four years ago, and the experience probably took a permanent toll on her body. But she held her own against Tessa, the Great Pyrenees we had at the time. Tessa was built like a polar bear, and outweighed Tabasco by orders of magnitude, and considered herself the farm's Alpha. But Tabasco never backed away from a confrontation, and wasn't afraid to snarl back. We ended up having to keep them physically separated.
So, it takes a lot to keep Tabasco down. And, remarkably --- with the help of the medications the vet gave --- she's even been clawing her way back from her most recent medical problems. The diuretic has led to a dramatic reduction of her bloating...to the point where she's now getting thirsty and drinking significantly more. I wasn't crazy about mopping up the big "piddle puddles" she left in my office overnight this weekend, but it was a whole lot better than seeing her about to explode from bloat. The steroid the vet prescribed has helped her breathing a lot; Tabasco is getting around much better. She still doesn't run, but her walking gait is a lot closer to what it had been months ago. She's more perky, more interested in what's going on around her, and no longer looking like she wants the whole thing to be over.
We don't want it to be over, either. As long as she's willing to keep going, we're willing to let her. X-rays don't lie, and I'm not kidding myself about Tabasco's long-term prognosis. But we're deeply grateful the vet has bought us some quality time to get used to the idea of letting her go. And to spoil her rotten with all the good stuff she likes to eat.