Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another tough pill to swallow from the B/W film discovery. Our dearly departed Miniature Pinscher, Flair. Yes, that's the name of a BMX trick and no, he wasn't named Flair for that reason. He was already named when we adopted him. My wife found him on Petfinder.com and he was listed as an "older dog" as he was six at the time. Flair was a "junk dog", a horrible term for a stud dog that is "past his prime". Basically a puppy mill dog that is about to be destroyed. The people I got him from had a bunch of MinPins running around and jumping on me as I entered the door. One in particular appeared to be barking but there was no sound coming out. I asked why and the lady said "Her vocal chords have been removed, isn't that great?" No, I didn't think it was great. "Flair's were removed too but they didn't do a good job" she told me. When he barked it sounded like he had laryngitis. It was quite a process to get him and after I had him in the car and was driving home, I immediately had second thoughts about the decision. He seemed really quirky and kind of unfriendly. I had our black lab Brodie with me and they were clashing instantly. I got him home and a good looking over revealed a tattoo dating him as seven years old. He also had cropped ears and his dew claws removed. He had all the modifications. Since he had spent his entire life in a small cage, he had no sense of depth perception. He would try to jump up on the couch and miss it entirely, eating shit in the process. It was sad to think about but he overcame this condition and had no problems after a few months.
As time went on we really grew to love Flair. He especially took to my wife and became her baby. He was cool with me but as soon as she walked in the door it was as if I didn't exist. It was quite sweet, actually. He also started putting on weight and eventually looked like a sausage. I'll spare you the sad details of losing our dog Rosie during this time but Flair got to a point where he was in very bad shape despite our desperately trying to control his eating. He was clearly in trouble and we had been struggling to find a vet we could put our faith in after the Rosie nightmare. We had no choice but to take him to another vet and after being diagnosed with diabetes and pancreatitis, he spent every day for a week at the vet. I would take him in the morning and come and get him at the end of the day, then repeat the process again the next day. The idea of him not making it through the night and being alone at the vet was too much to bear. He made it through and my wife researched the ends of the earth to get him on a program to get healthy. We had to give him insulin shots twice a day, he had to eat at specific times twice a day and could only eat certain foods. Sometimes his insulin levels would get low and he would start to go into diabetic shock, usually in the middle of the night. We learned how to turn this situation around, with some sugar water and a carrot. It was hard, but he lived four years after that close call and being diagnosed with diabetes, well past his fourteenth birthday. Even at the end, he was doing poorly and the vet said he only had a few days left. He made it two full weeks and went out swinging. We learned so much from this little dog. About love and commitment and not giving up. We miss him dearly....

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