The cir­cle of life

Shepparton News - - PETS - DR FIONA CAMERON Shep­par­ton Ve­teri­nary Clinic www.shep­

The cir­cle of life reared its sad and happy face in my fam­ily re­cently. Our much-loved lit­tle old dog quite sud­denly went into heart fail­ure and died. She had a fail­ing heart and had been on med­i­ca­tion but it didn’t seem to slow her down at all.

Only a few days be­fore­hand she and the other dog were play­ing chasey and I felt she could live for­ever.

She had a won­der­ful last sup­per of leftovers which she gorged on, and I think that might have been the small thing that tipped the heart be­yond what it could cope with — or it may well have hap­pened any­way.

It was an emo­tional burial, but she lives on in all the pho­tos and videos that keep com­ing up on the com­puter screen saver, show­ing her very much a part of those fam­ily mo­ments.

Our other dog, Ras­cal, found him­self alone. He spent the week mostly in bed.

We’ve al­ways had two dogs, so the search be­gan.

Ras­cal would more likely ac­cept a puppy, since he isn’t overly fond of other dogs — hav­ing been at­tacked three times. What breed of dog does a vet choose? The Shep­par­ton An­i­mal Shel­ter has al­ways been our Årst port of call and over the years we have ob­tained three lovely mixed breed dogs that have turned out as spe­cial as any pure­bred. A good dog is a good dog. Un­for­tu­nately, luck was not with us this time; the shel­ter did not have any dogs for re-hous­ing, so we had to look else­where.

I am a big fan of the ‘shel­ter spe­cial’ as they are of­ten des­per­ate for a home and have hy­brid vigour.

We also con­sid­ered a Grey­hound Adop­tion Pro­gram dog as they are al­ways good dogs — but again, it was more risky in­tro­duc­ing an adult dog, and the pro­gram doesn’t have pup­pies.

The happy face of the cir­cle of life is the ea­ger-beaver puppy we found.

We chose a pointer cross and hope she has a good, healthy and long life ahead of her.

I don’t see many point­ers with chronic dis­eases such as skin al­ler­gies or pre­ma­ture arthri­tis, so hope­fully she stays well.

The play­ful­ness and in­quis­i­tive­ness of a pup is en­dear­ing, and Ras­cal is slowly com­ing around to the new ad­di­tion and has made a few at­tempts to be nice.

The out­side area is very tidy for once; be­cause ev­ery­thing is picked up and mouthed by the puppy, if one does not want it chewed it must be put away.

No doubt she will de­stroy some of the gar­den sprin­klers, chew some of the plants and get into trou­ble — but they grow up quickly and it won’t last long.

We have to change her mi­crochip de­tails, get more vac­ci­na­tions and a heart­worm in­jec­tion, do puppy school, de-worm and de-A-Eea her and that is all in the next few weeks.

The joys of pet own­er­ship far out­weigh the heartache that comes in­evitably, and we keep our Ångers crossed for a good life for her, as a loyal com­pan­ion for Ras­cal and an­other happy, smi­ley face to wel­come us home ev­ery day, who never com­plains and is al­ways a joy to be with.

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