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Rozie the Beautiful

“To sleep, perchance to dream-
ay, there’s the rub.”

Hamlet (III, i, 65-68)

To Be or Not to Be (Shakespeare)

It has been many decades since I had a colicky baby who turned night into day.  The pitiful wails of a child who cannot tell you what hurts still ring in my ears all these years later.  And even now, if I hear a baby’s cries, I want to jump up and do something to help.  It must be a universal kind of Mommy impulse reaction.

Never would I believe a dog could accomplish the same tugs at my heart.  Instead of the plaintive cries of an infant, our 13 year old dog Rozie PANTS!  No, she is not hot (the first supposition) because it has actually been on the cold side here lately.  She is comfortable because she has an orthopedic bed that I would not mind sleeping on, except it’s on the floor at the foot of our bed.  But she only pants at night.  So?  Big Deal.  Why is that a problem? Dogs pant after all.  I have been told it’s how they perspire.

Well, this panting starts off at a tolerable level and then escalates as soon as we turn off the lights.  Then my husband and I lie abed in a sort of hopeful tension as we hear the panting continue and builds rapidly to what I call “panic panting,” which is the equivalent of the baby SCREAMING!. So, the problem?  The problem is – who can sleep at night?

Using Chair Rungs for Headrest
“I can hardly stay awake!”

Is Rozie in pain?  What could it be?  Is it her stomach?  Is it her heart?  Is it arthritis?

We took her to the vet of course – more than once and more than twice.   An EKG revealed nothing wrong with her heart.  She does have semi-high blood pressure so she’s on meds for that.  Only a touch of arthritis is evident from an X-ray.  The dog is strong “and will probably outlive us,” said our vet, until finally he tactfully proclaimed, “I think this panting problem is psychological.”  Really?

Over the past few months, Rozie has endured our many feeble attempts to help her relax at night.  She conks out and sleeps peacefully during the day of course.  I watch her having her doggy dream-runs with serious envy. “To sleep,perchance to dream” makes perfect sense to me now.

But have you ever heard of a dog on so many potential “cures?”

–          Glycoflex Soft Chews (glcosomine-condroitin) – a general joint supplement – 3 a day

–          Rimadyl – anti-inflammatory – 2 a day

–          Blood Pressure Meds – 2 a day

–          Tramadol – pain killer – 2 a day

–          Composure – herbal remedy for nerves – as needed

–          Forti Flora – probiotics sprinkled on her food to aid digestion as needed

–          And A New One – An Anti-Depressent – for obsessive, compulsive, anxiety disorders – 2 a day

For a strong, healthy dog who is going to outlive us, Rozie is on so many medications at so many daily intervals that I now forget to take my own meds trying to keep up with hers.  I am beginning to believe this all borders on the ridiculous.  There has to be a light side don’t you think?  Well, yesterday I looked up the potential side effects of the anti-depressant and one of them at the top of the list is, “Call your doctor if experiencing suicidal tendencies!”  Who me?  Or the dog?  And I ask you, who should be taking the anti-depressant anyway?

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