“He that hath a wife and children,” said Bacon, “hath given hostages to Fortune.”
I say “She that hath pets and critters hath given hostages to Fortune too.”
Spent a day with vets on Wednesday. In the morning Blossom and Alsiki were carefully and thoroughly sonogrammed (didn't think “sonogram” was anything other than a noun, but what do I know?). The results were dispiriting: no deep shadows indicating babies—just the lumpy, bumpy outlines of the rumen. Neither goat is pregnant. That means no babies, no milk, no cheese in the foreseeable future.
In the afternoon I took lame Lexi for x-rays and a diagnosis. She has torn the cruciate ligament in her knee. Moreover, she has arthritic elbows, arthritic hips, and an arthritic spine. (No wonder she doesn't want to move.) Surgery could repair the ligament, but it would do nothing for her other joints.
She'll be eleven in July. Even before she tore the ligament, I had to entice her outdoors with pieces of mozzarella. Ligament surgery has a 12-week recovery period during which the dog is not supposed to move much. After three months of that regimen Lexi would have to be carried outside.
So we're in palliative mode. She's on anti-inflammatories. She will have acupuncture and chiropractic sessions—even Chinese herbs if they look like they might help. But no heroic measures.
I didn't know this stage would come so soon. My once-lively Lexi has become a kind of hearth rug. Her hind quarters are shrunken and her chest and shoulders are huge, because she uses them to pull herself along. The other day I lured her outside while I threw balls for Wolfie. At one point she looked at me in her intent, can't-be-ignored way. “Throw one for me!” she said. So I did, only about six feet away. She hobbled towards the ball, stopped halfway, then lay down. I looked away.
One thing she still loves is eating. She weighs 84 pounds, about ten more than she should. Every extra pound on those joints causes more pain, so I feed her less and less all the time. She's down to two cups a day. I suppose it's the right thing to do, but she doesn't think so, and neither do I.