I am mom to two of the sweetest little pups that ever lived. Well, all pups are the sweetest that ever lived, but these two just happen to be all mine. I adopted General Neyland (Nicknames Include: Gee, Gee Unit, Gee Neyland, The Sir) in February 2009, right after I graduated college. In case you were wondering, General is named after the great Robert Neyland, the most winningest football coach in The University of Tennessee history. Yeah, we all know, I'm a super fan. Gee was about a year old when I got him, and will be 7 next month. He is a mutt... a mutt that is 100% howling beagle, in my expert veterinary opinion.
While Gee is a good ole Tennessee boy, Venus (Nicknames: Veenie, Vee, Veen, Veenie-Bo-Beenie, White Dog) is a born and mutt-bread Texas gal. About 7 months after moving to Dallas, I started volunteering for Paws in the City, a rescue organization in Dallas. When I first began volunteering, I was just doing their social media and graphic design. I really wanted to help, but also wanted to keep a safe distance from alllllllll of the sweet baby adoptable pups that needed a furever home. I didn't trust myself to volunteer at the adoption events.
And with good reason.
Welcome Veenie-Bo-Beenie to the family. She was at the very first adoption event I ever volunteered. Go figure. But really, look at her adoption photo. Like, really?
I'd like to meet this photographer and shake his or her hand... because how he/she ever got Veenie to sit still for this photo, and at less than a year old at the time, is BEYOND me. Veenie is also a mutt, like Gee. They told me she was part Doxen, part Jack Russell. But like Gee, in my expert veterinary opinion, girlfriend is a 100% bonkers Jack Russell Terrier.
While Veenie is seemingly bullet proof *knocks on wood of course*, Gee has really struggled with a nagging health issue over the past few years. Two years ago, I was told by the Vets that they were quite certain that Gee had a tumor in his jaw and they gave him a handful of months to live. Gee was 5 years old at the time... FIVE. No, my dog is not dying at age 5, he just isn't. I of course had a nervous breakdown.
Ever since my Dad passed away in 2006, I've really struggled with separation anxiety. Obviously it doesn't take a PhD to figure out why that is. Ever since CB came into my life, I don't fear goodbyes as much... hey, that is pretty cool, that just dawned on me!!... But for the longest time, I couldn't do "goodbyes" with family or friends without spending the entire day in a fit of tears. So getting the news that Gee most likely wouldn't make it... well I was a complete and utter wreck.
Long story short, Gee had a tooth pulled and a section from his jaw biopsied and he DID NOT HAVE CANCER. Cue the tears of the most insane joy of my whole life. I hugged that sweet baby so hard that night.
But here we are 2 years later, and after a visit to the vet yesterday, that tumor word is being tossed around yet again. Gee needs more teeth pulled, but they are worried his jaw my break in doing so. I have choices to make.
Do I spend a small fortune, an amount that could be as much as three or four months rent, and play it safe by doing a biopsy and x-rays? This option would confirm to the vets that his jaw can hold up. It would also confirm that, god forbid, there isn't another culprit like a tumor that can't be seen by the naked eye causing this disease.
Or do I take a chance and simply pull the teeth, which has worked two different times in the past without complications, and hope that his jaw won't crumble, and that a tumor hasn't developed in the past two years.
The good news in the short term, is that it doesn't seem to slow him down from his very important squirrel hunting duties! He is eating and drinking and hopping and skipping and jumping and playing just fine. I know whatever decision I make, it will be the right one for Gee, for me and for our little family.
Sometimes it helps to just get all these thoughts organized and down on paper, or on blog in this case! Just do me a favor and hug your fur babies for me tonight, will ya?