We aren’t 100% sure of how old our Kit is. The rescue organization estimated he was about 3, and we’ve had him for 6 years. That puts him at 9. Like our first dog, Faye, he’s a corgi. But unlike Faye, he’s lazy. He was a whopping 45 pounds when we adopted him, compared to Faye’s top weight at 19 pounds. And also unlike Faye, who was notoriously picky, Kit eats like he’s unsure of his next meal.
Corgis can develop back problems when they are too heavy. Despite our best efforts to whittle down his weight, things came to a head this last holiday season. We don’t know what his life was like before he came to us, but we do know he’s terrified of loud noises—whether it’s loud laughter, expressions of disgust during video games, or teen bickering. When things get noisy, Kit likes to retreat into our bedroom. The trouble is, that’s on the second floor. After a week of going up and down stairs several times a day, he was done.
The vet said it was vertebral disc injury, but it was too soon to tell how bad it was. His stomach wasn’t doing so great either, so mild meds, acupuncture, and rest (no stairs) were recommended. We got him a ramp to deal with the last issue.
He wasn’t keen on it at first. We tried to tempt him into using it by setting it up to go to the window seat. If he couldn’t chase squirrels, at least he’d be able to bark at them. He sniffed but refused to trust the odd new addition. We want to keep him less pudgy, but he was getting better enough to be sassy and try jumping up and down off things. Low-cal rewards were clearly the lesser evil. And it worked.
I need to be fast folding it out, because he can be impatient and try a leap he has no business attempting. Still I’m thrilled that the acupuncture is working so well, and even more miraculously he doesn’t seem to mind it. We’ll still need to keep an eye on his back, but hopefully he has plenty of squirrel chasing years ahead of him.
|Kit near his downstairs dog bed, wondering what I am doing.
Song Choice: Jump by Van Halen
This essay is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings #4