Approaching her 84th dog-year birthday Sambucca started with a red eye which started to bulge. This followed a long slow period in which she went grey, then white, then hard-of-hearing, then hard-of-seeing. She’s still full of beans and has a robust appetite, but the intermittent bulging red eye was not normal. A trip to the vet was called for. Between making the appointment and going the old duck clocked 84. Twelve calendar years. Born 23 August 2006. It says so on her papers from The Kennel Club. ‘Jena’ born out of ‘Yellow Daisy’ by ‘ZinZan Kilgobbin’.
‘Strue. She’s our first non-brak. Amazing. I always thought she was 12% greyhound judging from her sprint round the trailer when I get home evenings.
Tobias rounded her up, so she thought AHA! I know him, he wants to shampoo me! To avoid him she leapt into the back seat of the Ranger like a teenager. Tobias just grinned, mission accomplished! Jess accompanied me and even though old Sam very seldom gets a ride she was a star on her dog mat in the back seat; calm, unfussed.
We also had best behaviour at the vet except when an intruder – an inferior golden retriever! – dared to leave the consulting room and cross the waiting room floor. How dare it come to the vet on a black labrador day?
Sam advanced on it menacingly. “Hey, act your age!” got her to subside. “You’re not on guard duty now”, I told her. I kindly didn’t mention that she’s never on guard duty.
The verdict was a retrobulbar mass which will probably grow. And ears that need a good cleanout.
Otherwise she’s in really good nick; happy, healthy appetite, shiny soft coat and good joints for an old duck.
“What a lovely dog”, said the vet Laura and her assistant Nikki, giving her another treat. Sambucca bristled when Laura mentioned she could have a cat scan, A WHAT!? but then her thick tail signaled enthusiastically that the lab report agreed with the vet report when we all agreed not to do any major surgical heroics.
So she’s had her first home ear washout, four to go.
Update: She can hear again! Sometimes.
Update: she’s gone . . 6 January 2019: Aitch’s birthday.