Can we all take a moment and realize that Stella has made it to 2019? I can honestly say I did not think this would happen. And while you’re all perhaps sick of me saying “Stella has made it to x” I am going to celebrate every single day like it is a huge milestone. Because to me, it is!
Especially since she continues to do SO WELL.
Now, don’t get me wrong, she has some days that are harder than others. And when you’re a senior dog, the hard days are harder than they would be for a younger dog. For example, when Stella eats too much deliciousness at the barn while running around, her stomach pays the price the next day. History has shown that too much horse poop, horse grain and hoof trimmings, and a bellyache will ensue. With this bellyache comes a loss of appetite and sometimes vomiting. In the past, she wouldn’t eat for a day and by the second day she’d be back to normal. Despite not eating she’d still want to run around and acted normal. However, when she ate too much at the barn this past week, she didn’t want to move too much, had zero appetite and after 20 hours of not eating, she was shaky and visibly uncomfortable. I gave her some meds which fortunately helped and by 9:30 pm she was willing to eat some chicken and rice. By the next day she was back to normal, but having a bellyache was a lot harder on her than it had been in the past.
But, the good days are still good. And there are far more of those.
Which makes me realize, I need to readjust how I think about the future. I don’t want to jinx anything, and I am more than aware that Stella isn’t going to be around forever. But instead of thinking about when her last day will be, for 2019, I am going to plan every day as if she will be in it. Seems like a far more positive attitude. Hopefully it works out well.
In 2018 I put a lot off because of Stella. Beyond canceling my trips to Ireland and New York, I put off some work trips as well. And don’t forget that leaving her in July left me with an ulcer that only cleared up after some serious meds. So, I want to be prepared for what traveling while I have Stella will entail. Because if I am prepared, I think I can avoid an ulcer as well as enjoy my time while I am gone.
My hope is she can travel on overnight work trips for me. I think for one night, I can get her to settle in and I won’t have to burden someone with looking after her. Plus, she still really loves a car ride.
The hardest part about having someone stay with Stella, is that she doesn’t always sleep through the night. I have a routine I try to stick to, and she does well with it, but I would say that 75% of the time I am waking up around 4am to let her out to potty. I am so used to this that I can reliably fall back asleep but its a lot to ask for someone else to do. However, I think if I split her care up among a few people for longer trips, it won’t be too overwhelming for them. Also, most people probably go to bed later than I do, and I think this will get her sleeping in longer in the AM as well.
So, despite the odds, I’m planning a 2019 with Stella in it. How exciting is that??