Chaz the little dog that can!
For the last 8 years I've had the most trustful companion at my side. Weighing in at about 16 pounds, Chaz is a spunky, hard headed long haired daschund. Now if this was NYC instead of little blue jean (Eugene) Oregon seeing a long haired daschund would be a nearing everyday occurrence. Chaz has full run of my studio, greeting friends and clients alike. He has a fan base of many, and he remembers those who remember to bring him a treat.
About a month ago on one of our many hikes through our Oregon woods he injured his back. Its been a long month of trying to find a remedy for his pain and suffering. My goal has been to get him back to enjoying one of his favorite activities, keeping me company while working away at the studio. He prefers sleeping under my desk, but as soon as I start packing my laptop he is up and ready to go.
Yesterday he was unable to use his back legs and was in tremendous pain. I had to make a very hard decision. To try to keep him going or to say goodbye. Chaz and Maggie, my black lab, have taught me a lot about how I connect, see and feel the world around me. I wouldn't have worked with the number of vets and other animal providers over the years without this understanding. Having worked and seen so many highly skilled animal professionals I also have an understanding of what they can bring to helping our furry friends heal.
I made the phone call to Oregon Veterinary Referral Associates. I had done photography work for OVRA back in 2007 for their website and print materials. At that time I hoped that my animals would never need the care and services that they provide. As I talked on the phone with the receptionist and she recognized who I was, my eyes filled with tears as the full reality of the choices I had to make set in. To try to keep this friend of mine with me for hopefully several more wonderful years or to let him go. I looked into Chaz's eyes and felt that he wanted to fight and to live. I remembered him trying to swim after me as I ferried boats down Clarno rapids on the John Day river at flood stage a couple of years ago. That look of "I just want to be with you". (Don't worry I pulled the boat back in and he rode down with me)
Yesterday afternoon Chaz underwent back surgery. The surgery seems to have gone well. As of this morning he is urinating on his own and eating well. I hope that after a month or two of recovery he will still be greeting our friends and clients here at the studio.