I’ve had trouble getting back into the swing of posting anything since I got back from Ecuador. I’ve got some pretty good stuff from Ecuador that I hope to get posted Real Soon Now, but last week I had to make a tough, but inevitable decision.
We had visited a vet in Birmingham a couple of times, both of which Thor pooped on the floor. The second time it was, let’s say, not very easy to pick up. It had been hypothesized that Thor had an intestinal parasite. A fecal sample was needed for the test. The vet, seeing the puddles of poop strewn across the floor, said “Well, we have our sample!” (Note: Some of my media consultants have suggested that people are not interested in hearing about poop, but Thor farted in their general direction.) Anyway, the point of the vet story, aside from getting to mention poop, was that she said that her dogs had been afflicted with precisely the same condition and that she kept her dogs longer than she should have. This point stuck with me as I struggled with the decision. If an animal health care professional could not be expected to make the right decision about tell when to put her own dogs down, how the hell was I supposed to? Thor wasn’t clearly in tremendous pain, but it didn’t look like he was having just a whole bunch of fun, and often needed help standing up, especially on slippery surfaces.
Along about last Tuesday, I decided that it was time. Given that the last-resort anabolic steroids, which did bulk him up a little, didn’t help at all, there was only one solution. I called the vet and made an appointment for Thursday morning.
Several of us took Thor out to dinner on Wednesday night at Chez Liberty, a fairly upscale place, with excellent steaks and a dog-friendly patio. It was raining, and the tarp over our heads lost its rain repellent properties in the recent hail storms, so we had the dripping patio to ourselves. I tried to arrange the table so that water would drip between the plates. I ordered a too-big bone-in steak, and when the owner learned why we were willing to brave the storm in the rain room, he sent out a burger just for Thor. Thor ate his burger and a bunch of my very tasty, expensive, and rare artfully aged steak. When our desert arrived, there was a little bone along with it. Don’t worry, it was in a bowl by itself, not with the saffron ice cream. Thor seemed to have a pretty darned good time.
On Thursday, June 16, Thor went to the vet for the last time. I sat with him in his last minutes. After they gave him the first shot, which was merely a sedative, I waived my hands in front of Thor’s face and said “You are getting sleepy, very, very sleepy. . . .” Thor, apparently unaware that he’d been given a sedative, failed to get my very clever joke. Thor was a good dog, but he didn’t have much of a sense of humor.
I filled the rest of the day with errands and my own doctor’s appointment. That night I played a gig at the Pizza Kitchen. Friday, I really wanted to hit the road. I made it out of town by about one.
Here are of my pictures of Thor. Thor’s bad habits started when we first got him.
Thor, suddenly not so sure about life in California, was non-plussed to be dressed as “Thorio” (Remember Fabio and his “I can’t believe it’s not butter” commercials?). He did win a trophy.
Here is Thor with his Kitty, Modi:
Here’s Thor on the thrown I made him for the front seat. he was unable to jump up onto his thrown soon after I’d made it.