Guido was a little black pound hound when we got him. He was about 3 months old and had picked up some outstandingly bad habits by the time we brought him home. After he ruined our carpet, and I personally installed hardwood floors in our house, I found the value of a good dog trainer.
Guido was fast and sleek and about 50 pounds. He was a really pretty dog. And then he wasn’t. When he was 4, he started losing the fur on his face and he took on a patchy, bedraggled look. No one said, “Oh, what a pretty dog,” to us anymore, although watching them process his ugly mug and try to find something nice to say was perversely entertaining.
But he was Guido and we didn’t mind, and I didn’t mind the several hundred dollars we spent trying to figure out his underlying pet health issue. We were never able to figure it out, but it didn’t seem affect his health and energy level, and soon we were back on our typical twice-a-year visits to the vet. This little incident wasn’t enough to open my eyes to the potential costs of responsible pet ownership.
Part of Our Family
Guido was a key family member for a couple of reasons. One, I traveled a lot, and I was comforted knowing that my family was protected while I was away. He never would have let anyone break in while he was on watch.
Also, and most importantly, he played a huge role in my daughter’s transformation from coach potato to athlete. I couldn’t suggest activity without her questioning my motives – deep down, she knew she was overweight, but it wasn’t openly discussed. However, I could talk about our responsibility to Guido and his need for exercise. By the time Guido was 2, we were extremely faithful dog walkers. Routinely walking Guido created a cycle of lost weight, and an increased interest in activity that has continued into young adulthood for my daughter. When I say that Guido is responsible for changing my daughter’s life, I’m not exaggerating.
A Health Scare
When Guido was 8, we noticed some lethargy and had him into our vet a couple of times. Our vet gave him a clean bill of health, and he got his energy back so we thought we were in the clear. A couple of weeks later, I came home from work one evening and Read More…