pets · reflective

Tank

I love dogs.  I actually have 5 +1 dogs at the moment; the +1 is a neighbor’s dog that spends a lot of his time at my house when I am at home.  Mostly, my dogs come into my life as I need them.  They are former strays that cross paths with me at some point of their life and come to live with us.  With each stray, I try to find their owner in case they are just lost but I have never had luck reuniting a dog with their family.  They are all welcome to stay with us.  I can always make room for one more!

My oldest dog at the moment is Tank.  He is a pit bull mix that is the sweetest dog I have ever had in my life.  He is a low key alpha dog that only acts alpha when he feels it is truly needed.  When it comes to who eats first; Tank steps back and waits.  He knows that everyone gets their fair share.  He makes the rounds every morning and every night to be sure the perimeter is secure.  When one of the other dogs acts overly aggressive to a repairman that I have welcomed, Tank is there to make sure the repairman remains safe.  He has knocked our youngest dog (Harley) off his feet to be sure Harley does not forget his place.  But only when it appear to be necessary.  He is a smart dog and he actually looks for ways to please me.  It goes without saying that I love this dog.

I took him in for surgery today.  He has a growth over his right eye that is causing congestion, nose bleeds and swelling of his eye.  I saved my money in order to get that lump taken out.  Unfortunately, the vet called and said it is an inoperable tumor.  He did go in and clean out the mucous around the tumor which should make him more comfortable.  I take him back in two weeks for suture removal and the vet will assess the swelling over his right eye but he has already said I should think about putting him to sleep.  Right now he is on pain meds and antibiotics for a sinus infection.  But in my mind, he still has quality of life.  He is still a happy dog and doesn’t really appear to be in pain other than from the surgery.  So I won’t be choosing to put him to sleep unless life gets difficult for him.  I will help him in any way I can to stay comfortable and happy.

Dogs give us so many good years and all of their love and loyalty.  They ask for so little in return; just a pat on the head and a good word every once in awhile.  Tank has gotten much more than that from us.  I remember when I saw him for the first time.  I had dropped my kids off at elementary school and there was a stray running around the school campus.  He was running up to kids and the vice principal was concerned that the kids would follow him into the road.  I offered to take him to my house and look for his owner.  But as I pet his back and sides, I found multiple places where bb pellets were embedded in him.  And when I took him on a walk near a creek, he became hysterical near a certain part of the water leading me to believe that someone had tried to drown him.  He was only afraid near that one spot.  So I was pretty sure he would become my next family member.  I took him home that day and he barrelled into my heart like a tank (therefore the name!).  He was there for me as my marriage disintegrated into divorce and it now I’ll be there for him through his cancer.  Thank you Tank; you’ve been a very good boy………

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