The bulldog, Jake, is an incomparable creature. He is loving, friendly, sweet, TOTALLY thinks he's a lapdog and is fiercely loyal...to my husband. I, on the other hand, can't do a thing with him.
One thing we've learned over the years about Jake - that there dog either has the highest pain threshold EVER, or he just doesn't feel pain at all. And it seems recently that he has been happily walking around with a fist-sized tumor in his mouth that we didn't discover until it became infected. Running to the door to go for walks? Check. Eating his dinner in 24 seconds flat? Check. Sleeping well? Begging for treats? Harassing the little dog next door every chance he gets? Check, check and BIG OL' CHECK.
This morning Emmie and I had to take him to the vet to have the tumor removed while Hubs took Thomas to school. I buckled Em into her carseat then went to get Jake. Regardless of the fact that 90% of his car rides are to the vet he luuuuuurrves going for a ride and ran hell-for-leather to the back of the car, attempted to jump in by himself then glanced back at me with this look that was all "lady? I'm nine years old here, can I get a boost?" I hefted him in, tied his leash to a bracket in the way-back of my CR-V since his first act in the car is ALWAYS to jump into the backseat, and since that spot was already occupied by mah fragile baybee, I wanted to make sure he'd stay put.
At the vet I opened the door to the way-back, grabbed Jake by his collar to keep him from jumping out while still tied up and thus hanging himself, then frantically started untying the leash because the silly dog had JUMPED OUT ANYWAY and was standing on his rear feet making a gaaah, gaaaah, gaaah sound. Fabulous. The vet can repair his esophagus right before they intubate him for surgery.
(Don't worry, no animals were harmed in the making of this story.)
I grabbed the stroller and buckled Emmie in, and Jake pulled us both into the vet's office. Have you EVER known a dog who fought to get INTO the vet?
The surgeon took a look at the tumor and said it is probably oral melanoma which does not bode well for our bulldog.
I hated leaving him there. It isn't until we got to the scales for a weigh-in that Jake remembered that he doesn't like the vet. He started to fight and pull away and gave me that pleading look that says "please please take me home, I'll be good! I promise!" I hugged and kissed him and Emmie and I ran out before I could cry.
Jake probably won't live much longer and I realize that both kids are really too young to have developed memories of him. They will never know what a fantastic dog he is and, even though I bitch and moan about him on a daily basis - his breath, his drooling, his stubborness - how much we love him. I'm glad I'll always have this photo: