First mate and mast out of sorts

…and sort of out.  I pulled the mast on the 16th.  There were enough tasks to be done that taking care of it fighting gravity didn’t make sense.  The boat looks really dumb without rigging.  Like a tub toy.  The wind does not hum in the stays and the boat moves strangely.  Too light.

On the 22nd Austin was flying through the fields like a jackrabbit in the afternoon and later the same day shrieking in pain with every motion.  It began while at our friend’s boat at their going away party.  I had to carry him home and then we ended up in the vet emergency hospital until 1 am.

Digital x rays (which showed no pinched anything)and a lot of pain meds later and he spent the night standing and crying.  That led to sitting up awkwardly and crying. No sleep for a week for either of us. They said it was degenerative disc disease or IDD.  Dormant in puppies and emerging at age 3 – 6 years.  Can occur in any breed, any size, any mix mutt.

Fast forward to today.  He has been taking a series of steroids that are now tapering off.  He can walk in a sort of tripping staggering stumble and wears booties on the back feet to protect his knuckles from getting scraped up.  I hold up his back end with a soft scarf and try to anticipate when he wants to pee.  I also carry him a lot. He gets spoiled with good food as usual.  I call it Love Therapy.

The future is a mystery.  Not sure if he will become one of those cool wheelchair dogs, or if his legs will come back to him.  I am hopeful about his recovery and he remains his buoyant self.  Stay tuned.

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