Think Kit

Thankfulness

Today’s Think Kit blog prompt: “Share a photo from your year that highlights giving, thankfulness, traditions or finding peace.”

I am thankful for Vladimir.

Saturday night, he gave us a big scare. Vladimir reminds me of Marley from Marley and Me. He is rambunctious, crazy and barks/cries constantly. He sucks on the bed comforter, pillows, blankets, his dog bed…anything he can find, leaving behind a a giant pile of drool. If he sees a squirrel, good luck getting his attention for the next five minutes because he’ll be obsessed with it even after it’s gone. Don’t try to eat dinner and think he won’t beg for food the entire time. And if you’re just hanging out around the house, you can be sure that he will always be touching you, whether he’s pressing his body against you, laying his head in your lap or touching his paw to your foot. Oh, and his farts are the worst.

And although those things drive me crazy, especially when I wake up and move my foot into a dog drool swamp, he is an amazing, loyal and protective dog.

I am terrified of walking into the basement at Ryan’s house, so I make the fearless Doberman lead the way down the stairs into the haunted dungeon where we do our laundry. When it’s 3 am and I hear a strange noise outside when I’m at home alone, who’s the one running down the stairs to check it out? Vladimir. When I’m feeling sick and want to lay on the sofa to watch movies all day, Vladimir is the perfect companion to snuggle and keep me warm. Not to mention that every time we come home, he has a huge crazy smile on his face as if it’s the first time he’s seen us in weeks. He loves unconditionally and would do anything for Ryan…and hopefully me too.

Ryan and Vladimir in the hospital.

Ryan and Vladimir in the hospital.

Saturday evening, Vladimir just wasn’t himself. He was moving slow, drooling and his eyes weren’t open all the way. In a panic, we took him to the animal hospital where we found out he had an enlarged stomach from something he ate. Who knows if it was dog food or an animal from the backyard, but something had him down and out. After X-rays and conversations with the vet, we left him overnight at the hospital with an IV and medicine. Going back home that night, I realized that this would be the first night Ryan had ever spent in his house without his best friend.

The next evening, we got to pick him up and bring him back home. His stomach was shrinking but he also had pneumonia. Still groggy and lethargic, Vladimir came home under our watchful eyes. The next two days were full of sleep for him, with one of us always by his side. It broke my heart to watch a dog that is normally full of spunk and energy just lay there, unable to muster up the strength to move.

Christmas morning was Vladimir’s 10th birthday. He had a little more pep in his step, able to walk up and down the stairs, actually wanting food and trotting outside when I opened the door. By nighttime, he was playing with his toys and I even heard him bark at a rustling outside. Although he’s not completely back to his normal self, he’s definitely on the way.

I don’t think you truly understand how much your pet is a part of the family until something bad happens. The moment I realized something was really wrong on Saturday, my mind was racing and I couldn’t hold back the tears. Although this dog can get on my nerves, I can’t imagine this house without him here.

The best Christmas present in 2012 was having Vladimir here, safe and sound.

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