Snitzle 4

So the jewel known as Snitzle moved to LuckyPup Ranch, inserting herself among the other dogs as if they had always lived together. No growling. No fights. I lifted her onto the bed at night and down again in the morning. Every night she peed the bed. We got up at 1 a.m. and went for starry walks, and sometimes made it through a dry night.

“Her teeth need to come out,” the vet said. “All of them.” But first, of course, tests.

Hormone pills solved the bed wetting within a week, but the tests revealed a heart murmur, kidney disease and a liver that was none too sturdy. She kept her infected teeth and started on a regime of antibiotics and prescription dog food for kidney disease, sprinkled morning and night with enzymes.

I found my notebook from the day Trudi and I saved her.  I’d written her name: “Shelby”

When I said it to her, she leaped and spun with delight. Now she is a jewel called Shelby, when I remember, and Schnitzle when I forget.

She must be fifteen by now.

I bought a staircase so she can climb in and out of bed whenever she wants, and a smaller one for the sofa. Her teeth are pretty good. Her kidneys have stabilized, as has her liver and her heart. She stays close, cooing behind me like a small flock of pigeons perched on a ledge.


About heidivanderbilt

Owner LuckyPup Ranch, Benson, AZ where I raise, board, rehabilitate and retire horses. Recipient of a special Edgar Award from Mystery Writers of America. Married to artist Bernard Fierro.
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