|Picture of Mr Moss looking really happy|
It’s hard to believe that it’s two years since Moss my black faithful old Labrador retired after many years of hard work. Friends and colleagues are regularly asking me how he’s getting on, so on this milestone of his retirement this is probably as good a time as any to bring you up to date with his progress.
For those who don’t know, The reason why he had to stop working a little earlier was because the arthritis in his hips was making it tough for him to work on any longer. So after some advice from the vet it was decided Mr Moss should hang up his harness for the final time in June 2010. This resulted in me having no dog to guide me about for a few months while the Guide Dogs searched for a suitable replacement. I thought it would be best for Moss to stop rather than me working him while he was in pain.
Moss loved working, but in the last few months of his working life, he had certainly lost his enthusiasm for slipping on his harness and hitting the road. He had slowed down so much, it would have been faster some days for me to pick him up and carry him. Plus at his peak he would run to get his harness on. By the end he would go back to bed and reluctantly come back down stairs to go to work. So the signs were clear, Moss had to stop.
Oddly, or perhaps not that oddly when he stopped working his enthusiasm for life returned. Keen to go for a walk, run around the park with other dogs, Moss certainly got his mojo back for a while. In fact, he was so full of life I was beginning to wonder if he had anything wrong with him at all. Perhaps I had retired him too soon. It could be he stopped liking me, because he perked up when he was at home with Christine while I was at work. [Clearly, that can’t be the case] maybe it wasn’t physical, may be it was mental and Moss was suffering from depression. Then when he stopped working his depression disappeared.
Unhappily, Moss is now really struggling to get up and down stairs. We’ve now had to significantly increase the strength of his pain killers. Their is no doubt in the last six months he has declined quite considerably.
The muscles in his back legs have wasted away at an alarming rate. The vet said once the current pain killers stop working their isn’t much left for Moss to take apart from very strong medication that would dampen his personality and would mark the beginning of the end of his life.
|Picture of Moss in the sitting in the sunshine|
|Picture of Moss letting the wind blow between his ears|
However, he still appears to be up for a laugh and on a flat walk he still likes a good run and his zest for life hasn’t disappeared even if his muscles have. What makes it particularly hard about Moss and it’s something the vet has also said, Moss never complains, winces, yelps..he is one immensely stoical dog and it is really hard to tell when he is in real pain. We do get an idea from his body language, licking his lips and how he takes himself off to a quiet corner quite often now.
Moss is and has been, such an important part of our lives. His nature is second to none. We always call him Mr Moss because of his refined and dignified personality around the office Fingers crossed we’ve still got some time with him yet.