Off to the vet first thing this morning with Josh and Annie. We found out after Annie came to us last year that she has some damage to her liver and kidneys from medication that she was being given. Thankfully with a supplement we were able to stabilize them. But Annie's last blood work results showed some changes in her kidneys so she needed to have a couple of more tests done. One was to check her blood pressure. A laid-back-and easy going 14 year old Golden Retriever with high blood pressure just doesn't seem possible, does it? But apparently it can be in dogs suffering from kidney issues and if it is left untreated, hypertension can contribute to the damage done by kidney failure. Thankfully Annie's blood pressure was just fine.
For Josh it was a yearly exam, and a required rabies vaccine. He also has a pretty good ear infection so that needed tending to as well. I don't write too much about Josh. He found his way to us in 2002 as 3-4 month old puppy that was found on the side of the road after he'd been hit by a car. It took 5 orthopedic surgeries to both hips, pelvis and front leg and a very long recovery to get him back on all four feet again.
Josh's position in the pack has changed little over the years. He's a relatively quiet and very easy going dog, that loves to chase the frisbee and stays in the background, allowing the others to shine. Within the pack I think that he is probably considered one of the lowest dogs, but I can't be sure. When he comes to me for attention, most often he is nuzzled out of the way by one of the other dogs. When I try to get him to jump onto the bed he won't if Charlie or another dog is there first. Josh patiently waits for his turn to be given his dinner and his treats. I have watched him interact with the other dogs and he seems to have their respect and he (thankfully) is not being bullied or picked on, which the lowest dog can be. It all just reminds me how complex pack-dynamics can sometimes be, so I guess I should just give up trying to figure it out. But what wasn't hard to figure out is that it was really nice to spend one-on-one time with him (and Annie) and I think he really enjoyed his outing as well, even if it meant having to have a sore ear and vaccine to get it.