One thing that happened was we almost lost Lou. (The real dog, not the character.) He's getting on in years, somewhere the wrong side of fifteen, but he's been healthy as a horse and pretty much the same as ever – chasing squirrels, barking for treats, maybe a bit slower, but then again, so am I.
But one day he stopped eating. Completely. Not a speck, not a morsel. Nothing would tempt him – he barely drank water. After a couple of weeks, he'd occasionally eat about a tablespoon of chicken, if coaxed by hand. He went from 12 lbs to 9 in a matter of weeks – 25% of body weight. He was weakening by the day, and starting to have trouble getting up or going up stairs. It was getting close to decision time.
Vet finally came up with a diagnosis. Pancreatitis. I hadn't know dogs suffered from that. An acute attack usually kills; the chronic version they can survive. The trick is to keep them alive until the inflammation subsides.
Anyway, to cut to the chase, he had one paw out that cold and dreary door when he started to slowly improve. First, an occasional snack, then, an occasional interest in a treat, then actually eating a small dinner.
Finally, eating again, rudely demanding treats on walks, scampering around like the Lou of old. He's still way too thin, maybe a bit over 10 ½ lbs, but he's back.
So he wasn't quite ready to leave. Which is good, because I wasn't quite ready to see him go.
On the music front, my band the Procrastinistas is playing a gig Saturday night at our favorite venue, the Hotel Utah Saloon here in SF. And we have back-up singers. Should be a lot of fun.
Here's a tune with the back-ups -- they're something, live.