Little Dogs

Jon and Gus in the car

“So Jon” I asked, “What is it with big men and little dogs?”

He didn’t answer me.

Instead, he looked at Gus and in a high pitched voice said “chi, chi, chi”  and Gus leaped onto Jon’s head and slathered him with kisses.  Jon laughed and Gus licked him some more.

One of the reasons Jon wanted to get a little dog was to try and understand the phenomenon he was witnessing again and again of big men, in big trucks who drive around with their little dogs and love them to tears.

Jon still hasn’t answered my question.  But now I get to witness the Big Man, Little Dog phenomenon everyday.

Just this morning he was on line ordering booties for Gus (something he swore he’d never do)  because the temperature is supposed to drop way below zero this coming week.

I don’t know what it is about Big Men and Little Dogs, but I do see that Gus brings out a something in  Jon that our big dogs don’t.   He gets a little more silly around Gus, coddles him a little more.

Maybe it’s Gus’ emotional enthusiasm or his open affection and willingness to cuddle.  Or maybe it’s his size.  Maybe his being small triggers a paternal instinct to want to  protect him and that draws them closer together.

A couple of days ago we found out that Gus has Megaesophagus ( an enlarged esophagus that makes it difficult, and in extreme cases impossible, to swallow food).

Gus’ megaesophagus is not as bad as it could be and we’re working with a treatment our Vet gave us.  We don’t know at this point whether it will get worse or not.

The treatments, depending on how severe it is,   can be as simple as some antacids and soft food to having something called a Bailey Chair built so the dog can sit  while you feed him so his food can move easily down his esophagus).

Jon’s been writing about it on his blog (you can read all the details here)  and we’ve been discussing  what we’re willing to do and not do.  We both rejected the idea of the chair (we believe there are other ways to get the same results)  and agree we don’t want any of our dogs to suffer needlessly.

But the Jon threw out an idea he’s never spoken out loud before.  An idea he doesn’t believe in.   “What if,” he said  “we were the kind of people who’d do anything it takes to keep Gus alive.”

I don’t actually see us doing that.

But just by saying it out loud, Jon opened up a possibility that wasn’t there before.  The possibility that we might find ourselves doing  much more than we  originally thought we would, to keep Gus healthy.

I’m wondering if Gus being a small dog has something to do with this.  One of the reasons I immediately rejected the idea of the  Bailey Chair it that, in my mind,  it comes to close to feeding a kid in a high chair.  That’s a boundary I personally don’t  want to cross.

But then, Jon did order bottles for Gus this morning, so I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.



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