There’s one member of our family who has been with me for an large number of freelance projects. He’s been there when I’ve created amazing work, when I’ve had writer’s block to the extreme, when I’ve been rolling in work, and when I’ve had uncomfortably long dry spells between work.
His name is Regal and he’s our family’s beloved first-born dog, an extraordinarily handsome, personable beagle that my wife brought into our marriage 10 years ago, and who will turn 13 in July.
The Beag (his more commonly-used name) is a 13-inch, tri-color, long-snouted beagle who never met a piece of meat or cheese he didn’t like, loves to have his floppy ears massaged, and, is the family’s loudest snorer, now that I finally started using a CPAP.
For many years, the Beag would sleep either underneath my writing desk and complain loudly if I bumped him with my feet, or just outside the office door so he is ready to assist, but also can keep an eye and an ear down the long hallway to see if anyone’s opening the backdoor or the refrigerator.
Sometime in 2014-2015, the Beag hurt his back and neck while playing with our other dog. He lost the ability to jump on the bed, he cried out if you touched him in sensitive spots or tried to pick him up, and he walked slowly everywhere. Eventually, he was given long-term pain meds that got him back to about 50% of his former rambunctious self, and we were relieved to at least have the pain managed.
Two weeks ago, he got an infection at the back of one of his paws and I took him in. The vet gave him a low-grade steroid as part of the treatment and mentioned it might help his pain some, and he could get a low-grade prescription if that was the case.
I didn’t much think of it at the time, but the past few days has been nothing short of a trip to the Fountain of Youth for him. We’ve seen him actually running again for the first time in five years. Yesterday, one of the Twin Miracles and I took him on a walk around the block and he was pulling on his harness enough that my daughter had to break into a trot a few times to keep up.
I can’t even begin to describe the effect his sudden improvement has had on us. I never thought I’d have a smile on my face getting up from my work desk 12 times a day to let a dog go outside to run, play, and bay.