Friday, 22 April 2011

'S' is for ... Simba

Some of you may not have been acquainted with the yellow, hairy member of our family. No, not the husband. Our yellow Labrador, Simba.

Twelve years ago, and after much deliberation we decided we would like to get a black female Labrador. A friend of a friend told us about a farmer friend of theirs whose gorgeous Labrador had just had pups. The next day we went to see them. Somehow the fattest pup, a yellow male 'found' my son. They have been inseparable ever since.
We named the puppy Simba, after the Lion King Disney film (son's favourite film at the time.) Simba is Swahili for Lion and it seemed rather appropriate.
When he was five months old, Simba nearly died after eating slug pellets in the garden. A few months later, he went terribly lame. Despite his pedigree certificate, low hip score and none of his brothers or sisters having it, after expensive investigations, we found he was riddled with arthritis - hip dysplasia, both hips and elbow dysplasia, both elbows.

The vet told us he wouldn't reach three years old and I sometimes wonder with my health problems, whether it was 'meant to be' that Simba ended with us. I know all about the pain of arthritis and living with chronic pain. He's been on medication ever since. We have to limit his food and exercise, he now has cataracts and can only see shadows. He's deaf and can only hear claps and follow hand signals. His breathing alternates between shallow and raspy and deep and laboured - sometimes I think he's having a heart attack
as he can't catch his breath. Yet despite the prognosis, Simba is still with us, even though every winter we say, 'I don't think he'll last another year'...
He has to twist and distort his body to lie comfortably, as you can see.
These days, he spends most of his time asleep. As I type this, he's laying at my feet, snoring like a trombone, his body twitching as he dreams of the rabbits he used to chase...
There you have my 'S' word - 'S' is for Simba, our very special, faithful, wonderful family member.

Until another day
Bye for now
xx

19 comments:

Mari G said...

Gorgeous photos - of both son & Simba!

Keena said...

I had a dog that the cushion between each of his vertebrae had disintegrated. It was a hard choice but he could no longer walk and was in terrible pain. I pray you never have to make the choice to put Simba down, He is beautiful and I know he brings you and your family joy!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Awww...what a sweetie. He looks well cared for. :)

Linda H. said...

I enjoyed reading about Simba. It reminded me of a cat I once had. It was a stray that got hit by a car. One hip was damaged and the vet said it would never heal. We adopted it and became best buddies. She always walked with a limp but managed to somehow climb trees. Amazing how people and animals can adapt to their needs.

I have a feeling Simba is very happy with you and can tell that you love Simba very much. Pets bring such joy into our lifes.

Karen Walker said...

This so made me tear up. Our dog now has cataracts and can't see and has a thyroid condition and diabetes. But he's such a gift. Sounds like Simba is, too.
Karen

Debs Carr said...

Reading your post and looking at those pictures of that adorable pupply and dear older dog with all his difficulties brought a lump to my throat.

What an incredible pet and how lucky he is to have found your family to be a part of.

Jennifer said...

Awe so cute. My daughter named her first dog Simba sadly he passed away several years ago. I still consider him the best dog we ever had. Thanks for sharing the photos

Bish Denham said...

Ahhh, sweet dog. I know how hard it will be when it's time for him to say good-bye. But no doubt he'll tell you when he's had enough. Dogs are like that. In the mean time, enjoy every day that you have with him.

Frances said...

Please give that dear Simba an extra pat, or scratch behind his ears, or whatever he likes best, and let him know it came all the way across an ocean.

xo

cherie said...

Your post is so heartfelt and sincere. Lucky Simba to have found such a wonderful loving family. We had a dog once--he was a mutt with brown spots. He would meet us everyday as we were walking home from school. When he got older, he took to just lying around the porch. One morning we found him dead--he'd been poisoned by a burglar who was trying to get to our house. We cried so hard. I think, even in his old age, he was trying to protect us.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Well I definitely had a tear in my eye as I finished reading this! What a lovely dog. As you say, isn't it amazing that he ended up in a home where someone understands what he's going through.

L'Aussie said...

Simba is a lovely name for a dog and it so suits your lab. Gorgeous.

Denise<3

L'Aussie Travel A-Z Challenge Posts

Anne Gallagher said...

Simba is a beautiful animal. A dog's love knows no bounds. You're both very lucky to have found each other.

I scrolled down while I was here and was completely blown away by the excert I found. Masterful, powerful and lovely.

I look forward to many more visits.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, we had a 'Simba' with the same problems, we miss him still.

Anita said...

Your labe is beautiful (as is your precious little boy). We have a yellow and a black lab, so I understand how powerful that bond is. They are the gentlest and most loving of all breeds, in my opinion. Bless your sweet Simba. I hope he has another good year with you and the family. :)

BTW, your blog decor is cool!

Pam Asberry said...

What a beautiful post. We had a golden retriever who developed similar problems, but he died when he was three. Simba is lucky to have you - and I know you feel the same way about him. I am happy to "meet" you and look forward to following you.

Janna Qualman said...

Oh, what a sweet, sweet boy. Simba sounds wonderful.

Thank you for visiting my blog this morning, and for your kind comment.

I'm wishing you the best!

M Pax said...

Awww, Simba is adorable.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Oh, what a sweet puppy! I love the name. (Loved the movie, too.) We ended up with a dibetic cat that required shots, and I wonder how many people would have struggled through that without giving up.)