First, let me say that Keeshonds (or, Keeshonden, if you want to be all correct and Dutch-like -- and I do recommend being Dutch-like because the Dutch are generally a handsome and very nice people, and their language sounds a little like English and a little like German and a little like something else, which is both cool and disconcerting) are not easy to live with.
Ours isn't, in any case. It's the whole Spitz family of dogs, apparently. High maintenance.
Noo Noo is not easy, but oh is he loved. Probably by only four people in this world (or possibly six, but that might be a stretch). I have named him here at last, which I said I would never do because he prefers his misdemeanors to be anonymous.
I have named him now because I am afraid I may not be saying "Noo Noo" as often anymore, and his is a name I will miss terribly when the day comes that he is no longer living in this house.
Sometimes I over dramatize things. That's what Lars thinks. Although, Lars thought so when Saskia was so sick she kept crashing into the lockers at school and I kept taking her to the doctor to find out what was wrong. For a while the doctor did not know, and Lars said, "You're over-reacting! She has a little cold."
(Germans are apparently such a fierce people that HORRIBLE respiratory infections are merely an inconvenience. Although I've noticed that when Lars has a little cold our house shakes with dramatic sneezes, moans, and groans. Just saying.)
Well, turns out Saskia had pneumonia. Oh, and mono, too. Simultaneously. That's why when Lars tells me I'm over-reacting I tend to ignore him.
Anyway, Noo Noo is sick. This story is longer than my attention span right now, but it started a year ago with a series of seizures, followed by a year of nothing out of the ordinary. Then, a week ago, he started compulsively licking his haunch, until there was a bare spot the size of a silver dollar. He licked that spot until he broke it open, and then he licked some more until it became infected.
Noo Noo will not permit so much as a concerned squint in the general direction of his hot-spot. Woe is she who attempts it.
The OCD behavior was followed by progressive behavior changes this past week: aggression, depression, paranoia (or so Saskia and I think...he sure looked and acted paranoid last night), chewing and licking motions something like tardive dyskinesia (not sure if dogs get that), confusion, random barking at nothing, and oddness of gait.
But at times he was pretty normal this week, too.
Right now he is at the kennel, which is also the veterinary practice where he is a patient. The vet has seen him and is concerned.
Apparently there a few possibilities but the most probable have to do with his brain. Something is not right up there.
It could be a tumor. It could be doggy mental illness. (Can you fucking believe it? I just KNEW I was going to end up triaging even more psychiatric crises. Because, why not?) Whatever it is, he's clearly a bona fide member of our family.
And that sucks for poor Noo Noo, and it sucks for the rest of us. We love him. We need him. And we may not get to keep him till his seventh birthday in December.
I hope I am dead wrong. I thought the same about Benjy not so long ago. I did not know if we'd get to keep him forever. And now I'm pretty sure we will.
Although it doesn't happen often, I am occasionally wrong. Cross your fingers that this is one of those times, Readers.