We decided it was time to get Tess sterilised - despite frequent tugs at heart strings regarding filling our house with cute little collie puppies our minds were made up when the last time she had her vaccination the vet told us that the longer we left it, the higher the risk that she would become incontinent as a result of the operation.
Although we are not living on quite the miniscule budget we were, money is still somewhat of an issue and so I asked the vet how much the procedure was likely to cost. " How much does she weigh?" he asked. I said that although I know she used to be around 15 kilos, that I thought she had got a bit more chunky of late. "Lets work it out on her being 18 kilos" says he, and then if she is less it will cost slightly less or vice versa.
He said it would cost roughly 200 euros.
With a deep breath I booked her in.
I was quite pleased to be working on the morning of the operation, which meant that Neil had to take her. Tess like most dogs, hates the vet surgery and starts shaking as soon as she walks through the door. Having had one dog who was completely accident prone, I know that horrible feeling of leaving them in the surgery and was glad it wasn't me doing the deed. The vet took her straight in when Neil arrived so that he was there when the vet weighed her (just over 16 kilos) and gave her the dose of aneasthetic.
Tess was having none of it, and fought the dose and refused to go under. Not giving a toss about our budget she wouldn't go off to sleep until she had had enough aneasthetic to drug a 30 kilo hound.
Neil and I both felt terrible about subjecting her to this ordeal and worried about it all morning, not really able to concentrate on anything else. Neil went to pick her up and was so desperate just to get her home that he almost ran with her out of the surgery so that the vet had to come outside and find him to tell him they wanted to see her in a couple of days to check her over.
That night she chose to come up to our bedroom to sleep under our bed ( rather than in her basket - she thinks under the bed is a bit of a den) and unusually for me I had difficulty sleeping, being aware of her moaning from time to time.
Amazing how quickly animals recover though, and although she is still a shade quiet she seems remarkably perky after her op
Not looking so clever though is Romeys ear. Or what was left of it after the vet tried to cut the cancer off it - unsucsessfully it seems.
The vet has given us tablets and drops for it, but the upshot is there is nothing more they can do. "She won't mind if she sprays blood up the walls, it doesn't bother her" says the vet - and she certainly seems happy enough. It's all down to quality of life at the end of the day isn't it.
She is a lovely cat, although she does regard the entire house as a cat litter tray (and particularly the barn which drives Neil mad), but she lived here before us, and to lose her would be losing part of the house, so we just have to do our best for her.
So all we have to do now is wait for the vet bill to arrive. I always wondered what it would cost to sterilise a great dane. Arghhhhhhh!!!!
ps apologies again to those kind enough to leave comments - I still am unable to reply to them - I really must work something out...