Today is Darwin's second birthday. The past two years have been quite a journey for us both, so we're taking the time to celebrate this milestone.
As a puppy, one of Darwin's favourite words was "work", meaning training session. His willingness to learn, his submissive, yet, friendly nature and his ability to charm the humans seemed to make Darwin a perfect therapy dog candidate. However, the plan to go through Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog training was set aside when Darwin started presenting with symptoms of Syringomyelia (SM).
By the time Darwin had surgery to treat SM, he was having loud, prolonged episodes almost every hour; the disease had progressed quite rapidly in the few months preceding his treatment. Darwin's post-surgery recovery was difficult - many bad days of constant episodes, sprinkled with a few good ones when he would only have a few vocal episodes.
In the past couple of months, I've noticed a big change in Darwin. While he still scratches every day, the majority of the episodes are short, non-vocal and usually only signal a need. I've realized that Darwin is now consistently having very good days and that his surgery saved his life.