2017-08-10 / Viewpoint

You can’t put a price on what my dog is worth to me

Tanya Terry — Staff Writer Tanya Terry — Staff Writer Everyone who knows me knows I love my dog, Jasper. I found out recently, much to my dismay, that my dog tore his two back ligaments. The surgery needed to correct this cost a little over $2,700-and that’s just for the first leg. A co-worker and my mother-in-law both asked me if it was worth it to get the surgery, considering my dog is about 13 years old already. I explained to them that the fact I have had my dog so long made me want to help him more, not less. These two individuals said they were concerned Jasper wouldn’t make it out the surgery well.

However, even before he tore his ligaments, I was considering getting the surgery, which is also needed because his left hind kneecap became permanently dislocated before that. My dental hygienist had said even then, in her opinion, it would not be worth it to pay about $2,000 for surgery because I may not even have my dog long, considering his age. I told her for me it was not about whether I had a dog a long time, but about Jasper’s quality of life.

Later, I learned that the breed of dog Jasper is, a Pomeranian, is one of the longest living breeds. One of the longest living documented Pomeranians lived to be 21. There was an undocumented claim that among the survivors of the Titanic was a 22-year-old Pom. There are also some that claim of Poms that are 24 or 26. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest dog of any breed on record is an Australian Cattle dog that lived over 29 years. So,

Pomeranians are pretty high up there. In my younger, more dramatic years, I got so angry after an argument with a friend who was telling me I shouldn’t major in journalism that I threw an object across the room. Jasper rushed to my lap seeming to want to calm me down and doing so. When my ex-fiancé used to raise his voice at me about being “prancy,” Jasper seemed to know I was scared the discussion would escalate and again he rushed to my lap and began humorously and protectively barking at my ex. When I was sad because my grandmother passed away, Jasper made a weeping sound as he sat on my lap. Even today, if I fall asleep on the couch, he falls asleep under the cover hanging next to the couch. He also barks until I set him on the chair right next to me when I’m working on my laptop. Indeed, we’ve shared many good times. including long walks that have lasted a few hours which have recently become long, daily walks in which I push him in a stroller due to his injury, and he sits relaxed looking from one side of the street to the other in amazement.

For me, my Jaspie is worth any amount of money, and I know other pet parents understand.

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