My Buddy

by Peter Marus

     This is Stache, he's a 9 year-old Springer Spaniel.  He gets his name from the brown on the left side of his face, it goes form his nose to the brown on the side of his head.  It looks like half a mustache, hence his name.   He's my buddy.  The reason I'm writing about him tonight is because when I was playing with him today, I realized how great of a dog he is, and that he had to overcome a lot in his life.

      First he has epilepsy.  We found out this early in his life when he had a couple seizures.  We also noticed that when we would see him in the morning, he would be wet on his chest (possibly from drool during the seizure.)  The Vet put him on some medication that he still takes today. Since he has been on it, he's only had I think 3 episodes since then. 

     After this started to clear up, he started to have skin problems.  It first started with him scratching all the time.  At first we thought it was dry skin, and started giving him something to help with his skin.  It didn't help and he started to scratch so much he would pull out hair and bleed.  We kept taking him to the vet, and he was stumped.  He first thought Stache had a allergy to beef, so we started him on a lamb diet (still on it).  It helped a bit, but he still had problems with scratching.  It pained me to see him suffer and I felt horrible.  Eventually, we took him to a specialist on Long Island, where she found that he had a auto-immune disease that made his immune system attack his skin cells.  She prescribed a medication for him and it worked to a point.  He stopped scratching a lot and seemed to be getting back to his mischievous ways. The only thing was his bald spots weren't growing back.  After a time the specialist took some blood form him  for a blood test, where it was discovered his liver was being damaged from the medication.  Luckily she know of another medication and put him on that...WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! He started to get his hair back (has all of it now), and seems to be acting normal

(a pain in the ass!). 

     So now he has hair, it's 3 shades of brown, but he has it back.  As you can see he is a good-looking dog.  He isn't to friendly to people at first, protective of my family, and is really attached to my mom.  It's so bad, if she gets up to go to another room for a second, he has to follow her, even if he was asleep in the first room!!!!  It's funny to watch, at least to me that is. 

     He's not the smartest dog, or is the greatest guard dog (cats have been known to walk in front of him and he never notice!) , but he is a good dog.  I"m amazed how he's turned out.  I was worried at one point we may had to put him down because of this, but I'm thankful he's better.  Only thing is that he's on all these different medications for the rest of his life, and it's like he almost taking medication every 4 hours (all the dosages are split up throughout the day), but he doesn't mind since the pills are put in things like ham (has to be boars head, he's a gourmet!!), bread, or Kraft cheese (again, he's a gourmet, won't eat the cheap stuff!). 

     That's my buddy, he can't help look that good..when he's around an owner as good looking as me, it can't help but rub off on him!!!