The day has come…


3-16-13 Oliver7I knew this day would come, and I knew it was going to be difficult. Oliver just turned 18 months, and what with everything swirling around here of late, we kind of dropped the ball when it comes to getting him “fixed”. A few months back, I discussed the pros and cons – according to a layman like me – to having this operation completed, so if it’s all right with you my loyal readers, this time around I’d rather not re-visit why it’s a barbaric and unnecessary procedure. Let’s just accept that it’s going to happen and move on – thanks for understanding.

10-6-13 oliver2

We’re getting Oliver fixed on Wednesday morning. Though sad about actually doing it – I don’t want to put my baby through any unnecessary discomfort – we’re doing it for the following reasons… it is convenient, and besides, when we purchased him from the breeder we signed a contract saying that we would. There are a similar amount of health-related concerns on either side of getting this procedure completed at an early or later stage, but most importantly, I believe that by giving Oliver the 18 months that we did to grow into his body he was able to take full advantage of the natural hormonal development over that time… he has derived more benefit from NOT being snipped at an early age and denied of so many natural body chemicals – he has grown into a healthy, happy and incredibly stable young dog. He’ll also get micro-chipped in case he hates us for it and decides to run away 😉

3-20-13 oliver11

I don’t want Oliver to breed unnecessarily, and although in all likelihood he would never get the chance to roam free and do anything unexpected… you just never know. Better safe than sorry in that regard, and as a family we’re all for responsible pet owning.

3-7-13 oliver archive

Here’s the convenience piece… we’re realizing that over the next few weeks and months we are going to need to temporarily house our little friend for a day or two here and there… maybe even an overnight stay. Doctor visits and other commitments are starting to fill the calendar, and although to date we have been able to work around every circumstance, the day is coming when an extended event will definitely mean needing to board Oliver.

2-18-13 oliver2

We have an awesome boarding kennel lined up, but they are understandably reluctant to have dogs – even if all males – co-habitate if some are fixed, while others aren’t. There’s a significant chance that our little currently un-fixed guy will be the one trying to “hump” other dogs – and while that’s perfectly natural behavior – apparently it can make for a more heightened and less tranquil atmosphere within the group, and we wouldn’t want that to happen.

12-15-12 Oliver at Green Acres 4

And besides, one of the things we’re especially hoping to get from the boarding experience is a positive social interaction for Oliver. His demeanor is such that he just wants to play… with anyone, anytime, anywhere. He’s a happy dog who will get along with all others… perfectly. However, if he’s humping (and there’s no guarantee fixing will prevent that), then the possibility of a mellow co-existence within his fellow boarders might become a little unbalanced, and if the alternative is some form of isolation for the humper… well, then that’s not what we want.


Anyhoo… Wednesday is the big day. We’ve cleared the decks so that we’ll be here to care for him after the event and give all the love he needs. We’ll make sure he gets as much peace and quiet, medicine, and of course, love, so that he can make as full a recovery as soon as possible. I have no doubt that Oliver will once again amaze and be the model patient, but it still makes me sad that we have to put him through this process. Wish him luck 😉

53 thoughts on “The day has come…

  1. I will have to go back and read your older post on this subject. Its a subject that intrigues me greatly! I think you have done right for your dog and your situation. Hope Oliver will recover beautifully and be his normal self again in no time!

    • David Patterson

      Thanks. I appreciate your understanding and interest. Trying to do what’s right for my boy and our family at the same time 🙂

  2. All will be fine, David. It is pretty much routine and, as you said, it is the responsible thing to do for the reasons stated.
    We’ve only had to put one dog through the procedure as all the rest had already been taken care of prior to their joining us. But the one thing to keep in mind as you worry…dogs don’t know anything after it has passed. No grudges and no awareness of anything missing…well, he may notice something is different but no biggie. If so many have got through this and worse, such as the three legged guys who hop around as if that is how it was intended, then your little Mr. Happy will still be just that.
    Yeah, he may still hump. 10 or more years later and Murphy still does it occasionally. He has no idea why. 🙂

    • David Patterson

      Steve… thanks for the reassurance. I appreciate you taking the time to help us through the one… Oliver included 🙂

  3. You have made some good points here. When we got our Sham! He was three months old and before we moved out of state we had to have him fixed. We had no choice. I wished that we did not have to do it because now he is still a puppy and he will always be a puppy because he did not have the chance to go through those changes that he should have. However, we love him to death and have been through some trying times with him as far as allergies, and many other things. He is the best thing that has happened to our family, and I think that he was meant for us. He is a wonderful dog and we love him so much. He is another child in our family…. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post….. You have a beautiful dog!

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Tammy. Sham sounds like a wonderful member of your family. We feel very fortunate to have had the ability to see Oliver grow and develop into a fine young man… but now it would appear to be time. Here’s hoping he does well.

  4. I wish all of you luck and best wishes. My dad and I bought golden puppy brothers almost eleven years ago…when they were about six weeks old. Dad had his pup fixed. My husband just never could get on board with the procedure…so Mikey remains unfixed. He has never been allowed to roam…he thinks he is a house dog…though I tell him that he is a sporting dog. Dad’s golden passed away a few months ago. Mikey is still hanging in and does not have any health issues except for being pudgy. We work on his diet, but due to his love of staying at hubby’s feet he does not get as much exercise as he should. We believe he is a happy camper…and we love him for the love he gives us day after day.
    Best wishes,

      • my dad is in his mid-eighties, and I believe his misses Sam terribly. That dog lived better than my siblings and I did growing up. Ha! He was indeed another child for my mother and father. Golden kids are the greatest, no doubt about it. My Mikey has his fans and followers. Both at his vet’s office and at the groomer’s salon…he is known as “love bug.” I have a previous post about how Mikey restored a little boy’s faith in big dogs….after a big dog barked at the child and frightened him. Mikey…on his own…but at the suggestion of the groomer, walked over to the little boy and put his head on the boy’s shoulder. The tears stopped as I understand the story. My hubby related it to me.
        Best of luck with your (and Oliver’s) health.

        • David Patterson

          Great story… I remember my dad and his little girl… Sheeba (a Jack Russell mix). She was his pride and joy and was treated like a queen (as she should have been). Golden’s definitely do have a calming temperament.

  5. This is such a heart warmer, David. Not that it matters, but I have always had my pets fixed; mine were all female except for the lone male cat. Good for the microchip. Oliver is beyond cute and I wish the best for both of you. Wednesday is circled on my calendar. Take care.

  6. The love of parents for their four-legged Oliver. From your photos, Oliver will be full of energy before you know it! You’re definitely a man of your word and responsible parenting for your beloved Oliver. He’ll be set to have a blast socializing at the boarder and will be eager to return home. It’s wonderful when you are able to find a special boarder who provides a sense of peace knowing he’s in good hands, enjoying himself. Hope you’re feeling better and Wednesday will be successful for your entire family (that includes you Oliver! 🙂 )

  7. We too have always had our pets fixed and our most recent – Kai, a male Australian Shepard was fixed when he was just a young pup. Oliver may not quite understand what “hit him”, but he’ll still love you… and he will, in my humble opinion, be all the more loving once his “roving instinct” has been quieted (albeit he doesn’t roam as he lives in the house with you… it’s still lies latent within him).

    {{hugs}} to Oliver on Wednesday ~ and to you and your family as well.

  8. As the old saying goes, “Accidents do happen”, so better to be safe than sorry. You stated your case well. It just goes against the grain of a man to think of his beloved male friend getting fixed, but such is the world we live in. I can assert with clarity that Oliver will still be the same wonderful dog. Glad he fully developed with all of his parts intact. I, too, believe the advantage (hormonally) is his. As a breeder dog, Carson exercised his maleness for a while before he had the operation. From what I can tell, I don’t think it changed him a bit. Wishing you all the best !

  9. Vicki

    I don’t have dogs or any pets, but to be honest, I can’t see what the fuss is. Any responsible dog owner has to make decisions for their wee friends and you obviously love Oliver enormously.

    I agree with you about taking caring of this prior to boarding or any lengthy stay with other dogs.

    (besides, humans have vasectomies and no one criticises that decision).

  10. I applaud your decision. Know that you are preventing maladies that older intact males are prone to. Also I just want to say I used to be an Animal Health Technician and as was the case with many human daddies, it’s hurting you a lot more than it will hurt Oliver. With his energy level the hardest thing to do will be to keep him quiet and not leaping about for a week or so!

  11. Oliver is absolutely gorgeous. You capture his essence so beautifully. I am wishing him a speedy recovery and think you made the right decision! Best, Robyn

  12. My dogs never seemed to mind, and it didn’t seem to affect them negatively. Good job modeling responsible pet ownership, and good luck Oliver!!

  13. All the best to all of you…….and especially you Oliver. Just close your eyes and think about romping in the snow with that yellow ball in your mouth having just been thrown by your bestest friend. You have paid it forward with love for your Dad and now I know you will get it back in spades. All will go well and before you know it it will be done!! Hope you are doing well David. Your post sounds upbeat, if that is an appropriate way to put it. I do wish you all the best……So many good wishes from your followers must be uplifting. I do hope so.

      • By now the deed is no doubt done. I hope you both came through the ordeal well. And now I envision a whole lot of TLC enacted towards the Oliver. Both of you are champions. I just know Oliver is not angry with you, a bit dismayed, but he love you too much to be angry.
        Soldier on guys!!

  14. As a vet, I have to say that you are making a well thought through, and responsible decision. But also, as a vet, I can tell you that while he’ll be a little bit sore, dogs are absolutely amazing in their ability to heal quickly. They are wonderful examples for us humans on how to accept change in life and live completely in the moment. They do not dwell on things. For example, every amputee I’ve ever had as a patient or seen in a vet hospital comes out of surgery and immediately tries to rise on his three remaining legs and wag his tail. His response seems to be not “I’m missing a leg” but rather, “oh good! I still have three other legs to use!” So your beautiful Oliver will not be thinking of what he left behind after neutering…when he goes home, he’ll just be glad to see you. We pride ourselves on making tiny incisions that don’t hurt the pups too much. The hardest thing you’ll face will be trying to keep him quiet! Good luck, don’t fear, and use the opportunity to spoil him rotten! 🙂 (more than usual! )

    • David Patterson

      THANKS SO MUCH for the affirmation. Oliver has taught me that he will be plenty strong enough to handle this situation – way stronger than me. And yes… methinks he will be spoiled even more 🙂

  15. “Dropped the ball” 😀 I wish that I had thought of that pun.
    I felt bad getting Indy fixed because he had come from a line of very good working Collies, it caused friction with our friend for a while but he got over it. Your dog, your choice and in my humble opinion it is the right one.
    Good luck, Oliver.

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