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The Pretzel, originally uploaded by dagnyg.

Our 17 year old black labrador retriever Annie in her pretzel position. That she is comfortable twisted up like this amazes me. She has some arthritis in her neck and spine, making this even stranger.

Annie was very ill this past summer, we thought she was going to pass away imminently . She stopped eating and lost a great deal of weight. Did not move off her bed much. We were thinking of euthanizing her,  but we did not since she did not seem to be in pain. And then one day she started eating again and was interesting in life. Perhaps she looked over the abyss and decided she was not ready to leave this world? Her vet thinks that her immune system restarted itself.

Today Annie still eats poorly, we have to coax her to start eating and then she does. Unless there’s a steak or pot roast or another favorite food around. She takes a short walk  daily with the rest of her pack, then the pack and I drop her off at home and continue our walk. When we watch TV in the evening she joins us in the living room. Sometimes she comes up and asks for attention, which is freely given. She sleeps about 22 – 23 hours a day, not unusual for very elderly dogs. We think she has a decent quality of life.