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Paulie: Made on a Thursday, by Christy Burbidge

“Paulie was made either on a Monday or a Friday,” our vet would joke when we brought him in for one of his many ailments … which, sadly, had been increasing in both volume and variety over his final months. Paulie’s medical file, which our vet still kept on paper, could have been confused with an old phonebook of a major city.

That saying came from the car industry, where allegedly cars made at the beginning or end of the week were less than optimal. On Mondays, the workers were supposedly hungover from the weekend, and on Fridays, they were burnt out. Apparently cars that work the best are made any day other than a Monday or a Friday.

With a ‘hotdog’ body and short, stocky legs, Paulie’s stature made him the perfect candidate for torn ACLs – of which he had two in his last three years. But he took it all in stride (pardon the pun). While waiting for his surgeries, and probably in pain, Paulie trotted along the fragrant neighborhood sidewalks, heartily drinking in all life has to offer as if his legs were working fine.

Copper Liver Storage Disease, Paulie’s most complicated condition, can strike any dog regardless of stature. Treatment is effective when done consistently and involves two daily pills, given roughly an hour before each meal. Paulie’s pills resembled treats, and so ‘pill time’ became a time of day he grew to treasure.

In the final days of his short 14 years, Paulie was contending with a form of dry eye that was highly resistant to treatment, a mass on his spleen, and a suspected nerve sheath tumor that had likely begun to impact his brain.

Days after his death, in one of the many ebbs of grief, I passively wondered to myself if Paulie indeed was “made on a Monday or a Friday.”

A Google search revealed that he was made neither on a Monday nor a Friday. His date of birth (or alleged date of birth, as can be the case for rescues), June 11, 2009, was a Thursday. And in spite of what life dealt him, Paulie was sturdy, resilient, and most of all – precious.

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