In my search of the veterinary literature, I could find only one scientific study focusing on the statistical likelihood of a purebred dog developing GDV during his or her lifetime, but the results were chilling: 24 percent for large-breed dogs, 22 percent for giant breeds and 42 percent for Great Danes!* Naturally, one should be wary of a solitary study; however, my earlier estimate of the risk was probably too low. When taken in combination with Lisa’s innate inclination toward prevention, we decided to sign up Vivian for both procedures. All went well, and she was released to Lisa’s care the day after the surgery.
The next time I spoke with Lisa, I asked her to tell me what Vivian provided, beyond assistance with the tasks of daily living. “She’s a typical Poodle,” Lisa said, “whip-smart, with a clown’s personality. Vivian is teaching me to be creative, to be silly. I’m normally quite shy and reserved, but when she does something correctly, I gladly make a fool of myself in public singing her praises.”
That was when I realized I might need to accept that sometimes, “before and after” can be equally rewarding when they’re exactly same.