After we were visited yesterday by the second estimator for our tree work, the Poodle Princess yelped when I picked her up. I talked to Hubby and we realized she was acting very subdued and unlike herself since Sunday morning. No racing around the house with her squeaky squirrel, no jumping on and over furniture, stretching carefully, staring at her bed before laying down - not like her at all and she is only 4 1/2 years old. I decided to see how she did on a short walk and she was fine. But then I picked her up again and again she yelped so we headed to the vet.
The vet thinks she has a slipped disc. It makes sense once you are told it - she has a spine and spines can have problems. It just never crossed our minds. Poor girl. She probably twisted too much catching a stuffed squirrel or thrown tennis ball.
She is feeling better this morning what with pain pills and anti-inflammatory medicines. I was happy to see her tail up and a normal stretching sequence when she got up this morning. So that is all good.
The point that I want to make though is not that dogs can have slipped discs or trees can develop problems and have to come down. The point is that you have to make sure you have room in your budget for the large (tree removal) and small (vet visit) unexpected expenses. The only way to do that is to figure out how to live well below your means and to build up your savings. This is as true in retirement as it is during your working years.
I'm not suggesting that living below your means is easy - just necessary to be able to absorb unexpected costs.