Our December

12 12 2008

There are so many things in life that we take for granted. Sometimes its the way we live, our easyness of childhood, or the never ending promise of change. Mostly, its the people around us that we love and share our lives with. These souls make our lives whole and enriched sometimes without much consideration on our part. It all goes by, day by day, and we become accustomed to it, it becomes the norm, the expected, and then when its gone…poof-without so much as a trace but memory-we know what we had. Or, what we’ve lost, or almost lost.

These past few weeks are those I will never forget-for they were so fragile and full of meaning. For in those days i almost lost what was most dear and precious to me, what made my life rich and whole; a part of me.

It started out like an normal injury-well, a normal Jet injury. He always tears his paws, and so when he managed to hurt it more severe then normal, i gritted my teeth and sighed at the next situation he had put himself in. It was just another issue to help him through, and he’d be back on his feet in no time. On Thanksgiving, i noticed he had sliced his paw somehow, and wrapped it until Monday, when he went in to have stitches to close it.  Oh crazy Jet…they sent him home with a bandaged foot, antibiotics, and a post surgery order to remain crate bound and no excersise for 10 days. Dreading the crazy border collie i was about to make worse for that time, we begun recovery.

Almost immediatly i noticed Jet having problems relieving himself-he’s always had some bad stools when he’s stressed, and having no excersise was doing just that. It became so bad though, that on Thursday of the same week i mentioned it to my vet when he went to get his bandage changed. She advised taking him off the antibiotic, witch had been known to upset stomachs. I removed the pills from his diet, and hoped he would be better. Not so.  That night he could not control himself, and every hour had to be taken out, morning, noon, and all through the night. His stools were becoming so bad that there were just puddles in the back yard. I became more worried, and the vet sugested i give him a bland diet of cottage cheese and rice to get him back on track.

On friday he was worse, looking lathargic  and still haveing to go every hour, so that i stopped all medications. By saturday night, i had had less than 8 hours sleep total in 2 days, and he was getting worse.  I had noticed to my horror, that his stools were now nothing but blood. On Sunday morning, before i left to take Riley to Flyball, he refused to eat breakfast.  In the afternoon my room mate called to tell me he had soiled his crate twice in 2 hours when she did not get to him in time. He was also not eating, and now not drinking. He seemed to be moving in slow motion as well, so little was his energy. KNowing this, that my dog was slowly deteriorating from the inside, and i had no idea how to help him.  I had called the vet on Saturday on her cell,  but she had yet to call me. I could not focus on Flyball, i could not help but break down in tears for the not the first time in days. To imagine my dog, so sick at home, when just a week before he was like the dogs surrounding me, barking and healthy and full of vigor.

My vet called me back on the way home. She was very concerned. She urged me that this was a life threatening situation-Jet had to get to her in the morning when the hospital doors opened. Meanwhile, i needed to do everything in my power to get fluids into him. That night was like a living nightmare. I was watching everything go by like i was seeing someone else’s life-like a bad horror flick. My emotions were beyond breaking point. Jet was like a zombie-not even leaving his crate when i opened the door, and motioning him outside to relieve himself of more blood. Every hour i forced a mixture of chicken broth and water down his throat witha water bottle. Everytime he went out, i stuffed more of the mixture down him-cups at a time. I didnt know if it was working. I held him in my arms all night, feeling his breathing, holding his malnurashed body-smelling and feeling his fur, and feeling utterly and miserably hopeless. I stayed up all night with him, always touching a part of him, just to know he was there. And i knew somehow that my best friend was dying. I couldnt bare it, and yet, there was nothing i could do.

Morning came as slow as a snail, and i rushed him to the vet. He was placed on fluids through an IV, though i was told he threw up that morning, even though there was nothing to throw, he brought up about 2 cups of water. Work was hell-not knowing how he was until the vet called me. She was taking Jet home to her house for then night to keep him on fluids. He had taken in more than a liter already. He hadn’t eaten all day. She told me she could make no promises if he would be ok…it was all up to him and the “man upstairs”.  A severe blow to my already torn heart. What would i do if Jet died? It seemed so close now…either the fluids would work, or it wouldn’t. And yet his tail was still wagging.

My vet, Brenda Mills, called the next morning. Jet was doing loads better. He did not have to go out at all during the night. He was eating some buscuits this morning. He trotted out of the pen she had him in and walked down the hallway. She would wean him off the fluids, and see if he would eat, and then maybe he could come home.

I went to see him at lunch from work. He slided right up to me..one leg bandaging the stitched paw, the other had the cathader wrapped around it. I just held him and stroked him sides, feeling the bones that stuck out-he hadn’t eaten since friday night. He weight a measily 37 pounds. Yet he was better-his ears were up, his eyes more alert, and he climbed onto a low shelf stocked with canned food to show his appetite was returning. I walked him outside and he actually pulled me. I smiled for the first time in days.

He came home that night. His appetite was like a ravenous wolf, and he scarfed the cottage cheese and rice like a vaccume, but really wanted Riley’s kibble instead. He drank a half bowl of regular water all on his own, and then proceded to search the house for anything edible. Out of a miracle, he was getting better-even grabbed a lone squeaky toy and proceeded to kill it.  It was impossible, yet amazing, that he didn’t have to go out that night, that the only thing he had to do outside was a regular pee, and that by the next night he was eating kibble again. By thursday night he was barking at the cats and rushing to the door to meet my two friends who came to see him, and proceeded to pounce all over them. He even barked at the mailman again.

Slowly Jet is getting better, everyday he has more strength, and his Jet behaviors are returning. Ive even considered taking him back to Flyball this weekend, when just days before he was on his death bed. I know he will be ok now, he has the best care he could possibly have with our vet, i owe his recovery to her. Now its be turn to do everything to help Jet recover faster. His stitches are out, and he’s back to being in the back yard during the day. Its hard to say what made him so sick-the vet thinks the stress of being locked up in his crate because of his paw and the anti biotic created a deadly mixture that dehydrated him and caused bacteria to grow inside him. Whatever the reason, i am forever greatful he is alive and getting well.

Its a lesson some of us need to learn the hard way-but its something we must know. Take a look at your life and what you treasure and embrace it, every minute of it. Be glad for the simplest things that make you happy, and treat others with respect and love.

Most of all, love your animals. They are little gems of joy in your life, weather they are chewing your socks, purring on your lap, or barking for you to throw the ball one more time…each moment you share and each memory is precious.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, i’ve already had mine.

Riley, Jet, and I




One response

13 12 2008
Deanna the old

Dude. I admit…I teared up. What’s so strange about this is you were in my thoughts that whole day. I guess I should listen more when my intuition kicks in.

I morbidly hate antibiotics. My sister’s friend brother died from taking antibiotics. Scary stuff.

I’m grateful that Jet came back around…he is certainly a special dude.

As for you Mollie, I hope you get some good intense recovery sleep! You sound like a wreck girl.

Jet is extremely lucky to have you.


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