If you don’t have pets, or understand why people love their pets like children, you might as well stop reading and move on today. This post has nothing to do with pharmacy today.
I want you to meet my dogs.( Click on image to enlarge) For the sake of privacy, I am calling them Thing 1 and Thing 2. I love them with all my heart. Mr chick and I dont have children. We have Furbabies. They are my pride and joy. For them I have spared no expense. Thing 1 is in my arms and Thing 2 is peeking at the camera. Thing 1 hates the camera and when I take out the camera, she always turns away, where as 2 is a camera hog. She seems to love to have her picture taken. In this picture, its Christmas day a few years ago. ( and yes, that is me) We were having a small discussion about 1 getting on the counter stealing cheese. She promised she would never do it again. 2 wouldn’t make such a promise and steals food…but then again, 1 stole food again also so it was a wasted exercise, but I got to hug my pup so it was all ok.
Pretty much everything I have in my house has the dogs in mind. the floor was tiled with a color that hides dirt because they have dirty feet, my furniture is dog friendly and when I buy clothes, I consider how it will handle dogs. Its just the way it is. When thing 2 got seriously ill last summer, we spent time at 2 vets and an animal hospital and over $3k getting her fixed. She was worth every cent to me and she is perfectly fine now. About a month ago Thing 1 started favoring her paws when she was running around. We thought she stepped on something and was sore. closer inspection showed her feet were rather raw and broken, so off we went to the vet to see whats up. He decided she had some kind of paw skin infection and put her on antibiotics…which 5 days later showed no improvement whatsoever, so back to the vet we went again, but saw the senior partner in the vet firm this time ( as first vet was off). Thing 1’s feet were crusty and bloody and she had sores developing on her bottom. Something was wrong.
The vet didn’t say too much at first but he wanted to do a certain blood panel right away. He looked at her feet, her sores, gave her different antibiotics and a score of other things to give her, apply on her body and soak in. He said he would call us.
The next day he called with the results: her liver enzymes were way off for no particular reason. He said he suspected a certain liver disease called hepatocutaneous syndrome: a rare and fatal condition, and the only reason he thought of it was because his own dog died from it several years ago, and Thing 1 had identical symptoms. I looked up this disease at home and fell ill just reading about it. The photos were atrocious and the prognosis was grim. He just had to be wrong.
He wanted an ultrasound to either confirm or deny the diagnosis, so we dropped 1 off at the vet in the am and went off to play golf, partly to get our mind off the situation and partly to enjoy the warm fall day. My phone rang on the 5th hole. ” its Hepatocutaneous, I am so sorry”. I started sobbing on the tee box. My furbaby was dying. We left the course to collect her at the vet. As soon as I saw her I dropped to the floor and held her tight, trying not to touch her sore spots.
We soaked her wounds, we gave her all the meds, we tried high amino acid foods and gelatin to boost her liver. She took all of them dutifly even if reluctantly. She didn’t like taking pills and could find one small pill in a pile of meat and leave it behind, as clean as it was in the bottle. Finally we found sucess in liver sausage, the one food she still ate. The plethora of antiobiotics stopped the oozing but couldn’t stop the process. Her paws nearly doubled in size from the hyperkeratosis and the splits. She walked so gingerly one might think she was walking on shards of glass. it probably felt that way. I bought her booties to pad her way. I put Calmoseptine on her vulva to protect it and she squealed when I touched the sore spots. She parked on the couch and never moved. When came home from work at night, she would be next to Papa and would wag her little butt but never rose to meet me. She would lick the tears off my face…and there were many.
When I would play the piano, she would still pad her way over to my feet and lay there, sometimes quivering from the effort. I prayed. I prayed some more.
Monday she refused all breakfast. Even the liver wasnt worth the effort but for a few nibbles. She lay in the corner by the piano. I laid on the floor next to her and just heaved sobs. She placed her head on my hands. The light in her eyes had left her. There was no more effort to be made to get up. I called Papa at work and told him my fears and he wanted to see if she might rally over night. Tuesday was more of the same so wednesday we made the awful decision to bring her to the feet of Jesus and give her back the the One who gave her to us.
We held her as she left, and for a long while after. I cried as I did when my mom died. She was my baby girl. In just over 6 weeks we went from my romping, squirrel chasing, ball playing, waterloving escape artist to this. Its not fair and I dont know why I had to lose her this way.
We will get her ashes in a week. Her paw print, broken and split as it was is impressed in a clay tray as a gift.
My heart is broken. She forever has a piece of it with her over that Rainbow Bridge.
Bye bye sweet baby. May we meet again when I cross over my own rainbow bridge.