Of Sick Dogs, Of Mad Dogs
Here was my week:
When I got home in the afternoon, I found Mayday, my 13-year-old mini-schnauzer, sitting in the corner, staring at the floor and trembling. When I picked her up, she felt hot. A few months ago she had been in hospital for a week with a high fever. The cause was never found. So I took her back up to her beloved vet, Andrea, in Westminster, Vermont, where they discovered she is running a fever of 103. I had to leave her there. She was terrific yesterday and the day before! We went on a great walk and she trotted right along. It was so sudden, though. I’m worried. It’s very quiet in the house tonight. Harriet subdued.
After Mayday left yesterday, Harriet, eight months old now, was so quiet I could not find her in the house. Finally found her in her crate, sleeping. Today, she seemed to recover and she’s pissed off. She’s tossing my 5 pound dumb bell around the bedroom and snarling at it. After she throws it, she glances over at me angrily. I think I’ve taken away her favorite toy.
Just got back from visiting with Mayday. She is pretty weak. They led me back to where she was staying. From behind the bars, she was still, a look of pain in her eyes. I took her out of her pod and held her for about 15 minutes, just talking to her. Then I took her outside for a walk. She crumpled when I set her down. But I got her to walk about 15 yards before she gave up. Not great. Then I carried her to the car where Harriet was. They had a little nose-to-nose, Harriet very excited. I sat in the back seat with Mayday for a while, holding her. I know she loves the car so I think it’s good for her to be in its environment, as close as I can get to taking her home. She was very still in my arms, looking around a bit. The sun was strong and there was a nice, fragrant breeze which ruffled her soft gray fur. She put her nose up into the fresh air and half-closed her eyes in the warm sun. After I carried her back inside, when I set her down, she crumpled again. Andrea says she might come home tomorrow but she seems frail. We’ll see. Dogs do give us pleasure but also heartache. They think she has pancreatitis – contracted perhaps by eating a dead animal. The hay fields have a lot of squished critters in them. We went for a long walk on Sunday, when she was perfectly fine. She likes to graze in the field. Sometimes I call her my little cow. Harriet is still mad. This evening, she chewed up my reading glasses. When I discovered this horror, they were so twisted and contorted, they looked something like a modern art installation. Somehow, miraculously, my eye doctor’s office was able to resurrect them. At least for the short term.
Mayday took a turn for the worse overnight. The vet told me this morning that she didn’t hold out much hope, things were very bad. I was pretty much of a mess, not enough Kleenex in the house. I went up to Vermont at noon. They did an ultrasound but could not find anything. I felt hopeful in the fact that they don’t know what’s wrong with her. Something in her belly hurts her. So far, they have eliminated pancreatitis, lymphoma, and liver tumor. But she still has a fever of 103. When I got there, she was lying on her side, not much light in her eyes. She “smiled” at me. They unhooked her IVs and I carried her out to the car again. Setting her down, she just goes into a heap. So I held her and she sat with her head up, which was good, looking around. That seemed really positive. We sat for a good long time again, in the sun, enjoying the breezes. Her ears came up and she appeared to notice people walking by and other animals. Overall she seemed more alert than yesterday. I talked to her and told her she better not leave me alone with Harriet!! After an hour or so, I took her back inside. They all love her there, she is an old friend and she gets a lot of kind attention. I am going to make her chicken and rice tonight and take it up to her first thing in the morning. She has not been eating much.
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