Posted by: hockeygrl1 | October 16, 2012

A Dogs Tail

Have you ever thought about how important your pet is to you? For most, their animal is more than just a pet, it’s a family member and as a family member the pet is with you during your ups and downs. During the downs, the pet seems to just know something is wrong and finds a way to relieve some of the stress/pain or whatever you are feeling. It’s like the Beneful commercial. dog speaking, “I stayed by your side because I could tell, I could feel, that you had a bad day and me being bad wouldn’t make it any better.” It’s so true – they know.

I have a dog named Bella. She is only 5 years 6 months and 25 days old according to the vet record. That’s not old. I expect to be with her until she’s 12 or 15 or maybe a little older. She’s not a purebred; no she’s a mix of black lab, golden retriever and cocker spaniel. Bella’s a 50 pound squirrel chaser! We’ve had her since she was a pup. a cute little bundle of energy. We got her from a friend’s daughter because the daughter didn’t have the means to take care of her anymore and she immediately became part of our family.

That was in June of 2007. I was laid off from work so I had all kinds of time to potty train her and spoil her. She spent the summer chasing the kids and swimming in the lake. In July, I started a new job and Bella had to learn to be without me during the day. She adjusted well with only a few accidents in the house. I just couldn’t kennel her up all day.  It seemed so mean.

Summer turned to fall and the kids went back to school so Bella was home alone. We only lost a few flip-flops to her chewing oh and underwear. I don’t get that one, but I guess most dogs do it. She would stay in the yard well, being only 8 months old, and played with the kids every day when they got home.

Then I got sick.

My poor puppies world turned upside down. She was alone longer in the house and didn’t know why. Bella was still good and not chewing or having accidents. She’d just sleep in my bed and cry because I wasn’t home. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks this first time.

Oh the day I came home Bella peed all over the entryway when I walked in.  She was so happy to see me. Bella was jumping and crying and would not leave my side.  She even needed to come in the bathroom with me. She didn’t understand why I was gone, but she could tell something was different. I don’t know how animals do that, know their mom is ill, but they all seem to do it. Bella would sleep with me all day if that was what I needed and the kids would take her outside after school for her exercise.

A number of things changed quickly after I got sick, we moved into my parents house so they could help me and Bella got 40 acres to run on. She has found a new love of chipmunk chasing (and catching), caught a poor turkey that wandered into our yard (it was dinner & yummy) and scares up pheasants every time we go for a walk. Yes, she is very active.

So on last Tuesday night when she woke up in pain, I didn’t know what was wrong. She went to bed fine and we had been for a walk that day; I just couldn’t understand it. We went to the vet and he saw that she was stumbling and her back paw reflexes were slow. He was thinking pinched nerve in  her back so pain pills anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxers along with rest were the prescription. The next day she got worse. Bella couldn’t go to the bathroom so the vet had to help her and she couldn’t use her back legs at all.

The vet had a long talk with me. He said that she may not get better and I may have to put her down. “Put her down??!!?” I thought. She’s my best friend. She cuddles me when I’m feeling really bad and encourages me to go outside and walk with her when I’m not as bad. When no one is home – which is often now –  she is there to keep me company and talk to me. How can I lose my puppy that isn’t even that old. I love her. She loves me.

So here I was, playing a wait and see if she gets better game – a game I’ve had to play with my health often  – just hoping she’d get better. When my 19 yr old son came home for college each day it would switch from me carrying Bella up the stairs to him carrying her so she could go outside and we’d encourage her to pee with no success. It was 3 days of the vet emptying her bladder and things were looking bleak. Brandon says to me, “If we lose Bella, you have to get another dog. You’re home alone a lot and need encouragement to get out since your ill and a dog does that for you. I also see that you talk to Bella when we’re not around and that is a lot lately. I know it will be hard, but if it happens, we will need to think about it soon.”

Wow, was he ever speaking the truth. Being chronically ill and closed up in a house all day unable to work is lonely. The interaction of my pet, Bella, is something I need for my health. I didn’t want to think about losing her. She’s my buddy, my baby, my cuddle pal, my walking partner, and the only person that seems to get me and my illness. It was a scary time for me and I cried every night.

Yesterday was the day. Yep, that day that the vet said we’d have to make a decision if Bella wasn’t getting better. My dad carried her outside for me and I keep peeking out the window to see if she was going to pee on her own.  She just stood there looking back at the door for me to come out, so I did. She must have just stood there for 10 minuets looking around and looking from me to my dad and then she walked. OK it was a drunken stumble, maybe 10 steps, and she peed!! Not only that, she walked further and pooped. I never thought I could be happier about dog pee and poop in my life. It was the best gift ever from a dog.

She improved all day even starting to cry when anyone goes outside without her. She played with her ball a little and walked (it’s like the front half is sober and the back-end is drunk) all around the yard even looking for chipmunks in the wood pile and digging after a gopher. She’s crying now because dad went outside so I’m off to  help her up the stairs and out to see the world.

Bella is my best friend and I’m so happy she is getting better. I know she will help me feel better everyday.

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Responses

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