Home of an Emotional Idiot

While there were times when he wished he could roll back the clock and erase all the sadness, he had a hunch that if he did so, the joy would be diminished as well. And that was something he couldn't contemplate. (From At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

They Say God Doesn't Give You More Than You Can Handle...

About two hours after my last entry, I was walking the dog one last time before leaving for work. As we walked past the shed, I noticed one of her back legs jut out. I knew what it meant and as gently as possible pushed her down so that she was lying down. The seizure lasted, again, only about a minute. The recovery time from this one however was nearly six minutes.

Right before I took her out, mom had called the vet to say AJ had had two seizures during the night. They said to bring her in at 10:30. During the last seizure, mom called the vet back and said we were bringing her in as soon as this seizure was over.

The vet gave her phenobarbital and said we should get her started on a prescription, which mom had filled that morning. They also gave her some valium. They kept her at the vet for the day and we picked her up around 6:45 that night with the warning that she was going to be acting drunk for a week or two, until the phenobarbital is fully incorporated in her system.

With everything going on, I left work at 3 that day so that I could spend at least a few hours with my dad before going with mom to get AJ and bring her home. Within minutes of my arriving, dad asked what was going on with AJ. As I was telling him, I started to cry. It was at that point that he said if she has another seizure, we should say our goodbyes and let her go. He pointed out that she has had a really good life with us, she has given and received a LOT of love and we don't want her to suffer. To bring the point home, he said, "If this is what it's doing to you, imagine what it's doing to her." Unfortunately, knowing doesn't make it any easier.

Things with my dad are also no better. Not really. We found out that he's got fluid accumulating near the bone and they want to keep him in the hospital for 6-8 weeks and then at another facility on the same grounds for another 6-8 weeks where they will administer an aggressive antibiotic treatment. Should the infection get into the bone, it could be life threatening. On the bright side, at least it isn't in the bone. On the other hand, that means my dad will be away from home for another 3-4 months.

Mom and I are holding up as best as possible. We're a little afraid to leave AJ alone so we've been taking turns visiting my dad. I went to see him the day AJ was at the vet, mom went last night when I got home from work and I am going tonight after work.

When mom left last night, I took AJ outside and she was having some trouble with her back legs. She got tired and sat down part way through our walk and then laid all the way down. That was all I needed. I started to bawl. Luckily, we were only in the backyard. I sat down, still in my work clothes, next to her in the grass and just cried and told her that if she was ready I would rather her go at home in her sleep than have to make the call for her. I told her how much I love her, how special she's been to me over the last 12 years and that I don't want to see her in pain anymore. My beautiful, beautiful baby looked me square in the eyes and just started licking my face.

I know it may sound bizarre to some people but she's not just a dog. She's a part of the family. Her unconditional love has been amazing. What can I say? I'm a dog person.


  • At 3/22/2006 8:13 PM, Blogger Jen said…

    Oh Rebecca, I am so sorry. I really hope that AJ just goes in her sleep, because I have had to put a dog to sleep before and it was the worst thing ever. I don't know if I could do it again. The guilt I felt was immeasurable, even though i knew I was doing the right thing.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  • At 3/27/2006 10:57 AM, Blogger lonna said…

    My family went through this with so many of our pets. When I was in college I heard so many stories of people who had one pet most of their lives. My parents put down one dog when I was a baby, one when I was 3, and one when I was 4. Another one died in his sleep at age 6 when I was about 9 or 10. Finally, we had two dogs that lasted 12 and 14 years, but my parents had to put them to sleep too. Fortunately, it was always their problem. I haven't been put in that situation yet. I knew that the last time I saw my dog Chivas that it would be the last time, so I did get to say my good-byes, and my parents put him down about a month later. With him, more than any of the others, it truly was the best thing. When it's time for you to do something for AJ you will know. It doesn't make it hurt any less, but it made me more at peace with it. Good luck.

  • At 6/11/2006 1:07 PM, Blogger Istvanski said…

    I just happened to stumble on this particular entry to your blog before reading the update on this situation. I empathise as my fathee-in-law's dog ie going through a rough time at the moment.


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