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I'm a children's author. Animals are a constant source of writing material for me. They are also my heart!

Up and Down Kind of Week

>> Friday, May 29, 2009

My scrappy little Kelly is not doing so well. On Wednesday, he was lethargic, barely moving. My sad boy laid across my lap most of the day. The girls, Maddie and Annabelle, seemed to know something was wrong. They didn't even attempt to join us. In fact, they both were on the floor at my feet. It was a gloomy day.

I finally called the vet in the afternoon and said, "Kelly's not bouncing anymore. He's not eating either." The not bouncing part broke my heart. Kelly's a bouncing dog. He's never been a walker...not even a runner. Kelly's a bouncer.

The vet suggested I stop all Kelly's meds for 24 hours and see what came next. She also told me to enjoy him for the night and feed him anything he wanted...anything at all.

I tried cooked chicken. I tried cheese. I tried beef gravy on his dog food. Kelly wanted none of those things. Finally, late at night, I was munching on a Saltine cracker. That appealed to Kelly. He rallied on Saltines and no medications.

Yesterday was a better day. Kelly had some pep to his step and managed to mark spots in the backyard. Today wasn't so bad either. I took Kelly to the vet for some reassurance and advice and came home feeling better (even though Kelly's condition hasn't changed).

I know that Kelly's life is drawing to a close and I know that I'll never be ready for that. I also know that Kelly's gums are pink, (indicating he's getting enough oxygen) and his heart beat is strong and not muffled by the tumors we expect are somewhere near.

Thankfully, the growth on his neck hasn't changed much. The vet helped me by offering some solid advice other than "You'll know when it's time..." She said, "When Kelly is truly lethargic and hasn't eaten for 48 hours, it might be time. It will also be time when his tumor has grown enough to interfere with his breathing." Intellectually I already knew that. It was good to hear though. Somehow, part of the weight was lifted from my shoulders.

The vet spoke with tears in her eyes as she told me she'd lost her two fifteen-year-old dogs this past year. Somehow, having a vet that is caring and kind matters as much as her medical knowledge. She's a good vet. The kind I want to be with Kelly and me when it's time.

7 comments:

Latte Lady May 30, 2009 at 9:31 AM  

Awww...!

Glad she is doing better for you!

Hope your weekend is wonderful! :)

Did you read about our trip to Chicago? It was such a nice day...

Sandy May 30, 2009 at 10:46 AM  

Leaving you a HUG, and hoping for the best. Will keep checking in on you both.

Sandy

cardinalpointsfarm May 30, 2009 at 2:32 PM  

Jan, my heart and thoughts go to you. This is the hardest part of pet ownership; I've been through it so many times, and it doesn't get easier. You're fortunate to have a good vet.
When the time comes, you can take comfort that for Kelly it'll be a release, and that she got the best out of life by being with you.

Sian Min

T May 30, 2009 at 5:08 PM  

I am so very sorry Jan. As you know I just lost Jake 4 weeks ago, and I still cry everyday. I have lost many, but sending Jake to the bridge was probably the hardest for me.

The only advice I can give, is make every moment, every second count for Kelly and you.

Big Big hugs to you!

Jan Mader May 30, 2009 at 10:42 PM  

Thanks so much to everyone. T, your advice is well taken and I know heartfelt. We are making every second count. I don't know if I told you before or not, but Kelly is totally deaf. He loves to be brushed. I held him on my lap and brushed him for two hours today. I think his deafness has made his other senses more aware and alert. His little body relaxed more and more with every brush stoke I took.

He DID eat tonight. He had ground chicken and potatoes. My boy will probably never eat dog food again.

Sandy May 31, 2009 at 10:23 AM  

Posted an award for this site on my blog yesterday, and never made back here to let you know you've received such an award.

Right click to save picture to your computer
then add via gadget on your side bar. For the link add the link from your blog post about it here on this blog when you get to the point of posting it.

Hugs
Sorry to learn he's gone from Chuck's call.

Leaving you extra (((((((HUGSSSSSS)))))))

Rae June 1, 2009 at 10:49 PM  

Jan,
I debated for a while, deciding whether to comment or not. Two days ago I cried my eyes out as I wrote a comment to someone who posted that she had lost her beloved Yellow Lab that day.
I wasn't sure I was up for my emotional outburst again. I am crying already. I have so many good and warm feelings for dogs that anytime I hear of someone's loss, I feel it myself.
I have loved many dogs in my life and each time I lose one, I say never again, but that void remains and sits, and waits. There just isn't any other way to console it without another 4 footed friend.
I wish I could offer profound words of comfort but I know they don't exist. One day, when the time is right, your memories will comfort you. I hope that a day will come when you will feel like opening your heart to that special love again.
You gave your best to your wonderful friend and I am sure he was comforted by your presence at the end. Blessings to you.
RAE

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