Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Missing my little pal

7 am Monday:
The day has come and we are sitting in the pet hospital waiting for Diva to return from her abdominal ultrasound in lower Delaware. Sadly, she has lost a great deal of weight, continues to have fevers, shakes, and seems to be in pain. When we switched vets on Friday night, I believe that the second vet dislocated her back knees when she performed a back and leg exam. Therefore, our poor Diva has not been able to walk well or settle down to rest. All of this seems to be pointing at something unspeakable and ominous. I am prepared but not prepared. I don’t want to do it but if you could see the poor gal, you would know that we have a decision to make that affects our family. On the one hand, we love and will continue to search for answers for Diva. On the other hand, she is in pain and I cannot bear to see her like this anymore. It is not her. She is a perky, loving pup. She deserves to be free.

Now the big kid with the pain in his elbow. Last night, he called frantically…it aches….sore…no pain like this before. Sorry, kid…no sympathy, I am about to lose my dog. But, you know the drill. Perform the correct maneuvers. Make your appointments and fly home if need to. You’re a big boy, strap on your adult Depends and make decisions. There is nothing that we can do on the other end of the phone 15 hours away from where you are living.
If he has to fly home to see his PT, so be it. Stop whining. Get moving.
By the way, the internship starts today. Is this the pain he is referring to?
On to the fall….he has decided to return to school. However, he has nowhere to live…the sofa sits in the old apartment and he has to get it out of there by the end of July and transport it to his new home. Where will that be? Lord knows. I ain’t helping… so he is on his own. Did I mention that I might be losing my dog today? Let him figure this out too.
Salty? Yeah, a bit. I have little compassion right now for a procrastinator. His lack of planning does not constitute an emergency for me. Therefore, he has to figure out the details while I take care of my own.
With that said, I have to end this post since Diva should be back from radiology in a few minutes.

8 am: After the radiologist met with us, she was concerned about Diva's liver. Huh? She recommended that we see the internal medicine vet. Internal medicine? Really?

9a: They squeezed Diva in to see the ophthalmologist.  After a few minutes and $$$ later, he switched her meds and also recommended a nonformulary eye drop that can be ordered in New jersey and delivered to the home. Come back in seven days. Good, he's optimistic!

10a: Back to Friday's vet since Diva could not move her back legs. We walked into the office and bought some treats since she had not eaten since Sunday night. Poor Diva refused to eat. OH NO! Bad sign. Diva ate everything handed to her and always wanted more.

While meeting with the vet, she felt that the dog's issue had stemmed from a back or spinal problem. The back legs are now flaccid. She has to be helped to empty the bladder. The doctor had a neat trick on how to do it. Anyway, what's next? "If this was my dog, I would take her to the University of Pennsylvania veterinary hospital." Prognosis? "Guarded." 

On our way to Penn, I could not help shaking the fact that I wanted to do this for a number of weeks, but none of the vets recommended it.

12p: We arrive at Penn with our little pet. The nurses take her from us and ask us to sit in the waiting room. While waiting for Diva, a little elderly woman was getting some very bad news about her Yorkie Romeo. He was in surgery for a liver tumor and the surgeons could not stop the bleeding. She began to sob. We understood and watched helplessly as she began to process the news. Another dog named Lucky (who was not-so- lucky on Father's day) was being discharged. At a family party, the neighbors' German Shepherds dug a hole under the fence and mauled Lucky. He had a few stitches, a cone, and a drain but now I was thinking...."I guess he is lucky after surviving a German Shepherd attack. I would have died of fright. no drains or stitches would have been needed."

2p: The lovely ER vet named Dr. T came out to greet us. "Diva needs to be seen by a neurologist." OK, go ahead.....$$$$

4p: Dr T comes out with the grave news. She offered three options. The first two would have prolonged her agony. The last would have ended it. Now Tink and I lose it. "Please give us some time to think about it."

While processing the news and crying, we knew the answer and walked quietly back to the sweet and competent vet. "OK, we want to be there when it is over."

I can't even share the sorrow of watching the end of Diva's life. We kissed and held her. Buddy called from Illinois and we held the phone to her head and he told her how she made his returns home special and how on his worst days, she always was there for comfort. And now it was our turn.

As we held her in our arms, she took her last breath. As glad as I was to be there, we were heartbroken. Now comes the processing and placing the grief in the right perspective. I could not speak to anyone yesterday and can't talk about it right now. 

All I can say is that although Tink and I went through hell and back for this dog, the love and companionship that she gave to us will live in our hearts forever. I can't even begin to share how much I miss our little pup.


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