Friday, March 19, 2010

There is a reason it's called "puppy love" - it's unconditional.

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive. ~Gilda Radner

In May of 2002, I got my baby boy a puppy for his birthday.  We went to the local humane society and adopted.
What better gift for a boy than a puppy to grow with and be his best friend.
The baby we got was a young pit bull mix (they say with Chihuahua but I find that hard to believe)  Anyway... she had been beaten and abused and every time you bent over to pet her, she would fall to the ground for fear of being struck.

We took her home and filled her with all the love and affection a puppy could ever desire.  YES - even when she ate my shoes and tore up the carpet and ripped the linoleum out of the kitchen floor and left BIG HUGE presents in the floor for me to come home to!

She and my son grew together, and although she had a cage (where she often stayed while we were gone) her favorite place to be, has and always will be, in bed with my son.
No matter WHAT is going on with him or myself, she is ALWAYS there waiting for someone to come home.  She is also our first dog.  I never knew the love and loyalty one finds with a dog.

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment. ~George Eliot

Yesterday, I came home from work.  Bailey had been outside in the fence all day.  The day was beautiful and I'm always so glad to be able to leave her outside rather than cooped up in the house all day.  But when I got home, she didn't run to the fence to see me as usual.  In fact, when I walked to the gate, she struggled to even get up.  As I walked towards her, I realized her hind legs were not moving.  At first, I thought (hoped) that her legs were just asleep from hours spent sun-bathing.  But when I looked in her eyes I knew something was wrong.

I immediately called my dad HOPING there was some logical explanation and that there MUST be something that I'm not thinking of..... he said he would be right over.
My next phone call was to the vet.  His tone frightened me and right about here is when I began to lose grip.  I am strong people.......I'm a fighter.  I have been to hell and back many MANY times, but right about here, I broke.  Mr. vet said he would get to the office to meet me immediately and informed me that this was likely a back injury.  In other words... even more serious than I anticipated.

My dad helped me load Bailey up into the truck and off to the office we went.  Upon arrival, we took Bailey out of the truck.  She can move mind you.  She stands with her front two legs and essentially pulls herself while her little back feet flip upside down and drag the ground.  She struggles and strains and tries so hard to move.  By the time Mr Vet arrives her little eyes are bloodshot from all the effort she is putting into walking around.

The diagnosis:  She has slipped a disc in her back.  Luckily it is not ruptured or she would be completely paralyzed with no hope for any recovery or quality of life.

The good news:  She has a chance of getting better.  She is now taking steroids which will hopefully reduce the swelling and release pressure off of her spinal cord which will cause her to regain feeling and use of her legs again.

The bad news:  Surgery would be the optimal solution, but this is not a viable option for me.  It would require a specialist in a big city with a BIG price tag.  If after a week or so on the medicine she does not get better, it likely means the damage is irreversible.... and there would be no other option other than putting her to sleep.

The waiting game:  She is under strict orders to take heavy doses of the medicine and she is under cage confinement until we get through the meds.  I have to carry her out to use the bathroom and then right back into the cage she goes.

It's awful to look into those sad little confused eyes and listen to her cry and walk away.  I know that standing over her does nothing but excite her though, so leaving her alone is the best way for her to rest and prevent rupturing what for now is hopefully not permanent.

Please oh please keep Bailey Shea in your prayers.
I know she's "just a dog" - but until you have been loved BY A DOG - you just can't understand.
My goal in life is to be as good of a person
as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown


melshy169 said...

been through this with one of our dalmations...very rough. We did accupuncture, but just postponed the inevitable for us. Praying hard for Bailey and you guys. Almost as hard seeing your dog suffer as your child because in a way they are your child. Thinking about you guys

Hair Bows & Guitar Picks said...

I am thinking about you!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about you both. People who are not pet lovers don't realize how attached you they are a part of your family. When we lost our dog last year it was one of the roughest things we've been through. Saying prayers for ya!

- Amy Hurt

Stacey said...

I can imagine how you feel. I wouldn't want anything to happen to my doggy. I will say a little prayer for Bailey.

Bethany said...

Oh, gosh! Praying for Bailey...bless her heart. I'm so sad for you guys. I bet she recovers and is back to her self in no time!! Sending prayers!!

We got a dog (half bassett hound/half german shephard - figure THAT one out!) from the pound in March of 2003. She is the BEST dog I've ever known and when something happens to her I will likely die of a broken heart.

Dogs are the best. Get well soon, Bailey!! :)

Anonymous said...

Puppies are so loyal and lovable, and they are mischief makers, but we are so forgiving!


Matty said...

This brings back memories. When I was in 11th grade, our dog "Chris" jumped up to look out a window. He fell backwards onto his back and pinched a nerve. He couldn't move his back legs. It was awful and eventually he was put to sleep. I was heartbroken and I cried. So I can sense how you feel. They might be dogs, but they are a part of the family. In fact, they are family members, and it hurts us to the core when something like this happens. I hope Bailey pulls through this.

Double Wide Mom said...

praying for you, your son and Bailey.

Tracie said...

I'm thinking of both of you and sending you prayers and positive thoughts. I can only imagine how worried you are and how much this is breaking your heart.

Kellyansapansa said...

Oh, I have tears in my eyes. She's not "just a dog", she is part of your family and it must be awful to see her in pain. I'm sending lots of healing vibes for a full recovery. xx

Kellyansapansa said...

PS - how much would the surgery cost if it became necessary? Maybe you could start an appeal on your blog - I know I would donate to help. xx

Candice said...

I'm so sorry. Pets totally become part of the family, so I know this has to be so difficult for you and your son.

I hope Bailey makes a complete recovery.

Tami G said...

I just want to say - YOU GUYS are AWESOME!!!
I emailed some of you back - but want to make sure you ALL know how thankful I am for all the thoughts and prayers sent our way!

I'm getting ready to post an update on our girl...

Stay tuned! :)