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.
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