Sometimes the universe swirls around you and says I’m not going to let you off easy today.
You try anyway, though. You say that it will be okay. We can fix this. And then life will go back to normal.
Sometimes I think the universe read my post a few weeks ago on changes. Because since then, my life has been nothing but changes. Not me, per se, but my world. My surroundings. It’s all shifting beneath my feet and I’m doing my best to stay stable and I don’t always excel at that.
The universe cursed me yesterday with heat and humidity. Nothing unusual for a mid-July day during a heat wave. Me and heat – we don’t generally get along. So I stay inside and it stays outside and we’re both happier for it. But unfortunately, my dogs still need to go outside for certain “activities.”
I decided to walk Roscoe, my healthy dog, to the end of the block and back and since Emma, my puppy mill mess of a dog, needed to go as well, I took her on the walk. It was a hot one, no doubt about that, but it was a leisurely pace for no more than 10-15 minutes.
When we came in, the dogs were panting excessively so I got them water to help them cool off and then pulled out some doggy ice cream I had recently bought. But something wasn’t right.
Emma was pacing frantically and her tongue was hanging very far out of her mouth. Her breathing was rapid and she was coughing. It seemed like a struggle to breathe. Having dealt with this before with one of my previously ailing dogs, I popped her in the kitchen sink and sprayed her down with cool water in an effort to cool her off.
When she gets worked up, it often takes time for her breathing to calm down but this time it wasn’t. Even more concerning was her tongue which looked quite purple to me.
I entered into that internal debate. Does she need to go to the vet? Am I overreacting? Should I wait it out? How long should I wait? What does Google say to do?
In the end, I called my vet who told me purple is never a good color for dogs and I brought her in immediately. They x-rayed her chest and put her on oxygen and several hours later she seemed to have stabilized. I watched her in the evening and still didn’t feel comfortable with what I was seeing. She was struggling for every breath.
So I had another debate in my head. Will the IV meds they gave her eventually take effect? Will her breathing calm down during the night? Should I take her to the emergency clinic? How much will that cost (yes, that entered my mind)? How can I take her in if my son is home sleeping and my husband is out of town?
The emergency clinic, hearing of respiratory distress, advised that we come in immediately. Thank God my sister is a night owl. She drove about 40 minutes to my house at 1am so that I could quietly shuffle off to the next town over with Emma.
They had me leave her at the clinic so she could be placed in an oxygen chamber and allow her body to calm down and get what it needed. I was home by almost 3am and back up to pick her up at 7:30am. She’s been comfortable and mildly sedated for most of the day but I’m hoping we’re out of the danger zone.
Long story short (too late), my little 10 year old rescue dog, the one that captured my heart with her blind eye and toothless grin, is now facing a collapsing trachea and an enlarged heart. Between yesterday’s trauma and visits and tomorrow’s appointment with the cardiologist (yes, dogs have cardiologists), we’re in the hole about $1600.
This is a tough road we’re on. Emma has the sweetest spirit that has taken years to come out because it was crushed for so long by her breeders. I’ve seen her learn what love is. And how to play. I’ve seen her roll in the grass outside and get so excited that she rolls down the hill. But it’s coming at a very high cost.
When I took her to the emergency clinic last night, the first order of business was money, as is the case with these places. I understood the fees and I accepted them. I nodded very hesitantly when they told me her overnight stay would range from $550 to $750 depending on what happened during the night. And then they asked how far was I willing to go with her treatment if needed. I knew what they were asking. How much am I willing to pay?
I looked at the vet and said I understand why you’re asking these questions but I’m just here to keep her alive. Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.
She’s only 10 years old but those have been 10 rough years for her. But right now, I can’t put a price on how much she’s worth. She’s my baby and I’m willing to fight for her even if turns out to be a losing battle.