Friday, April 9, 2010
GUILT: WORRY'S COMPANION
When I look at these pictures of my dog relaxing at home, I can hardly keep my heart beating because I feel so guilty. At this time he is fighting a fierce battle to stay alive. On Tuesday I was cooking and gave him the ham bone and with that simple act our whole world turned upside down. Even though I was keeping an eye on him, he managed to get the gristle stuck in his throat. My fingers were almost behind the piece of pork in his throat when his jaws' pressure caused me to flinch. He managed to swallow the pork; I called the vet and quickly got him into town.
Trying to remain calm and reassuring at the same time made the twenty minute journey seem endless. Once at the vet's office, the girls reassured me that it would be okay, but still my tears flowed.
As I was pulling out of the parking lot, my husband arrived and I filled in the details left out of the previous quick call to meet me there. He accompanied me back into the office and the vet came out and explained that we'd be surprised in what dogs were able to ingest and still expel. Still I felt guilty, because I had willingly handed him the bone. Travis (our friend and vet) smiled and said, "Well, if it makes you feel any better, I once almost killed my daughter because I gave her a whole grape." Strangely, somehow that story did relieve me of some guilt.
Each day we waited for "and this too shall pass". Unfortunately, yesterday surgery was deemed necessary as no food could be consumed and kept down. Post surgery report was mixed. The gristle wasn't that large, but it was removed. More importantly was the irritation of the gut. It seems that our precious pooch is now having to recover from Pancreatitis; which in itself can be lethal. Report this morning is that our pooch can't hold down anything yet, but he is on IVs for nourishment. He's alert and responsive. It truly is a "touch and go" situation at this point. He is our little guy and I hurt, because he's struggling to get better.
For those of you who don't understand that a pet is more than a companion who eats, sleeps and lives with you; I can't explain the bond we have. He is ornery, gets in the trash, snuggles on his own schedule and pouts when denied car rides. On the other hand, when our Grandlove is here, he is attentive, kind and patient. When I had surgery, he was gentle and quiet with his presence. At the end of a long, stressful business day, he is ready for a stare down as you enter his domain. His belly and underarms are always ready for a gentle scratch. Brushing and trimming his long hair is soothing to him as well as the person lucky enough to be holding the brush. His grunts of approval are his payments when you've found the right spot with the brush after his weekly bath. Deep, black pools of black shine with love as he looks to you for attention.
He is more than a pet; he is the owner of our love and devotion.