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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Puppy Love

Puppy Love

I know it sounds silly. There are much grander issues going on in the world. But the family baby is sick. I just took our dog to the hospital. She hasn't barked in days, she's lethargic, dehydrated, won't eat. Last night, she didn't even move when Charlie came home. That's when I knew for sure things weren't right. He's her whole world. He's her person. She lives for him. This morning she vomited bile. They wanted to keep her, test her, put her on IV fluids. She's only 7. Suddenly, I'm that mommy from a long time ago again. Scared and worried. I can only imagine she's scared too. When they took her out of my arms and carried her down the hall, she just looked at me with those dark, sad eyes.

I called Charlie at work. I cried. He always acts tough like pets don't matter to him. He says after Shanny there will be no more pets. He says he could walk away from her tomorrow and that if there were some illness that required surgery, he'd put her down before he'd spend money we don't have. He talks tough, but he's always the first to scoop her up and love her. He calls her every silly, cutesy name in the book; "ShanaBan" "MonkeyButt", and "ChunkaChange". He always makes sure she's comfy on his side of the bed. He always plays with her, cuddles with her, and he admits that he loves the little barking dance she does when he comes home from work. Now the tough man cracks. On the other end of the phone I hear strength, but I hear worry. I tell him the x-rays, IV fluids, and animal hospital watch might be a little spendy. He says let's not worry for now. Let's just get her well and get her home. Please call me as soon as the doctor calls. Not the words of a tough guy. Not the words of a man who carries the financial and emotional burden of two families on his shoulders. More the words of a loving dad. My typical Charlie.

Today, I'm going to sit by the phone. For both of us. For all of us.

UPDATE (4:00 pm): Just got a call from the vet. Shanny has canine pancreatitis. We don't know what caused it, but he said that it was good that I was home with her. A few more hours and she might have gone into shock. She's doing better. Fever's gone and she's on an IV drip for rehydration and electrolyte replacement. They're also giving her an anti-inflamatory for her swollen abdomen. They're keeping her for the night and hopefully, she'll be home tomorrow. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. They mean so much.


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