If you follow me on facebook or instagram then you already know that I got heartbreaking news yesterday. For those of you who don't allow me to share more heartbreak with you.
My little dog.. my furry son.. my world.. started coughing. It started while he was barking for a while.. then it got to where it was every time he barked. Now his bark has been replaced with a cough. Then we started to notice how he would be laying down and just jump up .. like something bite him. He would look panicked and run to one of the adults in the house. IF that adult paid attention to him then he laid on them .. completely freaked out. I finally decided to take him to the vet.
Why did I wait so long? I waited because we currently have five adults, two kids (one who is autistic), three big dogs and two cats. Our house is overwhelming.. at best. His changes weren't that alarming to me because of all the bodies, all of my stress, and all of the constant movement. I figured he just felt uncomfortable in the house at times & brushed it off.
Nothing changed. The household, the stress, the constant movements.. and his cough got worse. I took him in. When Grizzly was younger he got attacked by a bigger dog. That attack led to three surgeries and also caused a collapsed lung. I thought the coughing was associated with the collapsed lung in the past. It's not like the cough is new it just got worse.
The vet requested a X-ray after listening to his chest through a stethoscope.. said he wanted to rule out heart & lung disease. After that we could talk about treatments. I started to panic. You know that gut wrenching feeling in the pit of your stomach. That moment when you know something is wrong. They took my little man back for an x-ray and I almost lost my mind. I posted "I'm not ready for this.. I'm not ready for this.." on facebook. I knew in my dog mommy heart something was wrong. They came back to get me to view the x-ray. He said the machine was having issues and couldn't print it off.. so I followed. I walked in the x-ray room and he said.. "I'm sorry it's not good". I felt my knees go out. "He has a grade four heart murmur.. meaning blood isn't going into the chambers of his heart correctly. The swooshing sound i heard is trapped blood". more panic "You can also see here that he has an enlarged heart and when he gets excited it's pinching off air flow to his lungs".. I heard myself ask.. 'What does that mean?' "It means that he'll have to be on a heart pill for the remainder of his life. If the pill can shrink his heart a couple of inches then he'll be ok for a while.. otherwise he's not going to live much longer". At that moment the room whirled around me, I grabbed the table for support and I fought back the tears in my eyes. this can't be happening.. i'm not ready for this.. oh my god please no.. he must have seen me zone out because he called my name "Mrs. P I'm sorry but there is more. He has a collapsed trachea which means he already has a restricted air flow issue. This isn't a new injury and has been there for some time. This could be why you hear that 'honking' sound you explained". 'Ok.. what do we do for that?' "Mrs. P there isn't anything we can do.. I suggest child cough medicine twice a day to relax the trachea but there is nothing we can do but make him comfortable".
Everything past that was a blur. I was lead to the front desk. I was handed pamplets on heart failure and collapsed trachea's. I was handed some pills. Told about cheaper routes for his meds. I was told he wasn't in pain and that he was a happy dog who seemed very healthy. I paid my bill and walked out the door. I got in my car, buckled Grizzly in, and started my car. Two seconds later I was balling my eyes out.. looking back at my world and wondering how in earth I was going to handle this. How on earth I could make it through the rest of my life without him next to me.. how in this world I would make it without his little face, his little kisses and his little loves. My heart broke even more.
Pull yourself together he's just a dog
That is where you are wrong. He's not just a dog to me. He's my baby, he's my best buddy, he's been through so much with me and vise versa. I love my husband but I love Grizzly. If you know me then you already knew this.. you felt the heart ache and my you could see my tears .. the moment I posted this on facebook.
I can't do this.. I just can't. I'm not ready to let him go. He's got years left with me.. he just does. If I never have a human baby ... he's my baby. He's my world. He's the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night. He is my shadow, my protector, the reason I make myself get up some mornings and the reason I pursued a new life. I'm just not ready for this.
He is on heart meds twice a day to help his heart go down a size or two. He's on childrens robotussin twice day to help with his cough. This will continue for the rest of his life. Next month, if there is a next month, he'll get another x-ray to see if the heart meds are working.
I know to some this seems petty.. he's a dog. Right now he is my baby. I would move mountains for him... I would. With everything else going on the compact is just so overwhelming.
I'm just not ready to lose him... I'm not.