life with dogs

Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog;
but you’re never friendless ever, if you have a dog.

-Douglas Mallock

They call dogs, man’s best friend.  True, but the dog, is also woman’s best friend…and childs, and any hooman who actually deserves the love of our four legged furry companions.

It’s not dog ownership; I own my clothes.  My clothes don’t make me break down and cry (ok, maybe when I’m having a fat day they can be frustrating, lol), or kiss my face when I am crying.  My clothes don’t believe that their love can make everything better, heal me on a sick day, or mend my broken heart.  My clothes don’t greet me with love and adornment when I come home from work.  You don’t own a dog.  You love and cherish them, four-legged children that don’t really speak the same language you do.

With all that love and playfulness, comes the terrifying side too, injury and sickness.  This can down right rip your heart apart, terrify you and for some create such panic that the walls feel like they are closing in on you.
This happened to me, twice now.

The first time was New Year’s Eve 2012, Reese had some kind of extremely bad reaction to his food or something he got into, I still am not exactly sure what it was.  A solid night of puking and dry heaving.  I was up all night with him and an emergency visit to his vet, which thankfully was open on New Year’s Day.  A shot for the vomiting, and by evening he was better.  We went through the blan food diet for a couple of days, new dog food and he responded beautifully.

Well.  Like two kids, no two dogs go through the same experience.
But let me back up.

I have two dogs, I’ve spoke of them in past blogs, tons of social media posts, if you’re on my SnapChat you’ve received more snaps of my dogs than anything else.  I am in full title a “pawrent,” these are my children, my heart.  A year ago, I posted a blog talking about how puppies are assholes, at that time Grimm was only six months old and we were still breaking through house training and the struggles that go with having a bully breed child.  In all terms, Grimm is still a puppy, a toddler now so to speak.  We’ve passed through his asshole stage and life is great.  I think in total, clothing wise, I’ve lost one pair of sweat pants to his chewing, maybe a random shirt, but nothing that sticks out in memory.  Furniture seemed to be his thing… The corner of one of my dresser drawers, the soft sides of the ottoman footstool, countless dog blankets, a dog bed, a pillow, rope balls, endless tennis balls.  All of which I was ok with, well except for the ottoman and dresser drawer.  The nightmares of his puppy days were crate training and house breaking.  Now, he’s just my sweet, sweet pittie, full of love and energy.

Until this past Saturday night.

I was on duty last week, aka on call; and it had been a bit of a rough week.  The first four days started out with working 12 hours playing guard duty in the hospital.  Friday was a little better, until a work call came in late Friday evening, that myself and the back-up were going to have to work a couple hours Saturday morning -mind you, we get no OT for this.  This is all part of the gig.  It’s what I signed up for, while yes it can be annoying and frustrating, it is part of the job, so you take it in stride.  Ok, so a couple hours Saturday morning, get a workout in afterwards, hair appointment and run some errands.  I was gone from home six to seven hours.  I got home, and there was puke in Grimm’s crate.

Letting him out, he acted like his normal happy puppy self, playful and energetic.  He was extremely remorseful about his mess, constantly trying to cuddle while I was cleaning the mess up, he knew I wasn’t happy.  But honestly, who is happy cleaning up dog vomit?  He wasn’t interested in food at dinner time, which happened to be when I was cleaning up his mess.  I didn’t think anything of it, Grimm has become a grazer with food.  He eats what he wants, a couple bites here and there throughout the day.  No big deal.  Until about 9pm, when Grimm projectile vomited water and stomach bile all over my bedroom floor and in a pile of laundry.  I was less than happy. He drank water and seemed ok.  Then 1am I woke up to my bedding soaked in more stomach bile vomit.  I’m talking so much that it soaked through a comforter, a quilt, sheets and was pooled on the mattress.  Grimm looked so embarrassed and pitiful.  I cleaned up the blankets and cuddled him.  More vomit an hour or so later.

Sunday wasn’t any better.  Shortly after going outside to go potty, stomach bile vomit on the mudroom floor.  Another round a couple hours later.  This is when I started controlling how much water he was allowed to have.  If I let him tank up, he would vomit all of it, or most of it within 20-30 minutes.  Controlling the water slowed the amount of vomit down and how often.  However, it only made the smell of the bile that much stronger.  There was two more incidents, and the final one….dear god almighty it was WRETCHED.  I was close to vomiting myself at the horrendous smell.

Monday morning, I called into work.  I am blessed to have a supervisor so understanding… frankly, with as sick as Grimm was, I would have physically been at work, but mentally… I was an absolute mess.
Calling the vet first thing in the morning, of course they are crazy booked but they squeeze us in between other appointments.  Xrays, physical exam, colon exam (poor baby).  His temperature was low, he had lost almost 5 pounds, the xrays showed no signs of blockage… his stomach and intestines were irritated, the vet said there had defiently been something in there, but there was pockets of gas which was a good sign, everything was still functioning and the intestines, while moving slow were moving, so I should be prepared for a round of diarrhea in the next 24 hours. Grimm gets a shot for the vomiting, fluid under the skin for the dehydration, anti inflammatory meds with the directions of no food or water next hour to hour and a half to let the shot take effect. Small amounts of plain blan food when we start to not further upset his stomach.

Sunday I had posted on facebook, how Grimm wasn’t feeling well and my heart was breaking.  Many people responded asking how he was, what was going on and asked for updates.  This is where I hate social media.  I posted the update after leaving the vet’s office and some responses were well wishes, others were prayers -I thank you for these.  However others, had to post their horror stories of when something similar happened to their dog.  This was like being pregnant and everyone wanting to tell me their horror stories of labor and delivery, along with their advise of what to do, how to do it, what to tell the doc (vet in this case) and what to to demand…

Jesus it got overwhelming, and fast!!  It got to such a point that I just stopped responding to the posts.  I couldn’t.  I was already freaking out enough.  My anxiety was through the roof, my heart was breaking because I could snuggle my puppy back to his wonderful self.  It got to such a point I tried to call my mother, I was in tears and on the edge of a full blown break down crying fit, for the umpteenth time.  My mom got a tad religious on me and I hung up on her.

I just laid on my bed, with Grimm, snuggling him, stroking his fur and telling him how much I loved him. Yea.  I’m THAT pawrent.  If you are not, then you don’t understand the true bond between human and dog.

About this time my middle sister facetime calls.  She wanted to check in on me, try to distract me.  She has a crazy pup of her own, she gets it. Her thirty minute call helped re-energize me and the ability to answer a few text, fb messages, etc.  But Grimm and I are back to controlling how much water he gets -he puked after the vet’s office, they had me jump up the time he got his anti-inflammatory horse pill.  No food or water for three hours, hoping it stayed down.  The ease back into the attempts.  He still wasn’t interested in food, little bits of water…so we went back to the half gateraid, half water mixture.  He spends the rest of the evening and night, just laying on the bed looking all sad and pathetic and breaking my heart.  At this point I am literally praying for a miracle, a one-eighty turn around by morning.  I’m stressed, I’m exhausted, my own stomach is in knots and ill feeling (of course it doesn’t help that I haven’t eaten much and am pretty much surviving on coffee and small handfuls of animal crackers the past two days) and my head is pounding behind my right eyeball to the point I’m surprised my eyelid isn’t twitching.

Another night of broken sleep and leaving the bathroom light on, just in case he needed me or started throwing up again.  Grimm decided to suddenly switch positions about 3am and I bolted upright in bed…half dazed and trying to focus, there is my beautiful pittie looking at me like “what the fuck are you doing mom, I’m just switching spots on the bed.”  An hour later, or the last time I remember looking at the clock, he was snuggled up against me and I was stroking his soft coat.  Three hours later my alarm clock goes off, and so does my stomach.

I get both the boys outside, Grimm goes right to the grass to pee… At this point I’m not overly moved by the amount of pee, he did have the fluid shot.  However, right after he pees, he goes to a stick laying on the back deck and picks it up by his mouth…he wants to chew on it.  This makes my heart flutter, a sign of his normal self peeking through a rough couple of days.  No I didn’t let him chew the stick.  I ushered him inside, where he wants water.  Ok, good.  I give Reese his breakfast and Grimm is standing there looking at me, like “uhh, mom, you forgot mine.”  Ok, this is very good.  I pull the already made rice and chicken broth from the fridge, warm a little up.  Grimm isn’t too sure of the rice, but happily drinks all the chicken broth.  I get puppy kisses, and I could cry.  I haven’t had Grimm kisses since he got sick.  His ears are perked up a bit more, he has a little more energy and his eyes are not as glassed over looking.  Back outside, another pee trip… Now I know to wait on the bowels to release…nothing yet. Grimm comes back to the deck while his brother is still in the yard, and he poises himself…wait…what…I almost laugh, because Grimm does this when he wants to play and he plans on ambushing Reese on his way back to the house.  Before I can tell him no, Reese gets on the deck and Grimm springs on him. I immediately get both to stop, I don’t want to upset Grimm’s fragile state, but I could also cry with happiness.  Back inside, a little more chicken broth, a little more rice and then crashed out on my bed snoring…and now he has started farting.

A HUGE thank you to the friends who individually checked in on me during the past handful of days. ❤️❤️  We’re not out of the woods yet, but we can see the daylight.

(as I’ve been typing this, Grimm, who is currently passed out on my bed, has farted, several time…the awful smell of chicken broth and a digestive system that hasn’t seen food in 48 hours…I need a mask, I might puke myself, lol, but I am beyond ecstatic happy with this progress)

Now if only I could get my own stomach to settle and my head to stop pounding out of my right eye socket.

-Inked Amazon 💋💀

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Author: boxerjeep

I am a mid 30s pawrent to my babies Reese (boxer) and Grimm (pitbull). A tattooed Army veteran, yogi and strength athlete. My second loves after my pups are tattoos, my Jeep, random music, real books, ancient history, the outdoors and art.

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