Posted in Dogs, Thankfulness

Lucky

I’ve been trying to decide since Sunday, May 7, whether or not to share on my blog that my dog, Lucky, died that day. While Lucky wasn’t a registered service animal, she was my at home canine helper. For the past eleven years, she has been more of an emotional support dog than I can begin to explain. I am so thankful to have had Lucky for those eleven years. She protected me and took care of me.  After debating with myself all week, I finally decided to share this post of pictures.

The above pictures of Lucky were taken when she was just a few weeks old. Lucky was born, along with four other pups, February 28, 2006. Lucky’s mother refused to accept the runt and left her cold and stiff to die. I came to the rescue and saved Lucky from an untimely death. How can anyone not fall in love with such a cute pup? Eleven years and twenty something pounds heavier, she still thought she had to sleep with her head on my chest.

As you can see from these pictures Lucky was spoiled rotten. She had her own box of toys to play with and was allowed to sleep in the bed. She was a smart dog and could bring the toy requested. She knew the difference in a ball, a rope, and a squeaky toy. She didn’t sleep curled up at the foot of the bed like most dogs. Instead, she stretched out like a person and slept under the covers with her head on a pillow.

After four years in the house, Lucky chose to move outside. I would let her out to play and she didn’t want to come back in. I didn’t want to leave her outside, but she kept begging. So, we bought her a kennel and dog house. She loved it out there, but still liked to come back in and live in the house during cold winter and hot summer days.

Lucky liked hanging out with me. One winter I found her watching the weather. I’m not sure if she was wondering if the snow was going to be over soon or if she had a crush on the weather man. She liked to go wherever I went, even if it was just going for a ride on the stationary bike.

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Posted in Dogs, Life Lessons

Oh me of little faith

Sometimes in life, it’s better to live in the present and not worry over what may or may not happen tomorrow. I worried all day yesterday because my dog was sick. I know she is getting old and I was afraid the vet was going to tell me she needed to be put down. It turns out that I was worried for nothing. Lucky has colitis, which is causing her to run a fever and pass blood from her bowels, and what I thought was fluid was just fatty benign tumors. The vet prescribed her antibiotics, probiotics, and something to coat her stomach and intestines.

Lucky showed us how much spunk she still had in her while we were at the veterinarian’s office. She didn’t want any strangers touching her and she made that pretty clear. It was a new veterinarian and a new office. Who doesn’t get a little nervous when seeing a new doctor? She didn’t want them to check her temperature or check her for worms. She didn’t have any worms, but they had to put a muzzle on her to keep her from biting anyone while they checked. A few days of medicine though and she should be back to her old self. The vet explained everything to me about how the digestive tract works and what each medicine does. When he finished, I laughed and said, “I have digestive tract issues and you just explained everything about my dog the same way my doctor explained my issues.” I think he wondered why I set there and allowed him to explain it all. I was trying to be polite and allow him to do his job. It doesn’t hurt to get everything explained again.

While the vet was explaining the medicines and I was paying the bill, mom took Lucky outside where she could calm her down and take the muzzle off. Lucky was sitting in the van smiling at mom when I came out. Lucky had laid in her kennel yesterday and not done anything. This morning she wouldn’t eat her food and acted like she couldn’t get in the van. All they did at the vet did was a thorough exam. Lucky didn’t get any medicine until we were home. Mom said when they went outside to go home Lucky jumped up in the van like nothing was wrong. Lucky laid in the back of the van and smiled all the way home. I think she knew where we were going and that we had medicine to make her feel better. All my worrying and it turned out my dog was just trying to be like me. Dogs are smart animals. Sometimes I wonder if they are smarter than their owners.

Posted in Dogs

Dog Crazy

It’s been over two weeks since my last post. It’s been a bitter-sweet two weeks. Those two weeks have been full of ups and downs, happiness and heartache, blessings and trials.

I had an appointment last Wednesday to get my gastric stimulator adjusted. The past weekend has been a busy weekend and I’ve basically lived on jolly ranchers, so I really don’t know if the adjustment is helping or not.  One of my aunts passed away on Friday and I didn’t want to be sick at the service this weekend, so I didn’t eat. I did eat grilled chicken yesterday for lunch and egg whites for dinner, but both made me sick. Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks for the adjustments to help, so I’ve still not given up on the stimulator helping. There’s still a lot of adjustments that can be made to the stimulator settings.

Today, I’m a little down. Lucky, my eleven year old dog is sick today. I’ve not been able to get her to the vet yet. Lucky has been my baby. When Lucky was born, she was the runt of the litter and her mommy pushed her aside. Lucky was a cold stiff puppy when she was brought in the house. I held her with warm towels and fed her warm milk to warm her. After warming her up and saving her life, we tried to put her back with the litter of pups, but she was smaller and weaker and kept getting pushed aside. So, I purchased a dog training crate and gave her a basket filled with a fluffy towel to sleep in. When she would whimper at night, I’d put her in the bed with me and she would curl up on my chest. She was so tiny I could hold her in the palm of my hand. However she quickly began to grow. When she was just a few months old, all the puppies became sick. Three of the five puppies died from what the veterinarian diagnosed as parvo. By this point, we had brought a second puppy in the house so Lucky wasn’t alone. The two puppies that survived were the ones in the house. The outside dogs had been sick first, so we knew to watch the inside ones. We used a medicine dropper and force-fed them to keep them hydrated. I’ve been told that most dogs don’t live through parvo, but Lucky did. The second dog, which belonged to my sister, died a few years ago. Lucky is the only pup from the litter left. Having no children, Lucky has been my baby. During her first four or five years, she basically went everywhere I went. We have pictures of her stretched out in our camper when we would go camping and sleeping in my lap as we sat under the stars at night.

As Lucky became older, she started wanting to be outside more. I would let her out on the porch to play during the day. Then, she started wanting to stay out there all the time. She didn’t even want to come in at night. As much as I didn’t want to, I let her have her way. We bought a kennel and dog house. She seemed to love it. However, she still loves our house too. She is house broken and still enjoys spending cold winter and hot summer days inside sprawled out on my bed. Lucky’s health has been declining for a couple of years. I always take her to the vet when she is sick and bring her in and baby her. This time, I can’t bring her inside because of my own health issues. I can’t chance getting a nasty infection in my picc line and getting sick myself. I’ll have to take her to the vet and see what we can do.

As I sit here typing, I find myself crying. Those people who’ve never had a dog to love them like Lucky loves me, just can’t understand. She may be “just a dog” in their eyes, but she’s been my baby. She’s been my protector. She’s been my friend. In her younger days, she laid by my door and refused to let anyone in my room on days when I was sick. Just last winter, hen Lucky came in and spent a few weeks in the house, she still wanted to sleep with her head on my chest. On days when I’m not feeling well and don’t know how I can go on, Lucky is always and has always been there with a smile. Yes, dogs can and do smile. The past few years, when I would go outside on my motorized scooter, she was always at her kennel door jumping up and down in anticipation of a treat or a walk around the yard. Today, Lucky doesn’t come to the door. She lays in her house and looks out at me. I’m hoping I can get her to the vet’s office tomorrow, but a part of me is afraid of what the vet might tell me. I think I understand what the person meant when they said, “A dog is man’s best friend.” Dogs may not be human and dogs may bark not speak, but dogs are supportive and people can come to love them dearly. No matter what the vet says when I take Lucky there, one thing is for sure, Lucky has been a good dog. For the past eleven years, she gotten me through a lot. She’s been spoiled rotten.  She’s been played with. She’s been well fed and taken care of. She has been loved. What more could a dog ask for?