Where I've Been Since My Last Post

Life is crazy.

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post and as much as I missed it, life threw me something more important.

One morning when I was getting ready for work, I followed my usual routine: let the dogs out back to do their business while I brush my teeth, wash my face and put my contacts in. At right about the time I'm done, my male dog gives me a little bark from the back door to let me know they're done.

Background: I have a Miniature Poodle who just turned 10. His name is Boyfriend, otherwise known as Fat Friend or BF the Dog. He is the smartest, most loyal dog. My other dog is Eleanor, a two-year-old Morkie who's personality is way too big for her 3lb. body. She's crazy and I love her.

That morning as I was going through my routine, I noticed that BF hadn't given me his bark yet to let him back in. I went to the backdoor and only saw Eleanor, my little dog. I immediately knew something was wrong, she is never the one to be waiting at the door, especially without BF.

As soon as I opened the door she immediately ran away from me to the top of the steps on the deck. At the bottom of the stairs I saw Boyfriend sitting down, clearly unable to move his back legs. I picked him up and his legs were completely lifeless. No response to touch, no reflexes, nothing. He also just kept looking up like he was uncomfortable and his neck needed to be in that position.

So I panicked. I called my vet, who is wonderful, and she told me to head straight to their office. Their office is about 20 minutes away in no traffic and this was at rush hour, so I insisted that I should take him to an emergency room near me so he could be seen quicker. I was completely hysterical at this point, crying and freaking out. She explained that it would be better for my dog to see them since they already have a relationship with him and know his medical history.

More background: My sweet dog has had some serious health issues the last several years. He developed this weird disease, Panniculitis, which would cause him to form tumors under his skin that would then surface and becomes awful, open wounds. It was horrible and it took ages for the vet (previous vet, not his current one) to figure out what the problem was. They said it was cancer and did surgery to remove the first tumor. He took so long to recover from that surgery, it was really bad. Then they said it was just an infection. It wasn't until he went to a speciality vet that he was diagnosed and treated. He also has a pretty severe heart murmur, and then there are the various cuts and injuries he has sustained. My poor puppy!

I rush to the vet and call my dad to meet me there. At almost 30-years-old, I still need my dad, okay? The vet tech just TAKES HIM and says they'll call me! That definitely didn't help my anxiety. But in less than 15 minutes later, the doctor called me and told me she suspected it to be Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD). Just like it sounds, it's a problem with the disks in the back which can cause many issues, up to paralysis. She said it is pretty common in smaller, older dogs.

The good news was that he wasn't paralyzed. He still had the ability to feel deep pain in his legs. He could stand up, but only for a second or two at a time. She gave him some meds and asked if she could keep him for the day. The alternative was to send him to a Neurologist who could perform a surgery that would definitely cure him, but it's an invasive and very specialized surgery that would cost me upwards of $8,000.

It's not the money that I was most worried about (although I was definitely worried about the money), it was the idea of putting my dog through another surgery. He suffered so bad after the last one that I really didn't think I could put him through that again.

At the end of the day I picked him up and she sent me home with several medications and strict directions to keep him from moving at all times. He could sit with me and go out just long enough to do his business, otherwise he needed to be in his kennel. No running, no jumping, no stairs, no overexertion.

I was glad to have my puppy back, but bringing him home was HORRIBLE. He could barely move and when he did move to go to the bathroom, he just dragged his back legs along. I made sure to stick very closely to his schedule for pain medication, muscle relaxers and steroids, which meant getting up in the middle of the night. His steroids also make him very hungry and thirsty, so he would also have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I didn't care. My sleep could be disrupted for my little dog.

The first several days were very hard. There was little to no progress and it was looking more and more like surgery was the only option. He was still able to go to the bathroom on his own, so that was a good sign. He was also in good spirits. Getting attention 24 hours a day did NOT bother him! Even my brother and dad came by to give him treats and spoil him.

FINALLY I started to see progress and the progress came fast one it started. First he was able to bend his neck better. Then he got a better appetite. Then he could stand for longer without falling. And now he can walk pretty well on his own, but he still stumbles and drags his back legs a little bit.

Needless to say, I didn't have much extra time for blogging. With my pup's improving health, however, I am able to get back to writing. It's good to be back!

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