Thursday, March 05, 2009

When your faithful friend gets sick

I have had Brandy for 15 years. I'm not even sure of her heritage.. she looks like a Jack Russell white with the brown circle around her eye and some small brown spots on her body. I do know her mother was a terrier/poodle mix, the father was some dog walking by. I never held that against

I know the terrier comes thru a lot in her. She will sit by the baseboards waiting for mice. She got that when we moved to Harvey when she was a puppy and we had field mice in the house and she would chase them and they would squeeze down between the baseboard and the wall. She could sit and wait for hours sometimes days. Almost obsessive, but thats the terrier for sure.
She never ever licked, I got one once..I think she forgot and just let her guard down that time.. she shows affection by snorting in your ear, wet, but its still affection and it is her way of letting me know she appreciates the love she gets from me, from us as a family.

Now she is partially deaf, her teeth are bad and her breath is even worse.. but she still makes me laugh. She was a sweet dog when she was younger, but like the rest of she has gotten on in years she got cranky. Well you could almost say darn right nasty, but not with me. She was my dog from the start, and she doesnt' like strangers, men in particular (which I think just shows good taste) lol
She got that from my brother D who decided it would be cute to bark at her when she was she can here his voice (even over the phone) and she will bark franticly!

She also doesn't like children, which can be a challange when you have 4 grandchildren all under the age of 7. lol It took her months to warm up to Norm, now though after all these years she will sit and cuddle with him and bring him her old worn sock to throw for her.

I remember bringing her home as a puppy, tucked into the front pouch pocket on my jacket. Her sticking her nose out and the girls squeeling with delight. I liter box trained her because we werent' allowed to have dogs in the mini home park. When we moved into a house later that year, she got to go outside and pee like normal dog. But she is smart, and if she has to go and no one is home, she will go back to the litter box instead of peeing on the floor.

The past three days she has been sick. Tuesday it was just her not eating, walking very slowly and thowing up. She was drinking more water, but couldn't even keep that down. Wednesday it was worse, her balance is off.. she tried to shake like they will when they are all soaped up and in the tub.. but she fell over on her side and I had to pick her up and set her on her feet again. Her depth perception is off, she walked into the door. She still hasn't eaten, her eyes are doing this back and forth kind of twitchy freaky thing. The worse part is her eyes,,,they are sad... she looks at you like she wants to know whats wrong with her... and I can't tell her.

Its so sad to think that this may be her exit time. That 15 is old for a dog just doesn't seem fair. I know that she has more to teach me and more joy to give. She has always been my friend, never lying to me, cheating on me, hurting me or making me regret getting her. She has been a constant, a loyal and wonderful companion. At times sharing my bed, crawling down under the covers when it gets cold and lying on my legs... she loved the old water bed when I had that because it was always warm in the winter and she would always take her naps on it.

I got Brandy to the vet tonight, three hours later, we are all back home. Normally just pulling out her leash and saying the word "car", would have her so excited she would have a stroke.. tonite she didn't even wag her tail and I had to pick her up and carry her. I sat with her in my lap, her head resting on my arm as she looked out the window, and Norm drove.

Normally she wouldn't let Jacob near her, tonite she let him pet her head and never once did her Elvis impersonation....(you know, the curled up lip on one side) She did manage to try to bite the good Dr when she came over to examine her though..

Her heart and lungs are good, she noticed right away that she was holding her head to one side and I put her down so she could see her try to walk... which reminds me of an ex husband I had (he was always drunk) The Dr. "thinks" that her balance and eye problems are due to a tumor pressing on something in her head without doing a very, very, very expensive scan of her head, its her best diagnosis. She checked her ears because of the possibility that it might be something as simple as a bad ear infection that was making her sick cause of the inner ear...but says here ears look normal too. She ran some blood tests to make sure is wasn't kidney,liver or diabetes, all were within normal range. She gave her a shot of some new antibiotic that would be easier than trying to get a pill into a dog that can't eat and is barely drinking at this point... the needle would stay in her body and work for 2wks. She did this as a precaution in case its some sort of infection... but she doesn't hold much hope at her age, she has seen more of these symptoms in elderly dogs with brain tumors.

Over the next couple of days, I'm suppose to try to get her to drink small amounts of water and hopefully keep it down so she doesn't get dehydrated. When she is able to do that, I have to try to get her to start eating a couple of tablespoons of rice and cottage cheese or rice and cooked lean ground beef. I have to continue to keep the stairs blocked off so she doesn't fall and hurt herself, and to help her go outside to pee and come back in safely, put some drops in her eyes 3-4 times a day to keep them lubricated because she isn't blinking properly. If she gets worse over the next couple of weeks,,,,well then I have to make the decision to put her to sleep. In the mean time,,,she is my baby and I have to keep her safe as possible and make sure that she isn't suffering.. right now the Dr says she isn't,, no signs of pain, just being very sick at this point. Make her comfortable, keep her company, make her feel safe and loved.. and most of all hope for some miracle. I"m hoping for the latter.

Brandy was actually able to keep her water down today, she only threw up once over night and once when she woke up again at 8 am. during the day she drank and as the Vet suggested I only gave her a little at a time. She is still very unsteady on her feet and I help her in and out of the house to go pee. She squats to have a bowl movement, but of course she hasn't eaten in 4 days now so there is nothing to come out. I got groceries this morning and picked up a couple containers of that expensive "ceasers" dog food. I was trying to spoil her, bribe her into eating. It didn't work, she only sniffed at it and laid back down. Dora the cat loved it

What makes me know that she is still feeling really sick is her eyes , they are still so sad. I pick her up and sit her on my lap and rub her neck ,,if I stop she sticks her nose under my hand telling me to continue..of course I do. She is sleeping alot more than usual, even for a 15 yr old dog.. but there is still a piece of me that is hoping she will snap out of this.

Thanks to everyone for your support and hugs,, greatly needed and appreciated..

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