Friday Night Dark
Friday was a great day for me. First of all, the editor at WordPress picked my last post to be on Freshly Pressed. Ever since then the number of readers for the little blog that could has increased exponentially. Of course, I know that I won’t keep all of the readers, or even most of them. There are about three men who commented that I wouldn’t mind getting rid of entirely.
I emailed John Shore, the real writer (as in, writing IS his day job) with the very funny Christian blog (check him out on my blog roll while I’m still getting the traffic to help him out). He emailed back:
“That is a lot of fun, isn’t it? What’s nice is it means you’re on their radar, and so will likely show up there again sometime in the future.”
“Prepare, though, for the inevitable letdown after all the traffic passes through. Afterwards, you kind of feel like the wonderfully fun huge parade just … disappeared on you. Not to rain on what’s happening, which is awesome! Just … be prepared for the inevitable letdown afterwards.”
Still, it was fun to watch the count climb. At first, it seemed surreal. I kept jumping from my site stats to the link to my article on wordpress.com and then back to the Site Stats. Amazing! By lunch, I was emailing friends. 1,400 hits in a day! Can you imagine? By the end of the day it was more than 3,200. The next day brought even more traffic. Astounding!
As icing on the cake, I did something nice for the administrative assistant at my work place, and she offered to pay for my lunch at Pappasito’s. Get out! And then there was a Halloween celebration, so there were people in costume and a bunch of cute little kids running around in costumes and more free food!! I LOVE free food. Free food is the best. It even tastes better. Popcorn balls, caramel apples.
Then, because I hadn’t eaten enough, I went out to dinner with the Mr. Brewsters and another of my former co-workers and a friend of his. I was the only straight person at the table, which is awesome.
I bragged about my blog, which they all think of as an on-line diary hobby kind of thing, so it didn’t get quite the response I might have hoped for. Hmmm…note to self. Pick new friends who find your blog to be a serious endeavor of monumental proportions right up there with the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence and that paper thingy that Martin Luther tacked on a door, whatever that was called.
And then I went home. My poor dog started bumping into things and knocking things over and whining, constantly, constantly whining. High pitched fussing at all times. You couldn’t get her to shut up for even two seconds between yelps. It was like an air raid siren. She was obviously in pain.
She’s been walking to the side, leaning, for about a year now. I never got it checked out by a vet because I assumed it was due to those back problems that dachsunds get, and she didn’t seem to be in pain. I keep up with her shots and her heartworm medication. I try to stay on top of her weight so her back doesn’t get worse.
I didn’t anticipate this. She’s only seven years old. Lately she’s been acting like it was maybe difficult for her to see, but she hasn’t been in constant pain. Sometimes when I try to pick her up she bites me. I figured it was arthritis maybe. One day last week, and this should have been my real clue, she peed the bed and just laid there until I got her up. But she never acted like she was in constant pain. I can’t stand for an animal to be in pain.
I gave her a Tylenol PM, and that worked for maybe two or three hours of blissful sleep (‘cause, apparently, I’m selfish like that – Damn dog, I need to sleep; It’s the weekend coming up, and I have social plans.) First thing Saturday morning I threw on some sweats, brushed my teeth, carried her into the car and headed to the vet’s.
Well, the vet’s office is miles away, and there was an accident on the highway we use to get there. Instead of a twenty minute drive it was over an hour with her whining away in a midsize sedan the whole time. I love my dog, and I can’t stand for her to be in pain, but I also wanted to kill her. I gave her the popcorn ball, and that shut her up for long enough for her to eat it.
We told the vet’s office it was an emergency, and they got us in in twenty minutes. In the meantime, I tell them what’s wrong with the dog and that I gave her Tylenol PM so she would shut up, and I feel like a total shit, like I must be the worst pet parent that ever lived. Why didn’t I at least give her children’s Tylenol? Why didn’t I take her to the vet’s sooner? Because I was afraid that there would be nothing they could do to help her, that I could afford, anyway. That’s what I was afraid of.
First, she gets weighed. She weighs 26.5 pounds. So much for the weight control. She should weigh 20 pounds. The doctor takes blood and examines her. She’s blind as a bat. Apparently, she was only blind in one eye and had been compensating. Who knows how long it was going on before I could have noticed. The leaning thing doesn’t seem to be related, but it’s not back problems. We get the blood tests back, and everything looks good. No diabetes, no meningitis, no eye infection, kidney and liver function good.
The vet says that she can’t know for sure what the problem is. She suspects that my dog is more riddled with anxiety from the blindness than actual pain, but who knows? She says that some animals live happy lives blind; others never adjust. The problem is most likely neurological; could be a stroke or a brain tumor or any one of dozens of things that she can’t diagnose without either an MRI or a Cat scan, and even after that there wouldn’t be much she could do to solve it.
She tells me that I didn’t do anything to cause this, and that taking her to the vet sooner wouldn’t have changed the outcome. She gives me prescriptions for a muscle relaxant and some pain meds and tells me to take the dog home and observe her, see if she calms down. If she doesn’t, then we will discuss the alternative on Monday or Tuesday.
I take her home and give her the meds, and this makes her sleep for maybe three or four hours. Then she starts in with the whining again. I’m supposed to give her the pain meds only every eight to twelve hours, but needless to say, I cheat a little. When it comes time for us to go to sleep, I’ve given her twice the recommended dose, and the fussing is not letting up. Out of frustration, I put her in the other bedroom and close the door. Eventually, the whining stops.
I got some sleep, and I think she did, too. She seems not to hate me for jailing her for the night. I love that dogs have no short-term memory. I pick her up in the morning and bring her back in the bed with me, and she sleeps peacefully and quietly.
I cancelled my plans for the weekend ‘cause I need to watch her and also because if I have to say goodbye, ultimately, that I will want to know that I spent her last days with her. I hate to let her go, but I cannot stand to see an animal suffer, and there is no use in making her continue to bump into everything and live in constant fear and pain just so that I can feel better or somehow less lonely.
For now, she is sleeping peacefully. I wonder how long that will last. There is no use in keeping her alive to be doped up on pain meds all the time. I have a sad feeling that we will be saying goodbye very soon.
If you’re at all interested, you can read about how I met my best friend right here: