Buddy Goes to the Doggie Hospital

Sunday, September 01, 2013 , , , , 2 Comments

As a courtesy to Buddy, I posted a picture from when he was feeling a little better. He wasn't too keen on a picture of him at his worst being posted online for everyone to see. He thinks of himself as kind of a ladies man after all.

Sometimes you think you're about to start a normal day - you envision it a certain way, you know what's on the schedule and you think you know just how it's going to go. But then something happens out of the blue and it changes all of your plans and you sort of get into that mode where all of the mundane things you were thinking about do not seem to matter at the moment. 

Wednesday morning I went over my mom's house so we could do our biweekly meals on wheels delivery together. It seemed like just another Wednesday morning of dropping off food to homebound seniors, waiting for the super slow elevator as we travel up and down just about every floor in a 10 story senior apartment building, and making sure the soups and fruit cups don’t spill and mess up all of the other sack lunches. 

We got back from meals on wheels, sat on my mom’s bed and Buddy (our shared dog) unsuccessfully attempted to jump on the bed - twice in a row. That's weird, we thought. He's never done that before. He didn't even try to run and jump. He just tried to jump from a seated position. Honestly, he looked really funny and I couldn't help but laugh at him (poor guy). I tried to model the running and jumping method he usually uses, but he just watched me without budging. 

Just as the memory of Buddy’s unsuccessful jumping attempts faded from our minds, I heard Buddy yelp from the other room. He started walking like he was drunk (and although we used to give my childhood dog a little bit of a Heineken once in a while, I know that this guy is a teetotaler). He was very scared and obviously in pain. It got to the point where he wouldn't do anything except lay down, trembling and crying out. 

Rewind a little bit, it's not been a full year yet since my dad fell down in that same room, lost consciousness and then died in the hospital. Seemingly fine one moment, gone the next. My mom was there when it all happened with my dad and now has to see the dog falling to the ground, unable to get up, crying and yelping out in pain. She was freaking out. 

In fact, my mom was crying really hard for a while there and, though he was in excruciating pain, Buddy just kept licking her trying to comfort HER. Maybe you can understand why we were not ready to lose this dog. He continues to help us so much with the grieving process by bringing us joy and love.

Buddy was really my dad's dog. He was extremely attached to my dad. If you took Buddy in the car for a five minute ride and my dad wasn't there, Buddy would cry the whole time. We once sneaked him into my old apartment (no dogs were allowed in the complex) and he cried for the whole 3 hours because my dad was not with us. He was totally okay with going out of town with only my dad for a whole weekend though. 

Not only could it have seemed like a repeat incident to my mom, but both of us were wondering if Buddy was only here for my dad and decided that it was his time to check out. We were both thinking about how this happened to a friend of ours, but we dare not speak the words.

Somehow someone came up with the brilliant idea of calling our family friend, Dr. Nancy Patterson, who just happens to be an animal (and people) chiropractor. She came right away and worked wonders on Buddy, using the Cold Laser, the Activator Method Technique for adjusting him and . . . well, who knows what because we were all still kind of on edge. Buddy was actually able to get up and try to walk away from her without crying or yelping! It made him feel better, but he wasn't really sure about that little poke from the device she used for the activator method. 

Though Buddy was doing much better, we knew that he needed some pain medicine and we would have to go to the emergency veterinary hospital (because by this point it was already well beyond normal veterinary office hours). They made us call when we got there so that they could bring out a dog stretcher for him. They lifted him onto the ‘stretcher,’ strapped him in and wheeled him into the exam room for a checkup, x-rays and a shot of pain medicine.

The vet told us to give Buddy his medicine (anti-inflammatory, pain medicine, and muscle relaxer) when we got him back to our house. The only problem was that he was so out of it that he was lying there with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, his eyes wide open and snoring loud. His breathing was shallow.

He would not take the pills. He would not even sniff the bread and peanut butter we tried to hide the pills in. These are two foods he usually goes crazy for. He would not do anything. Some of the pills cause gastrointestinal upset so they must be taken with food, but not the pain pills. I opened his lip and put the pain pills under his tongue. He didn’t lick, didn’t swallow. He didn’t do anything. He just laid there looking lifeless. He kept those pills in his mouth all night long; I just hoped that they would dissolve little by little and get into his system enough to keep him okay for the night.

It did not quite work though because he spent most of the rest of the night crying and, when he was not crying my mom and I were checking to see if he was still breathing because his breaths were so shallow and spaced so far apart. At any rate, he made it through the night and has been doing much better since then.

It’s been a real challenge getting him to take his pills after spending the first night tasting those bitter pills all night long while he felt miserable. Buddy is now suspicious of bread and peanut butter. Thursday we went through several rounds of me trying to make him take the pills (wrapped in bread and peanut butter) and Buddy spitting them out. Buddy started crying. Then I started to cry. He looked at me concerned and just like that he took the pills. No matter how uncomfortable he is, Buddy can’t stand to see the people he loves cry. He’s such a sensitive guy. Buddy is not out of the woods yet, but he is definitely on the road to recovery and we could not be happier. I will keep you updated as he makes progress.