Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Caught Between The Sad Dog and The Sad Vet

Okay, so first of all, this is NOT a picture of Lucy, my old dog.  Lucy has black eyes, and hasn't sat still for a picture in 14.5 years.  Every shot I have of her is a blur of black.  But she kind of looks like this, with a little more German Shepherd to her.  Her momma was a German Shepherd, but her daddy, obviously, was not.  Oh, the scandal that must have caused in the neighborhood! 

Anyway.  Lucy is 14 and a half years old.  that's like, 700 in dog years.  When she was 1, and I was 8 months pregnant with the Drama Queen, she ate rat poison.  I came home from work and found her collapsed from internal bleeding caused by the coumadin in the poison. The Big Guy said at the time, "If you'd just stayed at work an extra hour we could have saved $500 in vet bills."  Sensitive soul, my BG.  but she recovered and became the barking scourge of two neighborhoods...cops in two counties have come to talk to us about this dog (who, I have to say, has never been left outside for longer than 15 minutes at a time--and still barked enough to annoy every neighbor in town).

Lucy has a "vigorous" tail, and repeatedly knocked down the kids as she enthusiastically encouraged them to play.  "MOOOOMMMM!  Lucy WAGGED me again!"  Poor DQ almost didn't learn to walk, she was wagged so much. 

About 10 years ago, she sprained a knee and started getting touchy about being petted or brushed near her back end, and bit Grampa once when he was petting her.  Oops!   She'd never gotten along with other critters, and attacked any animal that came within 5 feet of any of us.  This was great as far as feeling my kids were safe in the yard with her, but not so much for baby bunnies who wandered into the yard.  Or turtles.  Or other dogs. 

Then, six years ago, The Sam Stanley Experience had a severe head trauma, requiring brain surgery and a long, boring summer in which he was not allowed to run, jump or otherwise act like an 11 year old boy.  While camping one weekend, he came to the camper all excited because he'd been found by a lost, starving, flea and tick riddled little chocolate lab.  I panicked when he opened the camper door and let Lucy out, sure there was about to be carnage.  The little lab rolled on her back, exposing all her soft bits.  Lucy walked over, sniffed her and went off to pee on a bush, and Stella was invited to join the family.  Stella kept Sam company during his convalescence, and Lucy didn't mind. 

Anyway, Lucy's delicate hiney has gotten more and more sore.  She frequently falls down steps and drags both of her back legs.  She's peed on my floors so much that I can't have company until I get new carpet.

 I took her for a check up yesterday, and the vet said she probably has some nerve damage back there.  I'm sitting there thinking, "Duh, she's 14. I need her to move to the next level so I can de-stink-ify my house and have company again.  I'm tired of having to remind the kids to let her out every hour on the hour."  Of course, as I was thinking this, I started to cry. 

 So the vet said, "We can give her some anti-inflammatory drugs and see if she perks up a little, but I'm not promising anything."

And I'm sitting there, thinking, "Uh, Dude, I really need you to tell me that it's time to put her to sleep."

Instead, I took the drugs, spent another $200 on vaccines and bloodwork and took my dog home.  Do you think maybe she'll have a heart attack in her sleep in the next few weeks so I don't have to make a decision? 


  1. Hi Teri, I love your writing! You're really funny (up until the vet part). We had similar issues with our old dog a couple of years ago, so I know what you're going through. It's tough! Good luck!

  2. Your dog survived rat poison...I don't think a heart attack is likely, but I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    I took our family dog down last year and we were all upset, but my sister, goodness, when she drinks too much now we usually find her in the closet wailing about how much she misses Didlee.

  3. You can't get in and out of a vet for under $100 these days. I'm in the wrong profession.