For our Joogsie - When it's Time, Decide and Don't Look Back
What a roller coaster ride it's been in trying to restore Joogsie's health.
Now, I know she's "just" a dog. And, as I was reminded while my friend Jean Rony just visited from Haiti, there are folks who could really use some help around the world.
On the other hand, many understand that there's more to a good dog and "just" a dog. Plus there's a sense of loyalty some of us have as part of the way we're wired.
I shared a few weeks ago about Joogsie's health. It's continued to deteriorate. At first we got her on a raw food diet, which did wonders. Her coat, which had been shedding for most her life, stopped shedding and became more shiny than we can remember. Wifey's rejoicing because sweeping is so much easier. And Joogsie showed a remarkable recovery.
But then she resumed her downward slide. She's just not the same girl. That spunk and tenacity are gone, replaced with reservation, lethargy and confusion at times.
Sooo, in my pursuit of a holistic path, I found a vet who would meet with me and discuss options. She was awesome, and fell in love with Joogsie from the first moment. She remarked how healthy the ol' girl is, in spite of her illness and especially in light of the fact that most Great Danes don't get this old. She's at the point where she's pushing the average higher.
On the other hand, she was still puppyish just a few months ago, so something's wrong. And, at least to me, this indicates that her otherwise healthy body may have a few years to go.
So we discussed my girl and our options. My focus was on providing her longevity and quality of life. I won't keep her alive if she's in excessive pain, but if we can heal her then I'm willing to handle the expense.
The doc set up an appointment at the nearby animal hospital for us to get some tests. They were awesome, except....
The blood work looks fantastic, with a slightly low protein level. The doctors were really impressed. But the x-ray tells a story, as does a swab of discharge from her vulva.
The swab reveals infection. It's not terrible, but it is obvious. The x-ray indicates a slight infection too, but then forward of the uterus is a mass, blob or whatever. They just don't know. It could be part of the uterus, but it would be very unusual. It's unusual anyways. It could be a tumor. It could be... ???
So, Joe, your options are to make her comfortable, do emergency surgery now or schedule it for later.
You know that feeling when the eyes well up and the brain is churning, but nothing is really progressing? I just sat there for a bit.
I'm a guy of action. I want all the facts and then to be able to make an informed decision. That's why I'm here. But, it's a blob. Nobody knows what it is. And now I have to decide what to do.
I'm watching this awesome animal decline. There's no way I can just let her die without fighting for her. She needs that fighting chance to be healthy again. At least, that's what I think. And I'm it. There's nobody else here to make that decision for her.
Enters one of those times when you REALLY wish dogs could talk.
So, YES, let's do it. I'll fight for her.
That'll be about $2,000 to $2,500.
We had asked how much it'd cost to get her spayed a few months ago. The price was less than $500. Now it's up there with a cheap car. Another Ugh... this time with eyes wide. I simply had no idea.
Okay, I don't have that much. It'd take me a few weeks to pay it off.
We understand. But, we're sorry, we can't carry any of it. You'll need to pay at the time of service.
By this time I'd made up my mind. I'm fighting for this dog. So, let's schedule for the middle of the week. It's a little less expensive anyways. There's just the risk that something could happen in the interim. And, of course, there's the very real risk that she won't ever wake up again once they put her under on Wednesday morning.
Now to come up with about $1,000 or so to save a dog. Folks live on less than that per year in some places. I ponder that, because it's real and I've seen it. But I can't look back on this. I'll deal with those thoughts after the fact.
So, for the next few days Joe's scrambling to pull together a couple grand to save his pup. I'm not sure where it'll all come from. But I'm not giving up on her. I've decided to fight for her. I've decided she's worth it. And I won't look back.