I have shared some of the unhappy news about my Lhasa lately, I thought I should share this too.
I realized I have something today that I did not have on Thursday of last week. Let me back up. On Thursday, I had resolved to do what was best and right and the one thing that I have feared and dreaded. In the early morning hours on Thursday I was sitting at the Vet’s office cradling the limp near lifeless body of my little guy Boo Boo. I was saying good bye. I don’t know why I did not send my eight year old granddaughter to work with my husband that morning because she has issues with loss. Now she would have to sit on the bench with me, and somehow I would hold myself together to get us both through.
On this morning, as fate would have, it the two Vets who have been following Boo Boo’s illness both had emergencies, so the young fellow who had not seen Boo Boo in maybe two years greeted us. I explained how Boo Boo started vomiting the night before, how in the wee hours I found him out in the bushes near the woods. Boo Boo was fading before our eyes. The Vet launched into all these things it could be--a blockage an infection--there is just something so mesmerizing about fresh eyes and the enthusiasm of youth. I explained about the end stage kidney disease, the heart, his muscle wasting of the last two years, and his age. He started reading the chart, and I remember thinking he’s stalling, he does not want to do start the morning this way, and who would.
My world was much altered in that Boo Boo and I were clear, the sights, sounds, and smell of a busy Vet Hospital were distant and hushed. I thought about the trip over, the traffic frantic in the morning rush. My car seemed to be in slow motion black and lumbering, like a funeral procession. Funny where one’s thoughts wander: my car is white and was keeping up with the traffic just fine. The vet pulled me out of my mental ramblings and said he really would feel better doing a blood profile and x-rays before making any decisions. I really don’t know what made me say yes to the blood panel; I said no to the x- ray.
For fifteen more minutes, I cradled my cold and limp boy. Foremost in my thoughts, he was still mine to hold and touch if only for a few more minutes. Boo Boo’s panel showed his kidneys have normal values among other vague abnormalities, so I agreed if they could stabilize Boo Boo, we would do more tests. I told my granddaughter we were leaving Boo Boo at the hospital. She was sure he was not going to come back home. Her opinion changed when we were asked to bring Boo Boo’s Prednisone and Encard, and she decided we were not leaving him to die. I was relieved but terrified my boy was going to die alone in a cage.
By evening I was informed Boo Boo was up on his front legs and had pulled out his catheter, that dogs in end stage kidney disease usually do not respond that quickly to hydration. Still I held on to the fear I would get a call that Boo Boo was gone. On Friday I was told I could pick up Boo Boo so he could be weaned off Prednisone for testing the following Friday. I was stunned--in my mind he was near death, and now they wanted me to take a very sick dog home! My husband finished the call because my brain was sluggish and would not, could not work through the news. I heard my husband saying “Addison’s crisis”--the Vet thinks Boo Boo has Addison’s.
Boo Boo is home, and it is surreal. I am reminded of that episode in the TV program “House” when Wilson’s girlfriend almost dies on the bus and House brings her out of her coma for a few hours. The difference is the hours have turned to days, and what I have today that was missing on Thursday is hope. I can’t pinpoint when I lost it, didn’t even notice it was gone. I felt the return and was at first frightened of its power. I tried to tap it down, but it burns too brightly for me to contain. I must keep Boo Boo calm so he does not crash while off his steroids, just until Friday morning so they can give him the ACTH stimulation test that is the only true way to know for sure if it is Addison’s. I fully understand it might not be Addison’s, it could be something else like cancer, or it could be kidney disease. The dog I brought home Friday still has the worn and ravaged body, yet suddenly the spirit and zest for life that have been missing these few years is back. I don’t know what the future holds; my granddaughter and I have together witnessed a small miracle, and both of us have found the courage to hope. Yes, Alison, very sick dogs don’t always die, sometimes they come home, and someday you will see people come home, too.
The picture is of Misty and Boo Boo, it took her almost a year to accept the advances of the blind boy, now she Mothers him.
Robbie, Boo Boo, Yogi, and Misty's human.
Poohkey miss you, monkey.