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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Poor Happy Boy - our beloved dog!

(A younger Happy - always smiling)

(An older Happy - he figured the Chaise lounge chair was his - this was in Canada)

I have had a week from hell - feels that way! My dog, 14-year old Shiba Inu, has a very bad urinary tract infection that may have spread to the kidneys. He is nauseous the majority of the time and eats very little (fortunately, he has been on the chubby side most of his adult life and looks more like the Queen's Corgis than a Shiba Inu, the breed that is very popular in Japan - so his extra stores should help him now), but is drinking water. He is on a powerful antibiotic, and last night had his first peaceful, uninterrupted sleep in days. This morning he managed to keep his medicine down for 2 hours. Giving a tablespoon of brandy helps, but Happy flatly refused it after a few times of administering it with a syringe. He can be quite stubborn that way. Brandy relaxes the muscles of the stomach for at least 2 hours, before the retching begins again. An anti-histamine works wonders, if he can keep it down. Apparently, if they will drink rice water (milky water drained from straining raw rice with water), that is the best home remedy for nausea. It worked for a while, but then Happy started to refuse it. My son, Jonathan, has been a great help with Happy and getting the medicines into him. He was in great danger at times of having his fingers bitten, but we got better at it, and now use leather gloves.

Anyway, we're hoping for the best, but Happy is very old and the vet told me to expect anything. I was lying in bed last night recalling all Happy's antics through the years and ended up a crying mess, so will leave the reminiscing for now. It's so difficult when pets get old and sick. They are a part of the family and it hurts to see them suffer. Happy was the reason we drove down all the way from Canada to our present tropical destination (not for public knowledge for private reasons). The airlines would not fly him and the lady said, "Well, he is 11 years old - perhaps it is time to put him to sleep." Needless to say we were all horrified at her suggestion and made the decision to risk life and limb for our beloved Happy. The journey was harrowing but something none of us will ever forget as those memories will be with us for life - some good memories, some bad, some funny and some scary memories.

Anyway, just wanted to explain why my mind is not with my blogging of late. Hope all of you are having a better week than we are.


ethyl d said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your poor doggie. Take a break from the blog--you have more important things to worry about right now.

Amy Dungan (Sparky's Girl) said...

I'm so sorry your dog is sick. We will be praying for you all Jennifer! (((HUGS)))

Jennifer said...

Thank you Ethyl and Amy. Your support makes me feel less alone. My hubby is in the city and I'm having to cope alone without his reassuring presence, but Jonathan is helping quite a bit. Daniel is with us too and he has been helpful as well. We were all so exhausted last night. I think I slept 10 hours! Happy did too, which was good. I'm worried as he won't drink now - since this morning and he won't eat. I'm going to go and try again with the water at the very least, and if he won't drink I'm going to give him water with electrolyte support in a syringe.

Carol said...

I am so sorry to hear about your dog. A year and a half ago we lost our 14 year old lab mix with acute kidney failure and cancer. He was the best dog we have ever had, and we still miss him. He died during the night and we were with him through the whole time. Thankfully he did not have to suffer a lot nor did we have to make the decision to have him euthanized. We also tried everything to keep him alive. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Carol Luna

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been enjoying your blog and recipes. I am so sorry about your poor sick dog. They become so much a part of our lives and families. I am hoping for the best for your sweet pup.

Jan J.

Jennifer said...

Hi Carol,

Thank you so much for writing. My heart goes out to you, especially since you still miss your dog that you loved so many years. You are blessed not to have had to make the decision to euthanize. Many people have suggested that to us, including the vet, however, we want to give Happy a chance - only if he is suffering unbearably and there is no hope, then we will consider it - more for Happy's sake than our own at that point.

Jennifer said...

P.S. Carol - thanks for the thoughts and prayers. Thank you, too, Jan, for writing. I appreciate it. Glad you're enjoying the recipes and blog - good to hear - keeps me going. :-)