The day felt endless, even though it really wasn’t.
I wake up early this morning for some reason…oh wait, it was the dogs. They were restless and they woke me up from a wonderful dream by bouncing and pulling and drawing me out of bed long enough to check what the heck’s going on.
After a quick peek out the window, seeing nothing that could explain the ruckus I stumble back into, only to almost fall helter-skelter over Yadzia. Something is wrong I see with a single glance. He’s all tense and tiny shivers run all over his body while I try to figure out what’s up.
I can find no real indication as to what’s bothering him, and in the end, I carefully lift him on the bed…even though I barely manage it with the dratted knee making such a movement rather uncomfortable…and settle him in the center of the bed so I can curl around him in hopes that he’ll at least warm up. He whimpers a bit, and this continues during the course of the hours that follow.
We lay there for a long time, him shivering and me worrying until sleep wins and we both snooze for a while.
He seems to be a bit better–even when he still exclaims an occasional whimper–when the alarm goes off. Keeping a wary eye on him, I let the other dogs into the yard. He doesn’t join them, but carefully jumps off the bed to settle on his favorite spot underneath it instead.
Hurrying through the morning rituals, as seems to be the standard these days; I hobble on down to the house less than half an hour later. Yadzia is following at a short distance and then miserably heads into the house. Keeping a worried eye on him, I quickly hang and fold laundry and then head on back inside–Yadzia follows me around consistently even though it obviously hurts him–to make a bed for the sick dog, there where he can see me at the table, without being overrun by the other dogs.
He settles there, barely looking up when big brother and his pack arrive with their usual noise and I explain the problem. We check if he has a fever…he doesn’t. Then his gums…they’re pink, so that’s not the problem either, and yet there is this pallor about him that makes it clear that there is a big problem. I’m thinking that it has something to do with his back, since he keeps tensing up, but it could also be, as big brother suggests, his bowels. Some sort of blockage that’s hurting him.
In the end we decide to wait a few hours to see if things get better, and if they don’t we’ll head for the vet as soon as the sibs arrive. For several hours, with my eyes constantly straying towards Yadzia, I try to write, only managing a page or so of the latest vampire project, until a sudden pained howl from the poor dog settles it. We’re heading for the vet, hoping to be able to get him looked at immediately so we’ll still be able to go to school for at least an hour.
There are two customers/patients before us when we arrive, but after about fifteen minutes we are led into the examination room where the young female vet and our regular vet look Yadzia over. He’s bravely wagging his tale, but is obviously pained when they start to examine his spine. X-rays need to be made, and while I walk along so Yadzia won’t feel so scared, the vet and I talk a bit about how I got the dog from this very hospital several years ago.
Together with Gada, Yadzia had been left at the vet’s for termination, and since he really didn’t want to put the two wonderful Labradors down he’d asked if we would like to take them. The vet hadn’t even recognized him ‘till now, and was amazed at how attached the dog was, especially since he’d already been five years old when he came to me.
With the assurances of the vets that they will take good care of Yadzia we hurry on out to head for town, on the other side of the mountain, hoping that we’ll make it to school in time.
Forty-five minutes before closing time we arrive, and after seriously setting the appointment for our exams on the 25th we head on to the computers for more tests.
It goes well enough, only one mistake for me, which was due to reading the question wrong, so when eight PM arrives, big brother and I are both relieved that yesterday’s disaster was an anomaly.
Middle sister joined us today, so after we depart from school we head to the photo booth again, for the sole purpose of her headshots, which she’ll need to renew her passports a month or two from now too.
That done we have less than half an hour to get to the hospital again and see how Yadzia is doing. By this time I’m starting to feel a little frazzled, I’ll admit, hurrying into the building the moment the car stops and following the serious looking vet into the exam room so she can show me the X-rays.
Due to age and some growths on his spine Yadzia has multiple hernias…too narrow spaces between the discs of his spine…which is causing the discomfort. Now, if it had only been one disc they could operate but since the photos show that there are at least five of these spots it is something he will have to live with from now on, until it gets too bad. Damn!
Still, they are able to make him more comfortable with an anti-inflammatory injection that’ll work for five days, which is when he’ll need another. With that bit of distressing news we pack Yadzia back up in the car and head on home.
He’s looking about as discouraged as I feel, his head settling on my shoulder as we follow the familiar road until arriving at the gate.
After the pack has welcomed us, and Yadzia alike, we have the dinner little sister prepared during our absence and try to wind down from the long day with some entertainment on the TV.
Yadzia sleeps peacefully at my feet during the entire thing, and actually gets up without prodding when it is time to head up to our cabin.
While the other dogs eat their kibble…he doesn’t feel like it…I give him two small cans of tuna, which he seems to enjoy, thank God.
I do hope that the injections will make him feel better soon, ‘cause otherwise I will be forced to make that dreaded decision again in the near future. I rather have it later than sooner, thank you very much.