Thoughts from me - a preacher's wife, farmer's daughter, mom, and nurse. Posts are mainly intended to help me journal the events of my life - topics will include kids, church, work, marriage, life in general,
and of course my dogs . . . and whatever else I feel compelled to write about.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Happy Birthday

(The birthday boy doing his impersonation of the Green Lantern.
I found out the redeye feature in Picasa doesn't work on dogs!)

We celebrated Scooby's 2nd birthday tonight. Megan made a funfetti cake with white icing and sprinkles. Joel picked out his present and wrapped it. Levi teased him all day about having to wait until tonight to have his party. Brian only rolled his eyes a little at all of the fuss - but he did rub Scooby's head and tell him he was a "pretty good boy."

Joel loves to watch Animal Planet. His favorite shows are E-Vet Interns, Emergency Vets, and Animal Miracles. Little did Joel know he would live out one of those shows.

At the end of January, we came home one Sunday evening to find Scooby not acting right. He had vomited several times and seemed lethargic. Joel and I took him to the vet on Monday morning.

The vet suggested that we leave Scooby there for the morning and they would do blood work and x-rays. I took Joel to school and told him not to worry.

I had no sooner gotten home when the vet called. The x-rays revealed that a foreign object was in Scooby's stomach and was blocking the sphincter that leads into the duodenum. He would need surgery in order to live. The vet we had taken him to was unable to do the surgery and recommended that we take him to an emergency animal hospital right away.

I called mother and Brian with the news and then left to go get Scooby. Daddy just happened to be in town buying tires for the truck, he met me at the vet where we both looked at the x-rays. None of us could tell from the x-rays what the foreign object was. They brought Scooby out. He was groggy from the sedative they have given him, thin from the constant vomiting, and pitiful to look at.

Daddy helped me get him in the Explorer. Scooby laid motionless on the Batman sleeping bag in the back seat.

When I got home, I carried him in the house and laid him on the couch. I can't even explain how I felt when I looked at him. He was dying right in front of me.

I thought of all the nights Joel held him and snuggled him in bed. I thought about how much fun he had been going to "dog school" with Joel. I thought about how loyal he was. I thought about how much Joel loved him. I thought about how much Scooby loved Joel.

I went over to the couch and knelt beside him and petted him. I kissed his "kissing spot" - right where his mouth ends and his cheek starts. He didn't move. He didn't open his eyes. I pleaded with him not to die.

I called Brian - crying hysterically. He told me to "do whatever we needed to do" to keep him alive. He told me that Tom's (one of his bosses) son was married to a vet who had a practice about 20 min. away. He said he could talk to Tom's wife who worked there and see if they could get him in.

A few minutes later, Scooby and I were on the road. Scooby again was laying in the backseat on the Batman blanket - nearly lifeless.

When I carried him in it was obvious to everyone how ill he was. They got us right back to a room and again took x-rays. A man working there asked me if my kids had any finger puppets. It was then that I remembered - Scooby had eaten a plastic finger puppet on Christmas morning. How could we have forgotten?

Now that we knew what was blocking his stomach, it was even more clear that surgery was the only option. I left Scooby there with no guarantee he would survive the surgery.

His surgery lasted three hours and took two surgeons. I have a ziplock bag containing everything they got out of his stomach and intestines. He had in his short 1 1/2 years ingested a lot more items than just the finger puppet.

Joel and I went and got him the next evening. He was still hooked up to IV fluids and was a little groggy - but he was clearly happy to see us. He had a 5 inch incision on his freshly shaved belly, and he wore a cone-shaped collar to keep him from picking at his stitches.

He was not to run or jump for one week, and he was not to climb stairs for two weeks. His post-op diet consisted of mashed potatoes and baby food meat mixed with chicken broth - two tablespoons every two hours. We fed him this for two weeks - slowly decreasing the amount of chicken broth.

It was a long, slow recovery. Adding both vet bills together it came to a little over $1,000.00. But when I go upstairs before bed to check on Joel and I see Scooby laying there beside him, I know he was worth every penny.

It may seem silly to bake a dog a birthday cake and buy him a present - but I don't care. We almost lost Scooby this year and I'm glad he's here to celebrate turning 2!

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