Monday, April 7, 2014

A Girl Needs Her Dog


“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
~ Roger A. Caras

 
 
Last Wednesday my precious dog Gunner went in to the veterinary hospital for a routine surgery. 
 

That night I left him in the ICU fighting for his life, while I went home and wondered if he would make it through the night and how I could possibly live my life without him.




Gunner survived the night, but he was still bleeding internally. While the vet opened him back up and performed another surgery, I reminisced about the times we shared together, especially during the last year when he offered me the unconditional love that only dogs know how to give.



 
 
 
Gunner spent a second night in the ICU. Losing hope, I said my goodbyes. As I looked down at his lifeless body, I kissed his head, thanked him for being the most loyal companion a girl could ever hope for and begged him not to leave me. Seconds later I watched him being carried off on a stretcher, not knowing if I'd ever see this vibrant, happy dog alive again.





The next morning I got word that Gunner was indeed still alive, but he needed to be observed all day in the hopes that he could possibly come home that night. I was allowed to visit him at lunchtime, and I was truly amazed when I saw that Gunner was not only up and around, but he was practically jogging outside in the sunshine.
 



My dog Gunner is a fighter, and late that night, he was back home where he belongs. I slept on an air mattress beside him, waking to every twitch and every medicated dreamy moan.





We both spent the weekend resting. I'm constantly watching him for irregular breathing, bleeding and changes in the color of his gums. I hand-feed him chicken and rice and keep charts of his medicine schedule. Other than the cone he has to wear to prevent him from licking or chewing his stitches, you would never guess there was anything wrong with him. You certainly wouldn't guess that a team of veterinarians were giving him less than a 50-50 chance of survival.



 It is now 5 days after the initial surgery, and Gunner continues to improve. He still isn't out of the woods, and no one seems quite sure how the cancerous tumor they removed from his abdomen has affected his body or what his prognosis is. But he's already proved he's a survivor. I don't think he's planning on changing now.
 
 
 
 

5 comments:

  1. Aahhh... The brown eyes that melt your heart! We have a set of them here. ;) Best dogs ever. Glad he continues to improve!

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  2. You have an amazing creative talent. I was on the floor with you caring for Gunner, I saw your two young children staring away from your camera lens, and I could smell the chicken and rice you prepared and fed to him. You are an amazing person, mom and care giver. I hope your next blog holds the best news ever, that Gunner is up and about and itching to get outside.

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  3. He is gorgeous! I hope he continues to improve.

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  4. Beautifully written. We are all pulling for Gunner and hoping for a quick recovery. Go Gunner!

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  5. So glad your doggie is on the road to wellness! I have two small dogs who have given me love that has enriched the good times and helped me through the bad times. I'm currently going though a divorce, so I appreciate their love and sweet faces now more than ever! I agree with you, a girl definitely needs her dog!

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