Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Girl

In keeping with yesterday's post I'll try to avoid lapsing into maudlin, morose descriptions of how much this dog means to me, I'll stick with the facts.  I can't be on the computer very long because previous to getting sick, this animal went everywhere with me.  She's now lying on the couch, eyes wide, with that "don't leave me" look.

Mandy has Lyme disease.  A blood test Wednesday came up positive.  The explanation : a disease carrying tick chewed on her before dying from Frontline which I apply regularly. My truck mechanic says he pulled a tick off himself when he was hunting turkeys recently. The ground is frozen and snow covered.  The little bastards are out there. Mandy's favorite thing is running hard and fast.  Leaping through tick laden high grass on the south fence line in an ear flapping, tongue lolling romp in warmer weather.

I get up in the middle of the night to check on my girl.  When I went to bed, she wanted to sleep in her faux sheepskin bed in the unheated breezeway. Strange. Now at 2:30 am she's looking up at me from the landing in the front entranceway.  Warmer, but not much.  I carry her inside.We both sleep fretfully while the cat curls up next to me to keep warm, offering cat comfort in the form of loud grumbling which is his signature purr. 

At first light, I sit on the sofa chair and softly tell her she'll be all right.  If I knew then, what I learn an hour later, that the disease has progressed and rendered her lame, I wouldn't have been so convincing.  Her legs slide out from her on the bare wood floor.She isn't able to stand up.  I carry her outside to pee. She squats helplessly.  I bring her back in and work on getting some fluids into her. Dawn comes downstairs and heats up some skim milk.  The Doxycycline tablets prescribed by the vet made her throw up yesterday.  I wrap one in a peanut butter lump and she swallows it.  By dribbling water down my fingers into a bowl, she first licks my fingers then slurps up water from the dish scattering it across the couch.  I'm hoping the medicine will stay down long enough to do some good.  Unfortunately, Doxycycline tends to irritate a dog's stomach.  I'll split the doses into one morning, one evening.

In the middle of writing this post she strolls into my office.  I want to jump for joy and call Dawn to tell her Mandy's better, but relativity sets in.  The stairs to outside cause Mandy trouble.  I pick up this 37 lb. lump and carry her to the sidewalk.  She limps to the gravel driveway to pee.  Then I carry her back inside the house.

Darn,  Mandy.You can't die on me. Mandy's my constant companion, a pain in the ass troublemaker, full of surprises and too smart for her own good. Like the cat who appeared late one below zero February night, she is an unplanned addition to our family. My self absorbed daughter who dislikes dogs mocks me, pointing to Mandy when condescendingly speaking to the granddaughter saying, "  Look Sophia, there's your sister."

Next to my wife she's the most important thing in my life.   



Anonymous said...

I'm feeling your pain as I read this. I am heartbroken to hear that Mandy is ill. I left a comment on your latest post before I read this one. I had no idea - Lyme Disease. Oh dear God. I know what you're going through. I had to put my dear, beloved Beanie down a few months back. It is a pain that's still raw. I love her with all my heart and she knew it - just as Mandy feels your love.

sAm said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I know how much Mandy means to you, as I've enjoyed reading of her antics since you adopted her. I will be thinking and praying for peace and comfort for all of you.