Friday, February 24, 2006

My Old Girl, Lilly.

I am coming unglued today....
My little white shadow with the pink nose is sick.

Yesterday she was just fine, the weather was beautiful and we even went for a long walk.
She was almost puppy-like.
I even let her roll around in the dirt.

Last night, though, I left the house for about 2 hours and when I got home she was not herself at all.
When I came in the side door, there was only one dog to greet me.
It was Bruce.

Lilly was standing in the den...alone.
Trembling, tail tucked and acting very sheepish.
At first, I though maybe I had caught her getting into something.
She knows when she has done something she shouldn't.

But after inspecting the house for canine mischief, I realized it was not that at all.
No...it wan't that.
She was feeling bad.

Really bad.

She could barely walk.
She couldn't get up on the couch.
She wouldn't eat treats, pudding, cheese or peanut butter.
Her breathing was very fast and shallow.

I started crying immediately and
suddenly I lost my appetite, as well.

Although she is in a noticeable decline of life
I simply cannot bear to think of Lilly's death, although I have felt it's presence lingering in the near future for some time.

I love that grumpy, lumpy, regal old girl with every stitch of my being.
I have never loved an animal so much.
After all, she's at my side more than any other living creature and she reads my mind.

She sleeps at my feet at night and we are always in each other's sight when we are home together.
I share al least one bite of every home prepared meal with her and she even gets a little beauty time with me in the bathroom most days. She loves when I brush her and tell her she's beautiful and she likes to watch me brush my teeth.

Sometimes I even let her wear my pearls.

Right now she isn't doing any of these things.
She is, instead, laying on sofa motionless,
with a heating pad and a blanket listening to VH1 classics on TV.
Bruce and I are trying to let her rest easy for a while.

We went to the see the vet first thing this morning.
His report was somewhat inconclusive.

The x-ray showed she had a lot of poop in her, but I know she has been going to the bathroom and is not constipated.
He also pointed out a noticeable number of vertebrae with arthritis that might be making her feel bad.
She had a slight temperature.
He also noticed that her liver was slightly rounded and enlarged and her blood test revealed slightly elevated liver enzymes.
Although these enzymes could be signaling the onset of something serious, (he mentioned Cushing's) it could also just be because she is 12 years old.

So that is where we are. I am still more than a little weepy, to say the least.

I asked the vet how old is a reasonable age for a dog, namely mine, to live?

He explained to me the many variables that must be considered when answering such a question, but did gently break it to me that Lilly might die this year from just being old. My heart hurts so much with the thought that my Lilly may be in the last year of her life.

He said she may live a couple more years, too...

He suggested I give her the medication he prescribed for the gastrointestinal inflammation he suspects may be why she is not eating....and then he suggested I take her for a nice walk this evening on the soft grass, so her joints won't hurt anymore than they have to.

Basically, just keep an eye on her and do the things she likes to do.

Man.

I'm tellin' ya....this is hard.

Very hard.

I was really wishing that somehow, that day at the pound so many years ago...
Well, I was actually hoping I chose the one magical dog that would live forever.

Guess that sort of wish can't be granted, for various reasons.

So instead of that wish, please grant me this one instead...
Please do whatever you do at your house, in this sort of a situation
to call on the powers that exist that might help her
feel a little more like herself for as long as needed.
Light a candle, say a prayer, shake some chicken bones in a tambourine.
Whatever you think might help...

Then, when you are done.... if you don't mind,
shake a chicken bone for me too...
because I'm not holding up so well either.
I love Lilly so much.....sniff......

7 Comments:

Blogger Mags said...

Anessa, I am so sorry. I am crying for you, and my heart hurts as well. I will pray really hard (that's what I happen to do for things like this). God Love you both! My Bone Marrow Donor's Dog had Cushing's. When would they know if it was that for sure? WE LOVE YOU BOTH!!!

Friday, 24 February, 2006  
Blogger Mags said...

oh, and she is soooo pretty sitting there, legs crossed! She is such a little lady!

Friday, 24 February, 2006  
Blogger digitalcowgirl said...

You always have and will give her the most love, loyalty, and care anyone could. It hurts so much for you, always think of how wonderful Lilly feels knowing she lucked out by your choice of her. Try and be happy just knowing you are the best friend she will ever know and you are doing wonders for her. Better than anyone else could have.

I don't really know if this helps but it made me feel better (after 3 days of crying) knowing that I made Gyzmo's life way better than anyone else could've. She was 17.

Hang in there and do what you do best-love that girl and be strong for her. She knows you well and is expecting it.

Friday, 24 February, 2006  
Blogger Lori-Lyn said...

Anessa,
I love you and Lilly so much and my heart aches for you. I will, of course, send you all prayers and thoughts and I share in your tears, too.
I agree that you have given Lilly, and continue to give Lilly so much. No matter what happens, you will always have the strength of your relationship and the love the grew and continues to grow between you.
This household is with you in our hearts and thoughts!

Friday, 24 February, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear that Lilly isn't feeling well. We are sending extra special good vibes to you both. I always think of Lilly as being a wise, gentle soul - and I hate to think of either of you being sad or hurting. So I might break out the chicken bones just to cover all the bases. Let us know if we can do anything. Love to you all. - Carrick

Friday, 24 February, 2006  
Anonymous Brooke said...

Anessa, I feel for you. So interesting to me that our pets flex that boundary between our children and our companions. And we certainly feel deep down that kids are definetly NOT supposed to go before their parents.

That meant to come out a lot nicer than it sounds?

I love you from afar. :) Best wishes from our family to yours.

Friday, 24 February, 2006  
Blogger anessa said...

Thank you all for the sweet comments and e-mails..I wanted to let you know that Lilly's condition has improved greatly as of late this evening. I even got a few tail wags and she has regained her appetite somewhat...Maybe it is the medication, or maybe it is the positive vibes and prayers you guys are sending our way...whichever and whatever.....Thank you most sincerely. We are both feeling a lot better.

Friday, 24 February, 2006  

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