Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Rainbow Bridge ~ Trigger Warning ~ Pet Loss

Some of you know my little furbaby Calliope has been very sick for some time now. Last fall she had a spot on her face that I thought was the result of a bug bite, but when it ruptured and exploded all over everything, I made an emergency run to her vet where I found it was because of the condition of her teeth. They were pretty bad and one of them had an abscess. She also had a tumor on her abdomen that turned out to be cancer.

The toxins from the teeth and the abscess had caused some serious liver damage and in order for her to be able to survive the surgery needed to remove the worst of the teeth and then the deep laser cleaning needed, she was put on medication. IV meds which meant she would have to stay in the doggy hospital to try and stabilize her liver function enough to survive the surgery. This time she stayed for 2 days and was sent home with meds with the tumor removal scheduled for 2 weeks later.

But, the fates weren't satisfied. She had been home just shy of those 2 weeks when she developed a severe infection in her uterus (no she wasn't spayed) and if I hadn't been vigilant and called the vet immediately, this infection would have killed her long before the liver disease did. 3 very long and worrisome and emotional days later, Dr. Chavis called to let me know Calliope was doing MUCH better and I could bring her home, with meds she'd have to take for the rest of her life.

She came home and we all began the healing process. I faithfully gave her the medication as prescribed, we all went on a family outing to cut our own Yule tree, we made it through the holidays and when Jimmy went back to work in January for Big G Express driving OTR, Calliope and I went along multiple times. Things leveled out and life was pretty good.

Then, about a month or so ago, she began bloating in her tummy, she looked like she was gonna have a litter of pups! Back to the vet, we go and I'm seeing a different doctor this time because Calliope's doctor is on vacation. He tells me it's a fluid build up and tells me she's now in end-stage liver disease. And there is nothing I can do except watch for her to become sluggish, lethargic and not want to do anything.

One week later I find out quite by accident that the fluid in her abdomen can be drained as often as needed, so back to the vet we go. The first time (the alternate doctor did this one, I asked him how often I'd need to bring her in to have her tummy drained, he gave me a vague answer, said something like I'd know when she was uncomfortable) there was a 2 week period between this procedure and the next time, the second time (Dr. Chavis did this one) Dr. Chavis said there was no way to know how often the fluid would need to be drained. But she did say sometimes the time between having the fluid drained increases and wouldn't need to be done but once a month. It's been almost 4 weeks this time.

A week ago, Calliope stopped eating, she'd nibble her food but didn't eat much at all. Since she's done this before I didn't worry too much, but Monday morning she had a seizure, the first time ever! It scared the fuck outta me and I called the vet in a panic. Thankfully, Dr. Chavis had a cancellation and they were able to get us in to see her at 11:30. The lab work showed Calliope was now very anemic, and her bone marrow wasn't regenerating fast enough to produce the number of red blood cells she needed. Dr. Chavis seemed optimistic and said she was going to prescribe a steroid which would help, but the side effect was steroids make ya wanna eat. I'm OK with this! Calliope hasn't eaten in almost a week and I'm again worried.

At this point, I asked Dr. Chavis if I was being selfish by wanting to hang on a little longer. She told me she didn't feel Calliope was at the end of her journey and to come back in a month, at which time she'd let me know if we need to have *the talk*. Back home we go and meds are given as directed. Yesterday she ate, a little, but she ate. She's drinking and going potty as normal.

Today she's not eating, she even refused her favorite chicken and rice. And she refused cherry toaster strudel! She never refuses toaster strudel!!

I'm trying to prepare myself ... I'm not sure we are going to make that 30-day window her doctor was optimistic about.

Just this side of Summerland is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing - they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent, her eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and you and your special friend meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face, your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.

Then, together you and your special pet cross the Rainbow Bridge.

author unknown