Friday, August 20, 2010

She's Only Missing Neck Bolts

Often times when we have company over, Richard pulls me aside beforehand and requests that I don't talk about the dog, please. And I guess maybe I get a little carried away from time to time, but I feel like people coming over should be informed about why Dakota looks like a small hairy Frankenstein. She's a real wreck. I've never encountered a dog that has a funky odor less than a week after a bath. She's (still) suffering from some extreme allergies and guess what? I'm taking this moment to type about the dog. What? I'm not TALKING about the dog. TYPING isn't the same as TALKING. (Another loophole found and conquered!)
We've tried Prednisone, Benadryl, some other OTC allergy meds, the dreaded pink doggy cone, supplements, diet change, eye drops, ear drops, bag balm, mother apple cider vinegar, putting up a fence to keep her out of the vast grassy back yard, and STILL she is a scratching, hair-missing, eye gooing, toe bleeding, stinking, limping dog.
When did animals become so expensive and start having health problems? Until this whole episode with Dakota I was in the dark about such doggy dilemmas.
Having a dog with health problems is a really painful experience. I feel like I should be doing something; taking her to the vet, running tests, getting her on more meds, but DAMN that stuff is expensive! Or maybe she'd be better off in another environment, another state, another family.
Then there comes the guilt, tromping in uninvited. Then the realization that there are so few options and a little blip comes across my radar wondering if she is suffering and by keeping her around instead of considering putting her to sleep I'm being selfish. It's so hard for me to even allow the thought to cross my mind because even though she mopes around and scratches and licks her face until there are patches of hair missing, she's ALIVE and breathing, and isn't that worth it? Is that my decision to make? How can one assess if and when a creature is ready to be removed from their suffering?
Tomorrow I have an appointment with the vet. I consider this a last ditch effort to getting her healthy again. If she doesn't have any affordable options, I'll try and find her a new home in a part of the country that isn't so immersed in pollen and pollution and allergy-provoking problems, maybe she could stay with a family member since I don't see who would be willing to take my furry Frankenstein. I won't bother to venture into further speculation, because I can't face option 3. Not just yet.


  1. Hi,

    I know this is a bit science fiction / morbid, but I have often wondered would happen to us if we were "animals". Of course we are animals.

    I bet if I was a dog I would have had had option 3 by now I'm sure.



  2. Too true, Ark. I read your comment multiple times and somehow came away with two very different messages from the same text.
    1. If I were an animal, I would have probably asked to be put down by now if I wasn't healing. Blunt and slightly morbid, but true. (Morbidity is not a thing I shy away from.)
    2. I am still trying for myself, taking meds, thinking good thoughts (or at least thinking about thinking good thoughts...) and while hope is still shimmering on the horizon, I should give her a chance, because I got one and I'm happy I did (and still am, really).
    Needless to say, Dakota is now well medicated and with any luck we'll get this sorted out. Thanks for your perplexing and thought provoking comment. Always appreciated.

  3. 20 years ago a dog that was in as bad of condition as she is would have been taken out to the desert and humanely shot we wouldn't have even considered spending several hundred dollars trying to get her healthy, I'm still not sure what side of the fence i am on when it comes to where you draw the line on pet health related expenses.she is a dog after all not a human being and in my world there IS a difference,but at the same time shes a good dog and that has to be worth something right? i suppose if she was a real pain in the ass it might be different but she is pretty much a perfect dog aside from her health issues.I guess we will just have to play it by ear huh> i wouldn't feel bad about "option 3" though i don't think giving her to someone else would be a good option at all because she would still be suffering we just wouldn't see it.

  4. Hi W

    I didn't mean to be perplexing, but thought provoking of course.

    Isn't great that this world allows complete strangers to put thoughts on the table and see what others think.

    From Nottingham UK, to Phoenix Arizona and back at the snap of a mouse.

    I have found the opportunity to express thoughts and receive feedback from both my own relatives and strangers on the other side of the world quite important and life enriching.

    So thanks for your comments on my blog too.

    Hoping you are feeling good.