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.