One Sick Puppy

by Rachel on April 12, 2010

So, I don’t talk about my dogs a whole lot because there’s not usually a reason to, but I actually have two little dogs named Tag and Lola. I got Tag my junior year of high school when he was a little two-pound puppy, and my mom gave me Lola for my 18th birthday. They are both Maltese and Poodle mixes but Tag is black and Lola is white.

I love my dogs! When I moved to Chicago on my own right after high school, they were all I had! Walking them every afternoon was the best thing ever. When my heat broke that winter, I had to put them in sweaters and we’d all snuggle under the covers in my freezing apartment. They couldn’t be more different. Tag is like the meanest little dog ever, and Lola is the complete opposite. She is all sunshine and sweetness and light. But Lola is like a blonde. She’s so clueless. She actually failed puppy class. I took her diligently but she just couldn’t hack it. Tag, on the other hand is the smartest dog ever…he’s just an a-hole. I love him to death, but it’s true. Lola loves everyone because she’s, well, a little special. She will snuggle strangers and sleep with anyone — hence her sassy little name.

So little Lola was acting weird last week, throwing up, so we took her to the vet, thinking she had eaten Easter grass (cause she would) and instead got the shocking diagnosis that her kidneys were in failure. Like, what!?! My little dog is dying??? They said they were going to keep her all weekend and that it was like…50-50.

I could not believe it. A sick pet is so, so heartbreaking. You can’t do anything and you can’t tell them what’s wrong with them and it’s just like…awful. On Saturday morning my mom called the vet and they said that her kidneys were at 5.8 and they needed to be at 1.8; her liver was also really bad too. They said to call today to see if the numbers had gone down at all but that it didn’t look good. It’s the most awful thing to think about, your poor little pet.

They think she has a bacteria called leptospirosis. Apparently quite a few dogs in Michigan have gotten in it in the past month. It’s transmitted via critters and rodents and given the fact that we have a fucking feeding trough for all the neighborhood animals on our back deck (something I’ve always hated but am increasingly bitter about right now), it’s possible she picked it up there. Or it could be the Easter grass. The vet said to keep anything “Made in China” away from your dogs.

I’ve been in denial about it all weekend because I couldn’t think about it without weeping; this morning I called the vet because I just needed to know. I mean, the thing is, Lola is soooo dumb and so not aggressive that I just did not have faith in her to pull it together. But the vet said that her kidney level is down to 2; he sounded genuinely shocked. He said we’re not out of the woods yet because her liver isn’t great, but the liver is easier to treat, and it looks like she’ll be able to come home soon. We need to vaccinate Tag against lepto and I’m telling this story because I wasn’t aware of this virus at all and I’d hate to think of anyone else’s dog getting it. So…consider this your warning!

But here’s the really sad thing. My family was so, so relieved because we love Lola so much. My grandma, especially, because Lola and Tag started sleeping in her bed every night when I moved to NYC (couldn’t take her). She loves Lola so much. But…just like an hour ago my mom’s cousin called and said that her mother (my grandma’s sister) had suddenly died. It’s so shocking. She wasn’t healthy, but she wasn’t sick. I wasn’t close to her, so I’m, like, OK (although it’s sad when anyone dies). Still, my family is so small, it’s a big deal. And she’s my grandma’s sister, and I love my grandma, so I feel bad for her. It’s like, we were so happy that our dog was going to be OK and then we get this other really shocking and awful news. There’s just that weird and sudden awareness of life and death that leaves you feeling a little unsettled.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maggie April 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I’m sorry, Rachel. Obviously nothing I can say, but I hope Lola pulls through and I’m sorry about your great-aunt. Sometimes it seems like stress or tragedy or whatever always comes in more than one form at once.
.-= Maggie´s last blog ..Meal Planning Monday 4/12/10 =-.


2 Kaytee April 12, 2010 at 10:08 pm

<3 <3 <3

You and your family, even the furbabies, are in my thoughts.


3 Theodora April 12, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Oh man. Here’s a big virtual hug from me and my little furbaby to you and yours. Hope she pulls through. xoxooxo And sorry to hear about the cousin, too.


4 Christie April 12, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Dang girl- sorry about all the negative health stuff going on in your fam (of course ‘fam’ includes pups). Keep your head up and try to keep smiling :)

*Thinking about you*

.-= Christie ´s last blog ..Weekend in (book) Review =-.


5 Suzanne April 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm

So sorry to hear about all the sad stuff going on… I hope Lola is okay and I’m sorry to hear about your great-aunt. Loss is always hard, but seems to be even more so in a tight-knit family.


6 Girlwithnoname (Jackie) April 12, 2010 at 11:15 pm

OMG girlfriend, I’m soooo sorry… they are so adorable!! I hope she makes it thru… I know how you’re feeling, trust me. I grew up with puppies ‘n cats… and no matter how many times you go thru it or how old you get, it never gets any easier. Those little gaffers just love you unconditionally (and vice versa) so when they get sick its the worst feeling.

I’m sorry about your Aunt too. Weird how that stuff seems to stack up sometimes, huh?

I’m pulling for you.
ps. Michigan? Why’d I think you were in NYC still? d’oh.
.-= Girlwithnoname (Jackie)´s last blog ..Interview with Brad Pilon, author of “Eat Stop Eat” =-.


7 Stephanie April 12, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Thinking about you during these shitty times! Life likes to throw sucker punches sometimes doesn’t it!?



8 Caitlin April 12, 2010 at 11:40 pm

This is totally hard and a bitch to deal with – y’all are in my thoughts. I’m very glad to hear that things are looking up though, what a relief for that sweet lil dog – I’m a sucker for blondes :)
.-= Caitlin´s last blog ..Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is =-.


9 Caitie April 13, 2010 at 6:07 am

I hope Lola gets better!! I know how you feel, this summer one of my dogs got super sick and then all of a sudden got better. I was a WRECK. I have probably never cried harder in my life. Soo, dont feel bad about shedding a few tears. I am sure we can all relate. Keep us posted on how shes doing!!


10 Teri [a foodie stays fit] April 13, 2010 at 9:06 am

I’m hope Lola continues to get better. Sick dogs are heartbreaking. :(
.-= Teri [a foodie stays fit]´s last blog ..My First Operation Beautiful Note =-.


11 Laura Georgina April 13, 2010 at 9:07 am

Aw, sad times. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Lola and your family in my thoughts.
.-= Laura Georgina´s last blog ..Fitness Firsts: In Which My Core Gets Fused =-.


12 Katie @ Two Lives, One Lifestyle April 13, 2010 at 10:04 am

So heart-breaking! It’s good the puppy is on the upswing and getting better, I hope she pulls through to help comfort your grandma through losing her sister. What a crazy day you had, hope your family is doing okay, keep us updated.


13 Mari April 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I hope your pup pulls through. I rememeber when koko got really sick and I took him to the vet and the dr told me that his heart and lungs were bad; I fainted for the first time in my life…it was so scary

My prayers are with you and Lola…


14 Joey April 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm

So sorry to hear about both your pup & your aunt. I know it is like torture not knowing what is wrong with your pet… I’ll be thinking about you guys. Keep us updated!


15 Melissa (It's a Veggieful Life) April 13, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Just read this post after seeing that Lola is well and back home. Sorry I’m a day late (and a dollar short as they say). Glad to see it all worked out. I hope your grandma is doing okay after the news of her sister. :(
.-= Melissa (It’s a Veggieful Life)´s last blog ..Fat Flush Fruit Smoothies =-.


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