It’s Romanov all over again. I hear myself thinking “But she was fine this morning.” And she was. Just as Romanov had been playing with the new toys we’d just bought for them, even though Snowdoll is not a dog toy lover. But new toys mattered to him and we could see they mattered to Holly. Not that she was playing with toys yesterday—she was playing with us. And I don’t mean later, when we were both up but right away, in the morning, she was grabbing my hand with her mouth, nibbling my nose. She did the same thing to Rob, jumping up to wake him with face nibbles and kisses. She was so happy, her tail twitching and flipping around. Everything was normal, even better than normal. Rob and I both commented on it, how very happy she was.
Then, around 2pm, he took her outside but something was very wrong. She was lethargic and non-responsive. I noticed that she was not standing properly, wobbling on her legs. Something was very wrong. Rob tried to give her and Snowdoll a dog treat. She didn’t want it. She went to take it because that’s part of the “game” but she just dropped it.
Rob literally picked her up and carried her first to our bed (and you know, he never ever lets the dogs on the bed) before we mutually agreed she needed to see a vet ASAP. He left and I called the vet. They did some x-rays ($300) which were inconclusive. They want to do an ultrasound ($450) and wanted her to go to an emergency vet clinic for an overnight ($1000) where she would be given fluids and pain management. Needless to say, we could not afford what they wanted to do so we brought her home.
Truth is, as distressing as it was to have her here in pain, given her separation anxiety, of course we were happier to have her here than alone in some crate in some pet hospital. The vet gave us some morphine to give to her every six hours and it was enough to dull the pain but not enough to numb it. She slept and when she slept we slept.
In the meantime, I reached out to Mary because she volunteers with the pet rescue and the vet there will step in and take over Holly’s care this morning. We just need to give her a call. Which we will do later, when normal people are up on a Sunday. Not too late but not now, at 8am, when I am writing this.
We are avoiding our thoughts, avoiding our feelings. We are doing what we need to do to keep Holly from suffering more than she is already.
How much love does she have for us? How much trust? Whatever is wrong, the pain is localized in her abdomen and she, when I sit down by her side, tries to roll over on her back so I can rub her belly, even as she whimpers in pain. And so I gently rub her belly, showing her as much love as she shows us.