Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sorry It Has "Bean" So Long...

So, "bean" in the title is a shout out for our little niece :)

Hey Y'all.
I am not going to lie, IT HAS BEEN A ROUGH WEEK. Spiritually, emotionally, and physically. If you are like me, if one aspect of my life is off, all three are off. Such is the case this past week. Last Sunday night Ali started this strange coughing noise which I figured was a result of walking her too much. At that point she had only worn a collar/leash 24 hours of her 3 month life. Her cough went with her to the vet on Monday morning and the Dr. told us she had pneumonia. He gave us an antibiotic and told us to visit again for a check up on Friday. Throughout the week, Ali coughed and coughed and gagged all day and all night. Monday and Tuesday night Nick and I rotated every hour on the hour taking her outside and comforting her. Her spirit was very low because not only did she just not feel good but she was wearing herself out with her constant deep coughs. Brian and Stephanie came to visit midweek and we all agreed Ali was pitiful. On top of that, Nick's Jetta went to the auto-doc. and received a very very expensive checkup - new tires AND breaks checkup. Normally, this financial set back would have really set me back...but for the first time since I began my/our financial independance I could not have cared less how much money was being taken from our bank account. You see, my heart, my worries, my concerns, and my prayers this week have all been about Ali...
Wednesday, during my day at work, I myself began to feel under the weather. Allergy attack...for those of you who know the sneezing, itchy throat, watery eyes during the day/nasal congestion headache at night routine...I need not say more. However, by Thursday night I was getting more sleep and was eager to hear how Ali's checkup would go Friday morning. We knew something was not right because she was still coughing, still lethargic, and still dripping mucous from her nose.
Friday morning I called Nick at 11:25 am to leave Ali an encouraging message for her 11 am appt. He answered and I said, "HEY! you two are out quick!" He said, "Well, I 'm out, Ali is still there because they need to keep her to run more tests. You will need to pick her up at 4:30pm while I am working at the concession stand (Biscuits game)."
My heart sank... more tests?
Of course, pessimistic, curious little me gets on the internet and googles "puppy cough" etc. and I get taken to a website about puppy distemper. I'm not kidding or trying to be funny when I tell you all that this website was a nightmare. I sat at my desk gasping and sobbing, literally crying like a little kid who is hiccuping because I am crying so hard while I'm reading about the stages of this virus starting with coughing and runny nose, then vomitting and diarrhea, then eventually complete shutting down of the organs and nervous system leading to seizures and paralysis. I was terrified at work, y'all. Terrified. The pictures on the site made it worse. I called Nick back and could barely get my words out. It was 12noon and I have 3.5 more hours to sit through at work when the only place I wanted to be was locked in the cage with Ali and the docs. office. I went to get her at 4 and met with the doc. Red faced and swollen eyed he welcomed me into his office and immediately started saying not to jump to conclusions. We looked at x-rays and he pointed out the visable lining of her lungs which indicated some kind of virus in her lungs producing thick fluid (causing the coughing and funny nose). He said that when distemper (the horrible website virus) is questionable he looks for hardening/callousing of the nose and pads, yellow spotted eyes with discharge...and lots of other bad gross stuff. Official tests for this virus are very expensive and once you have them back either you have spent a lot of money to say no she doesn't have it...or you spend a lot of money to say yes she has it when you would know anyway in a few more days. He told me to take her home...MAKE HER REST, hoped that she ate and drank, took her new medicine and he said the most important thing to give her was TLC. Her doc. firmly believes that dogs have a higher chance of living if you give them something to live for. This "little check" up ended up being another really big set back financially. But again, I could not have cared less. I jsut handed over the card and took my baby home.
I brought Ali home to an empty apartment. I did not expect Nick home from work until atleast 11:00pm. I sat on the couch with Ali on my chest and I cried and told her how much I love her and how I've never loved a dog like I love her...and it is true. She is a puppy that belongs to and is the responsibility of me and my beloved husband. I can't explain how much joy she brings to me...even in this short one week. As we say on the couch, I stroked her and kissed her and asked God to please heal her...I'm just not ready for her to go. This may all sound so silly because, yes, she is a dog. But, a human heart that is hurting is a human heart that is hurting...and I was hurting. Stephanie G. came over that night at about 7pm to talk for a while. I needed to ask all fo the small picture questions and big picture questions about why this was all happening: Ali getting sick and money just "trickling away" all so unexpectedly. We came up with a few guesses as to why I was not dealing with all of it very well and where to go from there.
I put Ali and myself to bed at nine and we both instantly fell asleep. At about 11:30pm the sweetest kiss woke me up to tell me that my love was home and ready to hold me after a long hurtful day. I slept so good that night, and so did Ali.
Saturday until now, Sunday night, Ali has been a brand new puppy. She eats, she wants to play, she hides, she fetches, she eats, she coughing, never any diar. or vomit, never any discharge or callousing. She appears to be so happy and so healthy...she HATES her new medicine but that is too bad...
My head and my heart tell me that we are not out of the woods yet even though she is doing MUCH better. I have taken my prayers for Ali to a new that is thankful for her no matter how long we have her...and one that is realizing that life will have it's share of disappointments and hurts - its seems more for some than others. Whether lessons be learned through losing money, losing pets, or losing family and friends, there is a wonderful and faithful God who longs for us to draw near to Him, even if we don't understand, and wait for him to provide whatever it is we need. I am slowly learning this.


Mary said...

Laura, I just don't even know what to say. Everyone keeps telling me that when we have "real" kids, the dogs will take a backseat but I could not physically love them any more than I do. I may not even be able to handle the love you feel for a real child if I feel this strongly about two dogs.
This thing with Ali is breaking my heart. I know exactly how you feel & it sucks because there is nothing I can do! There have been a couple of minor scares with our dogs and it was AWFUL. Even just when Berkeley gets away from me for a few minutes and I'm not sure if I can catch her.
I think there is a very important reason that all of this is happening & Ali is a big gift. I will pray for her each morning. Please keep us posted. I think it is a very very good sign that she seems to be improving. Maybe you & Nick are exactly what she needed.

The Bean said...

Thanks for the shout-out! I'll pass it along to the little bean.

I know how you feel. Seven, who is no longer with us, had one of the scariest incidents the summer before we moved here. Huge long story but it involved eating a toy (the whole thing) getting the toy caught in very important internal organs, lots of surgery,x-rays,medicine, and money. But in the end, he survived and we had two more years with him. I have no doubt that Ali will be fine and if for some reason she isn't I know you and Nicholas can handle it and it will all be for something greater to come. I will definitely keep you guys and little Ali in my prayers.

And Mary, when you have kids, or in my case a kid, you feel for them with the same intensity you feel for your pets but it's a different kind of love. One that can only be related to a child. It's totally different from anything you feel for your husband, parents, dogs, etc. But your animals, if you care for them as much as we do, will always be right there with you. I can't imagine not having Clutch. It was killing me not to have him the last 9 months and we have all been so much happier these last 2 weeks we have finally had him back.

Madame Rubies said...

Stephanie is always a blessing, isn't she? I should really pay her what I used to pay a counselor. LOL! Her mansion in heaven in HUGE, I tell you, HUGE.

I hope that Ali gets to feeling all better. It can be scary to have a sick friend. And your puppy is a friend.

The Bean said...

Hey Laura, I checked out the bean necklace. There were so many different ones. Which do you have? Mr. Bean had this (
necklace custom made by a jeweler in NY for me for Christmas. He wanted better quality diamonds than what Tiffany's was selling. I love me Love Bean!

Sorry, don't know how to do a link in a comment yet.

Mary said...

UM, HELLO... excuse me... I need DAILY updates on sweet ALI.

FInd out what your plans are a WEEK from friday (22nd,23rd?) We may be coming up and I want to meet her.

Stephanie said...

glad to hear how well ali (and you) are doing ...

Scooter said...

It does NOT sound silly to talk about your puppy like that! God gave us animals--they are special gifts from God to us. And how could someone NOT love a puppy who is so darn cute?

Anyway, I'm so glad that the two of you are feeling better.

We need to get together really soon, you know?

Heather said...

TAG! You're it!