Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sad dog stuff

This was going to be my day today: slippers, pink soft socks, leg warmers, polka dotted fleece pants, and assorted other fleecey garments and a long double-looped pink scarf around my neck. Inside. I love scarves and leg warmers, even in my writing room. They're like little blankets. There was also a blanket involved, by the way, the lap blanket. You might get the impression our house is cold. It is, but we're used to our winter garbs and we're okay with it. The point is, after walking Shiloh (my 13-year-old Siberian husky who went through radiation a few months ago for a nasal tumor) very slowly around the block, and after showering, I was going to wear my garb for the rest of the day and not leave the house. I was going to drink candy cane truffle coffee and write. Delightful plan. But not so much.

Shiloh had a really, really awful nose bleed in the midmorning, and it finally stopped, but then I wanted to get her her favorite lunch because I don't know how many lunches she has left, so I had to take off my leg warmers and polka dot pants and put on the sort of things grownups wear out into the world to go to Safeway for a rotisserie chicken. She enjoyed it tremendously, as did Leroy her canine step-brother who must, on some level, understand Shiloh is sick. I wonder if he understands the connection to the unexpectedly luxurious lunches. Back into the polka dots and leg warmers for me. But after lunch, Shiloh had another really, really awful nose bleed. It was horrible. Called her regular vet and her oncologist, and found out there's not much to be done about it. Started her on antibiotics anyway, so I got to get respectable again to go pick those up. Talked to the vet tech about future euthanasia options (don't know how much in the future, next week, next month -- how do you know? How do you know?) and started to cry. It turns out our vet does home visits, which makes things seem a slight bit less horrible.

It's not just the nose bleed that is freaking us out. Saturday night was a bad night. I woke up about 4 am to hear Shiloh's nails scrabbling about on the wood floor and went down to see if she needed help standing up, as she sometimes does. She did need help, but even with help this time she couldn't stay up. She couldn't walk, and it panicked her. Her heart was pounding and her legs were shaking like crazy, and when we finally got her outside to pee, which was where she was trying to go, she collapsed in the grass, in the rain, and we had to go out and help her back in. She weighs 80 pounds, so it's not so easy. When an 80 pound dog stops walking, that must be it, right? It took a while to calm her down so she would just go to sleep and not keep trying to get up, and then by morning she was okay, and she hasn't had a repeat of Saturday night so far. She's aged so quickly. For years our dogs didn't seem to change at all, and now in the space of months, it's hit her all at once. So she'll be getting plenty of rotisserie chicken, and Leroy will be reaping the benefits too, without actually having to be sick.

So I'm not really wanting to leave the house. I hate the thought of being gone and Shiloh not being able to get up, or getting a hideous nose bleed. Luckily, I'm not so into leaving the house anyway! Well, sometimes. But right now I just want to cocoon and write, so it works out fine. I would love to get snowed in, like we did a few years ago for a week. That was such a delight. It was when Shiloh was still spry enough to "escape" as is a well-known Siberian husky tendency. The streets had frozen smooth as an ice-skating rink and Shiloh managed to slip out the door and get away from us, but the driveway was so slippery she "ran" away at the slowest slippiest pace! Still, it was faster than we could go, so she had herself a little wintertime ramble about the neighborhood and then came home. She used to be so fast. When she would escape there wasn't a chance in hell of catching her. It was a very very sad day for Jim and I the first time we could catch up to her. That was a few years ago.

She's standing right here panting and looking at me kind of blankly, so I think I'd better give her some love. Hope all your pets are happy and healthy. Here's a picture of her looking unthrilled by her last bath, and then one of Leroy.

29 comments:

Amber said...

:(
I'm so sorry...I know how hard this, when you love a pet so much, and it comes to this. I wish things were different for Shiloh, and for you and Jim. :(

The thought a doggy slipping around on the icy driveway, made me smile. Silly NuNu Shiloh.

((Laini))

:)

Patry Francis said...

Oh Laini, this hit me so hard. First it brought back a memory that STILL hurts, when our old dog Sadie fell down in the rain just like Shiloh did, and Ted had to go outside and carry her in. Jade was a young dog then, the happy pup who somehow helped us through it, but now, at 11, she, too struggles to get up, and more and more frequently falls down.

I'm so glad that Shiloh has rotisserie chicken and someone to get up with her in the middle of the night. When Sadie died, that was our solace: she never lived a single day of her life without love.

(Okay, I'm crying now.)

Sarah e. Smith said...

Oh goodness, i am so sorry to hear that your dog Shiloh is not doing well. It is always so sad to hear when beloved pets get sick...i do hope that both her and you are able to find some comfort and peace. On a brighter note, i do so love your garb in the picture you posted.

Sending good thoughts your way.

deirdre said...

Oh, honey, I know how hard this is. There's just nothing to be said that will make it better, as much as I wish it could be. You've given her a very good life, and will for a while longer. I'm sending hugs to you all, doggies and people.

AnnieElf said...

Sunday was going to be MY day. Sorry to say, I had not more success than you did. Life conspires. Sigh.

Cate said...

I am so sorry for what you are going through. She is a beautiful dog! Love and good thoughts to you, Jim, and Shiloh. xo

Left-handed Trees... said...

Ugh...this is SO sad, Laini. I'm sorry to hear about this. It is absolutely amazing to me how much this hurts (we lost our gorgeous chocolate lab, Seamus, Valentine's Day 2000 and my daughter still hasn't forgotten it...even though we now have Angus.) I hope you find some comfort for yourself and Shiloh soon. Thinking of you!
Love,
D.

Paris Parfait said...

Oh Laini I'm so sorry you - and Shiloh - are having to endure all this! It's so sweet that you're making the effort to treat Shiloh to special lunches, etc. Certainly Shiloh is receiving the best care available!

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Oh Laini...this hits my heart square. Yesterday our 11 year old cat died suddenly of complications due to illness we did not know he had. Today I am deep in grief, so the idea of your doggy suffering makes my heart crack even wider open.

You are a good dog parent. Shiloh is well loved.

xo
J

Anonymous said...

My heart is breaking for you. Hold on. Keep helping and trying.

xxooxx

Judy Wise

Jamie said...

Oh, darlin', I'm with you. Sending love and hugs and kissing Shiloh's poor nose. Cozy up with love, all of you. Namaste.

chest of drawers said...

Poor Shiloh, I´ve never had a dog but I can imagine how hard it must be.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Thanks to all for the VERY heart-felt, touching thoughts and well-wishes. What a great group of blogger-friends you are :) Shiloh seems okay today and is starting to hover around her bowl -- sometimes she lets out a woof at EXACTLY noon (in fact, it's happened more often than not if we haven't fed them yet. And before theories begin to fly about, our house is SILENT so there are no radio or TV cues to alert her to the time. She's a freaking genius or something, I swear).

Thanks again for the loving thoughts,
Shiloh's Papa Jim

tinker said...

Oh, Laini and Jim - my heart goes out to you and Shiloh (and Leroy, too - who's surely worried about his stepsister, animals are more in tune than we might think - Lady has only recently seemed to stop grieving so much from Bear's passing at the end of the summer - and like a good Lassie-style dog, she's the one who alerted me in the first place, that Bear needed help). You and Jim are doing all you can to make Shiloh feel as beloved and comfortable as possible; though I know that feels like small comfort right now, in the long run/greater scheme of things, that's all we can do for one another in this life. I hope it will bring you peace of mind. Sending you all many ((((hugs)))).

Kristy said...

Laini, Shiloh -- enjoy the love you share for each other. Hug each other. Kiss each other (wet, sloppy ones, Shiloh! The wetter the better!), eat big meals together (Shiloh gets chicken, and Laini, extend that egg nog habit of yours for a while longer...), take long, slow walks together, and, by all means, no yucky baths (for Shiloh, that is...) Trust me, you'll know when it's time, and you'll be at peace when it comes -- both of you. Hugs.

Kim G. said...

So sorry to hear this! I'll pray for wisdom for you and Jim to know when the time is right to make decisions about Shiloh's future. Until then, enjoy every moment you get as you hunker down with your pooch and care for his little soul. (JT prayed for snow last night during our prayers - I think we all were hoping for a day to be snowed in! I LOVED that year that we were snowed in for a week. It was such a relaxing time!)

~Michelle~ said...

This is so touching and so sad. My heart goes out to you and Jim.

Sam said...

I know a bit how you are feeling. My cat, Isak, is 17 years old and refuses to eat most days. He's getting skinny and he sleeps a lot.
I keep a close eye on him, not wanting him to suffer, but the time just doesn't seem to be right yet. It is so difficult to know!

Your dog is very lucky to have someone who is willing to give up her comfort clothes to fetch a "happy meal".

Sam

Mardougrrl said...

I'm so sorry. I know how much you both love Shiloh. You are all so lucky to have each other. :( I'm praying for your beloved doggy.

[a} said...

Poor Shiloh. I didn't know that dogs could even HAVE nosebleeds, which are the worst.

by the way, you're tagged!

Sophie said...

I'm so sorry to read this...I hope she, and you feel better now.

I love to cocoon also, but i wish the circumstances would be different for you.

Take care, Sophie

Star said...

I hope Shiloh's remaining time is not so stressful, that you will know the right time to help her through the end.

liz elayne said...

laini dear...i just want you to know i am thinking about you and jim and shiloh...i am sending you hugs and peace my friend.

and you will know when the time comes. you will. i didn't believe people when they told me this. but it is true.

Dan said...

Poor Shiloh. :(

I hope things work out OK Laini. I haven't visited you in a bit and wanted to wish you a Happy New Year!

kelly rae said...

just read this to john and he is now teary and just invited bella to hang out on the couch with us for some loving. we are thinking of you and jim and shiloh. sucks.

Justin said...

Thank You soo much Laini for being soo sweet! My dogs are doing great!
read this post on siberian husky. Its a gud one.

Marilyn said...

So sorry, Laini. Sounds like Shiloh's getting the best kind of love and attention and care.

Deb said...

Hi Laini - Found your blog through Misty... this post about Shiloh touched my heart as I am going through the same thing with my 12 year old Lab, Bailey. She has Cushings Disease and it really is day to day, some good, some not to good. As to when will you know if it is "time"... I recently had to euthanize my two 21 (yes!) year old kitties - incredibly difficult but you just know when it's the right time to say goodbye. I know it will not be easy with Bailey and just pray I do the right thing for her. My thoughts are with you and your furry kids... Deb

Sheereen said...

Hi, i know how you are feeling. My dog Sweetie is going through almost the same thing. I dont want to leave her alone either. I think its so sweet you stay with your doggy. I dont know what we are going to do about my dog, but I def. cant stand the idea of putting her to sleep. Well I'll pray for your doggy and mine.

Good Luck