It was last Sunday that Chewie threw up his food after finally eating a little, and I told Melinda that I thought he was sick. The next day she took him to the vet and began the little adventure I’ve been chronicling. It’s not even a week, really, though we’d been worrying a little over his appetite. If not for the eye infection and our thinking that that was the cause of his overall discomfort, we might have taken him in sooner. (And who knows whether taking him in too early would have sent up the proper warnings?)
We were warned he would have some serious bruising due to his low platelets, and they weren’t kidding. This little photo I’m sharing doesn’t even show the worst bits, which are down by his bits. However, the bruises which flared up on Friday are already looking better by Saturday.
(And yes, we do realize Chewie has the body of an AT-AT walker.)
Today, I had a class in comic book writing with Bill “Fables” Willingham. When I got home at 2:30, Chewie came running to the door woofing like old times (but the first time since his surgery). Melinda told me he’d been mopey since I left, walking to the gate to watch for me. When she said, “Are you missing Michael?” he grumbled. He finally has some energy for his old behaviors, for something else besides sleeping and slow movement, and as I kneeled down he snuggled up to me.
I thought for one last time about the decision to do the surgery, the impact on the finances, all the fear about whether such an expense would be worth it. I won’t go into the details, but the total bill came to 1/2 of what the contractor just quoted to remodel our entire bathroom. When the doctor mentions an average lifespan of 16 months after surgery, and the riskiness of the procedure due to his deathly-poor platelet count, it is such a gamble. We could spend all that money only to lose him post-op, or have the cancer spread, or pass on a few months later. I couldn’t leave my dog in pain, but I can’t imagine putting him down for want of a few thousand dollars. I know there are people in worse circumstances who don’t have the luxury of even taking the option we took. Heck, if we hadn’t been aggressively paying off credit cards, there are times we wouldn’t have had this luxury! I shudder to imagine that alternative, and how awful our lives could be right now.
Today, I grabbed my dog’s fluffy ears, snuggled his curly head with my nose, and realized the blessing we had this week. “My puppy’s alive! My puppy’s alive!” I kept repeating, as I hugged him.