Stroking Pup

Standing in the parking garage this afternoon, waiting for my car to appear so I could get to class, I called my mom.  I frequently call her when I’m either in transit, or about to be moving from one place to another.  She answered the phone, and I could tell immediately that there was something off in her voice.

We chatted for 30 seconds, before I said, “Hey, what’s the matter?  You don’t sound right.”  It turns out that our dog (pictured here) had collapsed earlier in the day.  She had gotten shaky, and then her legs went stiff and fell out from underneath her.  They had spent the day at the vet, and the “official” diagnosis (if determinations based strictly on a description from an observer can be official) is that Bonnie had a stroke.  I didn’t even know that dogs could have strokes.  She’s as okay as she can be now, having been given a prescription for pain killers, heart meds and a low sodium diet (that’s going to be slightly hard to enforce, this dog has been known to scrape chewing gum off the sidewalk with her front teeth).

I keep trying to imagine what it’s like to be her right now, inside a painful body that isn’t responding the way it normally does.  My family doesn’t believe in prolonging the lives of animals when they are consistently suffering.  Our last dog developed lymphoma when he was six, and after four months of fairly good, happy life on meds to handle his pain, it became obvious that he was having trouble breathing and that the meds weren’t working anymore.  My parents chose a night when both my sister and I were spending the night at friends, took him out for one last walk in the park, and then brought him to Dove Lewis (the emergency vet in Portland) to put him to sleep.  I know that they’ll handle Bonnie the same way, asking for guidance from her spirit and the universe to indicate when it’s time to end her life, but it’s still sad to think of.

0 thoughts on “Stroking Pup

  1. Sparky

    Seems like its just the best time for pets now.

    Though I will say, my In Laws have two dogs that have had strokes in the last year. One continues to have seizures, so they think its something else besides just strokes. But the other, once they figured out his medicine amount, has been perfectly happy and comfortable since the stroke. So as crazy as it sounds, it might have been a one time thing. Thoughts to your parents and there little pooch.

  2. Andrea

    Hey there,

    I’m so sorry Bonnie had a stroke. Maggie actually had a seizure a year or two ago, or so it was thought based on what they saw, and she’s been fine ever since. So maybe it is just a one-time thing. I know your family will do right by her. Love ya.

  3. craige

    This brought tears to my eyes. We just found out that my mom’s treasured 11-year-old dog has cancer. I can’t imagine how hard it is going to be for her when Tache’s tumor grows back and they have to put her down. It’s hard enough for me, and she’s not even my dog. But I do love her and I love spending time with the dogs when I visit.


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