out of the darkness

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my apologies for being mia of late.  the truth is that life with a pack of dogs can sometimes be messy and heartbreaking and these past 5 months have been jam packed with pain.  i should note that dave is much better at updating the earthdog facebook page so to keep up with timely news and his photos head on over and "like" us. 

i don’t want to belabor the ugliness of the recent past but i do want to let you know that we lost dooley early in february after a prolonged, ultimately unsuccessful recovery from gastric and splenic torsion.  honestly i just didn’t have it in me to update the blog and even now i won’t be able to give him the eulogy he deserves.  he had a very complicated course, although he powered through it all like a champion.  after a third surgery to resect a good portion of his stomach was successful we believed we would have a shot at getting him to a sustainable quality of life.  unfortunately the fates intervened and he suffered a cardiac arrest the morning after the surgery.  dooley was a big, joyful lummox of a presence in our family and the hole he left is unfillable.

we’re hopeful we’ve reached an end to the prolonged darkness here.  the first step in lightening our stress was sadly saying goodbye to trooper.  he was transported to the northeast in the hopes that he would get more exposure in order to find the perfect family for him as an appropriate local home was not happening.  ultimately, because of an odd combination of a lot of concrete and a lot of dogs, this was not a great place for him.  we were having a very hard time keeping his legs wound-free and it was almost a full-time job failing at it.  i’m happy to say he’s doing great in the northeast and not only are his leg wounds healed but he also has less need for the shin guards he required here.  he is an amazing, loving, stubborn, resourceful and inspirational dog who will be an amazing addition to one very lucky family.  he is being fostered with paws ne if anyone in the northeast is interested in adoption.

late last week we took a big step toward moving on happy and healthy.  odin had surgery to have his ear canal removed which will hopefully be the last piece standing in the way of a long, healthy, pain-free life for him.  as he’s grown we discovered that the abuse he suffered extended further than originally thought and his right ear was also significantly traumatized.  ear canal removal was the required solution to relieve the likely constant pain he was in and prevent the possibility of an abscess forming later.  unfortunately the right side is also the one with his only eye and the surgery could have potentially damaged his optic nerve which would put his eye at a great disadvantage.  thursday was a nail-biting day for us but i’m happy to say odin sailed through surgery and we got to bring him home less one ear canal but with a fully functioning eye the next day. odin is the most joyous and carefree being i’ve ever had the pleasure of being around and this surgery hasn’t held him back at all…his tail hasn’t stopped wagging for a second.  his attitude amazes me, especially considering the abuse he suffered, and his trusting nature is enlightening.  we’ve got two weeks of trying to keep him a bit calmer and then his sutures come out and he can go into life full speed ahead.  

i have to take a second to thank our amazing vets who have always been indispensable and who really went above and beyond these past months.  i am hugely comforted by the fact that i know my dogs are receiving the best care possible and everything that can be done will be done for them.  our regular vets, dr. singleton and dr. phillips at southside animal hospital, have been a big part of our family for 17 years and i can’t thank them enough for all they do.  i also have to thank the staff at blue pearl emergency and most especially dr. au, not only for odin’s surgery but also for his amazing care of dooley…i’m certain we have him to thank for having an extra 5 months with him after the original bloat.  

if you’re still reading this thank you…this was not a pleasant post to write and truthfully i’ve been putting it off for a long time.  i’ve hit on the larger landmarks of this time and i’m going to put the rest to bed.  so here we are coming into the light a smaller but healthy family.  truthfully our vet bills have been extremely overwhelming so we’re going to hope everyone can remain healthy until we can get back on our feet.  now that i’ve bitten the bullet and gotten past this post i’m going to return to the more light-hearted updates…hopefully for a long time.

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