I just brought Suzie home and unfortunately was not sent on my way with a warm & fuzzy feeling. The vet is a very nice man ... I just think I'm a little out of his realm of comprehension. He explained that the director of our group gave him background medical history on Suzie that he didn't know ... well that's not true I was very clear that she had respiratory issues before when I brought her in on Thursday. He now seems to think she had pneumonia TWICE, but she only had it once and it was her sister that had it so bad she was hospitalized.
The vet actually told me he is NOT OPTIMISTIC about Suzie's future. Ok, what exactly does that mean? I was not given any clear indication exactly what it meant ... I tried to get a direct answer but just got the response "some hard decisions are going to have to end up being made." So of course I started crying. The vet was completely surprised and asked "Are you crying about her?" For goodness sake - of course I am! This sweet little dog has been in my house for 9 months - she's become a part of our family and our daily routine. NOT OPTIMISTIC??? WHEN are these hard decisions going to have to be made? I hate this part of fostering and life so much. Right now I plan on never fostering a dog over 2 again!
You can see in Suzie's picture, she did not like being in a crate for four days. She rubbed her little nose raw ... I'm so glad she's home with us now.
I also now get to be even more paranoid than ever about the health of my animals. I can't tell you how frequently in the middle of the night I'll place my hand on the various chests of dogs to make sure they're still breathing. More than once I've been convinced they've stopped and scared the bejeesus out of them by shaking them out of a deep sleep. I'm lucky I haven't caused a heart attack in one my dogs or fosters yet.
Suzie was so happy to see me and gave a thousand kisses when she was handed to me and on the way home. She and Tina were thrilled to see each other - I wish I had a video camera rolling. I've decided I'm going to give Suzie the best last week, month, year or whatever she' got left. The funny thing, I'm not really going to change that much about her lifestyle - she just might get boiled chicken more frequently. :)
The vet told me I need to treat Suzie like an old human lady who has to wheel an oxygen tank with her, can't get around, can't go outdoors, and can't get overly excited. WHAT? She's a dachshund. She loves going outside and sunning and she loves getting overly excited. At what point to save a life do you make the life unrewarding? If she wants to go outside - she should be able to go outside and hang with her sister. If she wants to complain at one of the other dogs in the house because she loves to be bossy, she should do it. It sounds like she hasn't got a lot of time left, why make that time boring and very non Suzie like? I've always said she's the "enforcer" of the two sisters. She keeps things in order ... I would love to keep her in a bubble and safe forever, but I just don't think that's realistic.
She's lying on a dog bed on the futon behind me. She is really having a hard time breathing. If I turn around to check on her, in pure Suzie fashion, she immediately rearranges her body so as to make it super easy for a belly rub. How could I not love this silly girl?
I am having a hard time making the tears stop - but I've always been one that has expressed every emotion possible through tears. So give me an emotion where tears are appropriate and I can't stop crying. My Dad was a trucker when I was younger and he gave me the CB Handle of "Rollin' Tears." It used to annoy the heck out of me, but every time I'm in a situation like this I think back on it somewhat fondly.
I love Suzie so much and now I've got the added stress of having to tell Joey what's going on with her. His first day of school was today and from what I've heard, it was super chaotic and not at all a good start. The school has suffered a great number of cutbacks which has resulted in a lot of changes for the students. If there's one thing that Joey does not do well that's called "transition" which is just a fancy way to say he hates change. He's with his Dad tonight so I might just save this news for tomorrow - it gives me a day to get myself a little under control.
Say a few extra prayers for Suzie tonight. Her heart is fine, it's her lungs that are scarred and damaged.