Hard to believe the emotional and draining roller coaster we’ve been riding this week… all due to our sweet pup who has been knocking at death’s door.
It all started Sunday when she started favoring her hind legs. If she wasn’t a puppy, you’d think she was arthritic. We weren’t sure what was going on and her demeanor is such that she never complains. We had assumed she strained a muscle until Monday afternoon when she started to struggle to get up. By Tuesday morning, she had quit eating. A baffled vet, searching for answers sent us home from our second visit with antibiotics. Since I had the kids with me, he didn’t say much. But I could see that his concern was moving quickly toward trying to keep her alive. He ran every test to no conclusive results. By Wednesday morning, she couldn’t even lift her head. We spoon fed her what she would eat, stood her up so she could relieve herself, then carried her to car cradled in a little make-shift towel stretcher. She was in so much pain, that even slightly jarring her produced agonizing yelps.
Dropping her off at the vet was a tear-jerker. We left her sacked out on the exam room floor, alone. She hadn’t even lifted her head when he came in the room. The only thing that moved was the tip of her tale, trying to greet whoever walked by. Perched in the back seat of our car as we left, Jack asked me what was wrong.
“Mom… Are you bleeding?”
“No, Honey.” sob, sob… I had grabbed a napkin to wipe my tears. “I’m not bleeding… I’m just sad…. My eyes are crying.”
“Because Wembley doesn’t feel good.”
“Don’t cry, Mom. We just left her with the doctor…. He’ll make her feel better.”
“You’re right, Honey.” sob, sob.
“Just take a deep breath, Mommy.”
The words that have comforted him are used to comfort me. Hmmm… from the mouth of a child, Scripture comes alive. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.)
Later that day, the vet told us to come back and pick her up. This time, I went with Jon and left the kids at home. We couldn’t with a clean heart watch her suffer like that if she had no hope of recovering. After consulting several in his field, he came to the conclusion that she has viral meningitis, very rare in a puppy. How she got it, no one knows. The best treatment – steroids and antibiotics, which he started her on. So, when we arrived, a walking Wembley greeted us. She’s not in the clear. But if she makes it through the next 10 days, she should be back to her fun-loving self. We have guarded hope.
She’s a dog.
I couldn’t help but find my emotions a bit ridiculous – though warranted. My mind raced to dear friends who have watched their children suffer. Suffer and lose the battle. My friend Jennifer. My friend Lynette. How did they do it? How did they walk with the weight of suffering squeezing life from the ones so dear to them. I know the answer. They would say that in an indescribable way, He was sufficient. The pain was/is great, but not more than He allows them to bear…. My friend Cynthia. She gets to watch her child suffer consequences from catastrophically bad decision making. Turning off her heart daily, she and her husband tough love a wayward child. Will the kid live through his devastating choices? They can’t know for sure, but all they can do is faithfully put one foot in front of another.
Mmmm… pain in life can be overwhelming.
Then there’s Jack. “Just take a deep breath, Mommy.” With a deep breath, oxygen races to rejuvenate starving cells. With a deep breath, perspective enters the scene. With a deep breath, thoughts are transformed and available to be properly placed at base of the throne where they are held in the hands of Compassion.
Thanks for walking the road with me.