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Shaddow and Me


Have you seen Marley and Me? We just watched it about a week ago and we cried. Well, I did, I can’t remember if Will did…

It’s not very often that I mention Shaddow or Bailey, our chihuahuas. As I said before, Bailey is a bully to Cole and Shaddow runs away at the thought of him. That’s because Cole is a bully to Shaddow. It was quite a few weeks back that we had noticed Shaddow was coughing. She’s 12 and we dismissed it as a “doggy cold”. Finally, we decided to take her to the vet on Wednesday because her condition seemed to take a turn for the worse. She was having a very hard time getting a breath. I am such an airhead because even then I thought that I might be overreacting. Shaddow and Bailey have always made these snorting sounds when they drink water or eat too fast. So the thought occurred that that may be what it was. What finally tipped me off was that when I opened the laundry door to go into the garage for something, Shaddow walked ahead of me and kinda looked back at me. It was strange because she has never wanted to go into the garage. Immediately, I thought that she had gone in there to look for a place to die. That’s when I scooped her little 4 pound self up and we rushed out with her to the vet.

When we arrived at Nolana Animal Hospital in McAllen, Dr. Brown, looked very alarmed. I am a worrier but about stupid things, like did I offend her, did I sound stupid, what will they think of us, will they call the animal cops on us… But when it comes to sickness and accidents, my system shuts down I think because my reaction times get very slow. Really it feels like the world stops turning and I follow that pace. Will is wonderful in emergency situations because he can think clearly and take charge. I stutter. Because even though I had taken her in immediately, I thought she had a lot of time on this earth with us. I pushed aside my gut instinct.

Dr. Brown was kinda abrasive with us. I immediately didn’t like him. Neither did Will. He said she had a bad heart and that her lungs were filled with fluid. He would keep her overnight and see what he could do for her. He said that luckily he was the overnight Dr. so he would personally monitor her. ‘Great’, I thought. As we were walking out, he said that he would call us tonight just to let us know if the Lasix had helped drain some of the fliud in her lungs and then again in the morning. As he said it he walked us out and he put his hand on my shoulder. That was all he said but that little touch assured me. I swear there was remorse in that touch. I got in my car and I kinda liked him.

Will still didn’t but I knew that he was just concerned when he saw Shaddow and I figured he had just reacted in alarm.

The next morning I spoke with Dr. Brown again and he apologized for being so brusk. He said that when he walked in to the examining room, he saw me holding a dog that was dying in my arms and all he could think of was that he needed to get her help so she could breathe. So of course, now I think very highly of him.

He kept her overnight again and Saddow is back home with us. She made it but her days are probably counted. She has a bad heart, we need to constanlty be giving her Lasix pills, and she is on a special prescription diet. She can only have Hill’s Precription Diet food (because it’s low in sodium) but it has to be HD (for the heart).

Bailey is 13 and unfortunately dogs don’t live forever. They are up there in doggy years but it seems my little guys are fighters. They’re still here and we are thankful for that.

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