Guest post by Brooke Reed
Hello fellow readers of The Grateful Life. My name is Brooke and I am the proud mama of someone loyal “Grateful” readers know very well: Lucy the bulldog puppy. Let me rephrase: Lucy the greatest, sweetest, prettiest bulldog puppy in the world. Anyone who has met her will agree with me that I am not embellishing on that title one bit.
I asked Trish to let me infiltrate her blog today so that I could write about something very important to me, and ask you, her readers, for some help. As Lucy’s favorite auntie, Trish generously agreed. This past Tuesday at 4:30 in the morning, Lucy’s papa Dave and I had to rush Lucy to the vet because it turns out she has a severe case of aspirated pneumonia, and she was not getting enough oxygen on her own to keep her organs functioning properly. Since then, she has been placed in an oxygenated doggy pen and is being treated with several kinds of antibiotics, and each day the vets sound less and less optimistic about her recovery. We have been told to prepare for the worst.
Her tongue is out about 85% of the time.
We got Lucy in June, when she was just 8 weeks old. I am fortunate enough to work in my family’s law firm, and I arranged to work from home this summer while raising her. She eventually started to go to day care 2 times per week, but for the most part, she and I spent almost all of our time together for three months straight. We developed a very special bond, one that my boyfriend Dave was often jealous of; she liked to follow me around the house from room to room, would only sleep on my lap, and would bark when I would leave the house, even if Dave or others were still around. As cheesy as it is, other than Dave, she became my best friend – “man’s” best friend be damned; she became girl’s best friend to me. I would find myself thinking about her and missing her even if I was gone only for an hour. I was and still am sure that she’s the best dog in the world. She has an extremely laid back personality, and yet she’s also so goofy. Just look at that tongue! She makes every person that greets her feel like they’re her favorite person in the world, and yet she always manages to come back to Dave and me to remind us she loves us most. We’ve only had her for three months, but she’s become a very important part of our lives. Which is why this news has been so devastating to us.
Lucy in her oxygen pen.
After Lucy had been in the hospital for around 36 hours, her vet called to tell me that things had gotten worse, and they had to turn up her oxygen, which wasn’t a good sign. For the first time, Dave and I realized that she may not make it.
Dave and I went to visit Lucy that evening. When we got there, her breathing was extremely labored, and she looked very uncomfortable. The night vet came to tell us she wanted to start Lucy on a new antibiotic because she wasn’t responding to the others, but that we would need to go pick it up down the street at Walgreens. I was a mess. Sitting on a chair in Walgreens while waiting for the prescription, tears ran down my face. Not normally a public crier, I texted Trish: “I’m becoming you, I keep crying in public :)” She responded in usual, wonderful Trish fashion: “Oh god hunny, embrace it. What’s to be ashamed of? Because you have a heart and sometimes that motherfucker hurts? You love big and that’s the risk we take.” Enter more tears. And more. And more. We went back to the hospital, and while we waited to give the vet the pills and see Lucy, I sobbed. I sat in the vet waiting room amidst other vet patrons and just sobbed my little heart out. I looked over at Dave and asked “what if this is the last time we ever see her?” He was silent. I then sobbed some more. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure vet waiting rooms have seen their fair share of tears. A special thank you to Pets Unlimited for keeping boxes of tissues all over your waiting room.
We finally went in to say goodnight to Lucy, and while I had put on a brave face in front of the vet every other time, there was no hiding the fact that I had been crying. A lot. Seeing this, she let us briefly open the door to Lucy’s oxygen crate long enough to pet and snuggle her a bit, which they hadn’t been letting us do before. Petting my favorite little wrinkly face was the most cathartic thing in the world right then. I took a deep breath, stopped my sniffling, and leaned over and told Lucy bravely “we’ll take you home with us soon. I promise.”
That night Dave and I mourned, as if we had lost her.
Sad, right? But this blog isn’t about sadness, is it? It’s about gratitude. And somehow, through all of this, I am grateful. I’m grateful Lucy came into my life, even if it only ends up being a short time. I’m grateful that she’s still alive, and hasn’t gotten any worse for 2 days, which is a very good sign. I’m grateful that I have a wonderful, supportive boyfriend that has been so comforting to me, even while I know he is hurting inside too. I’m grateful that my friends and family have been there for me this week, understanding how important Lucy has become to me, and expressing to me how much Lucy has come to mean to them as well.
But most of all, I’m grateful that Lucy’s breeder has told us about puppies with aspirated pneumonia who may go weeks before they recover, and who has been helping Dave and me formulate a plan to save Lucy. I’m grateful that the vet didn’t call us crazy when we told her we want to buy all the medical equipment and start caring for her at home in a few days, despite her lack of progress. I’m grateful that if we give Lucy our time and energy, she has a fighting chance. I’m grateful that we have the means to care for Lucy, something many, if not most pet owners in this situation wouldn’t have. I’m grateful that my family will let me take time off work to give Lucy 24/7 care until she gets better. I’m grateful for Trish and Kim who have offered to help care for her when I can’t be around, and for my other wonderful friends that I know will offer their assistance as well.
And I’m grateful for this chance Trish has given me to reach out to readers about Lucy. I would like to ask you all to think good thoughts about Lucy, and wish her well, whether you choose to do that through prayer, energy, or even just think about her once or twice in your head after reading this. I’m not traditionally very hokey, nor am I religious, but I feel like asking as many people out there to think good thoughts can’t hurt, right? Even if she doesn’t survive, it would just mean so much to me that people are reading this and thinking about her and understand why she means so much to me, to Dave, to Trish, and to everyone who knows her. Sure she’s just a dog, but she’s more than that to me, and I’m sure those of you who have or have had pets can sympathize.
I miss you, Monkey. Get better soon.