The title of this post is something that we all need to remember. I was not ready to tell the world about this story until today. Plus I know a lot of you know what was going on and asking. I think that my faith was tested strongly these last couple of weeks. I told Joe yesterday that I think we are being taught a lesson this year and that lesson is that you never know what someone is struggling with at that time in their life. Someone may come across as sad, angry, miserable, unfriendly, etc. when in reality they may just be having some personal struggles that they are in their own world.
Not sure when, but about 3 weeks ago our little boy, Skippy, would yell out in pain whenever he was touched on his chin or so we thought this was the source of pain. It started very mildly and we didn't think there was any reason to be concerned. However, on Friday, March 27 the pain was seeming to get worse and he was not acting like typical Skippy. On March 28 I went to a shower and Joe said that something was wrong with him and didn't know if he would even survive the car ride to PA for my Uncle's funeral. So on Monday, March 30, I took him to see the vet. The dog jumped out of the car and ran for the door like nothing was wrong. The vet asked the problem and Joe and I both thought it may be a bad tooth or a splinter in his throat. The doctor could not be certain of the problem, but he cried when she touched his neck and throat. The only way to be sure what was going to was to do some x-rays and sedate him. Well I did not want him to be sedated and asked if there was another avenue we could take. She said that we could put him on pain pills to see if that helped and if not he would need to come back.
So on Tuesday morning we loaded up the car and Skip seemed to be better. We asked him, "Do you want to go see Aunt Cindy," and immediately got excited so we thought the pain meds were helping.
We attended the viewing on Tuesday night and went out to dinner afterwards. We got back to my sister's house and Skippy seemed a little off but still a little better than Monday. Knowing how people get when on pain meds that is what we assumed was happening with Skippy that he was just having a reaction to the pain medication since he never had anything wrong in his life before. He was restless all night on Tuesday and would not sleep just kept walking around the room and finding new places to try to sleep (however, this is normal for Skippy to not sleep).
On Wednesday morning I got up and took him for his walk. I knew something must be wrong because there was a dog barking in a yard and he didn't even go up to the dog or react. So Skippy and I got around the block and he stopped to take care of business. After cleaning up and walking about 5 steps Skippy looked up at me with the saddest eyes I've ever seen. Then he fell over. I went back crying to my sister's house, but once again all of us were in agreement that it was the medication. Once in the house he was ok, but off balance and still had an appetite. My sister looked up the drug and said that unbalanced is normal, so yeah it was the drug.
We went to the funeral and when we got back Skip could barley walk. We got all our stuff loaded into the car and left. We stopped at Wawa for some food and to let Skippy out. As soon as we put him on the grass he rolled down the hill and was unable to get back up. The rest of the trip he just laid in the back and, of course, would not sleep. Joe and I decided not to jump to any conclusions and stopped the pain medication. We thought that Thursday would be a good day for him to rest and get acclimated to being home.
How wrong we were. On Thursday morning he was still walking around. He decided to go down in our laundry room and tried to jump up on the sofa and missed. After this Skippy seemed to go down a little more.
By Thursday night Skippy was totally paralyzed and couldn't even lift his head. These are some photos from Thursday night: Joe and I were saying our goodbyes to our little boy who we thought had some good years left in him. We could not believe what we were seeing and that this little active boy was giving up hope. We never thought that our good bye would come this quick without a little warning.
So Friday morning came, I put Holy Water on him, and we had a decision to make. Joe told me he did not want Skippy to suffer any longer. Also, Joe thought that Friday when he left for work that he would never see Skippy again. I did not want to do this alone so I called the vet and told them the symptoms. The receptionist talked to the doctor and she said to bring him in for a recheck at 5:00. So all day on Friday I gave Skippy the best last day he could possibly have in his condition. He still had his appetite and wouldn't sleep. So I laid on the floor with him and cuddled, went down memory lane and told him how much he meant to us and that he was loved. Joe and I made sure that Skippy had the best life possible and those that know Skippy know that he is a spoiled little boy. My sister was also going in for some medical testing and I was worried about that also (tests came out fine), but I did tell her it is Good Friday and there can't be bad news today.
So we loaded Skippy in the car in the way back so he wouldn't roll off the backseat. Joe and I couldn't believe that we were on our way to put Skippy down. No one can prepare you for this. We were extremely early for our appointment so I waited in the office and Joe spent quality time with Skippy out in the car since I had all day to do this already.
NEVER GIVE UP HOPE.....something to remember. The doctor came in the office and immediately knew what was wrong with Skippy. She took one look at the way his front legs were and said he slipped a disk in his back. She felt around found the disk and said he had swelling all up and down his spinal cord. Dr. Peters did this with no x-ray needed. So she suggested that we put him on steroids and a muscle relaxer. Dr. Peters told us that him getting better was in our hands. We had to nurture him back to health and keep close supervision on him. The vet also told us that she had a dog in worse shape than Skippy, but came back into the office running. I couldn't believe that he was coming home with us nor could I believe that we had to go to CVS to get him pills. The predication was that by today he would start to look and feel better. However, in good all Skippy fashion you can't keep him down long he was up and moving again on Saturday even though he couldn't stand on his own for long.
Easter Sunday was a miracle. Our little boy was up and moving on his own even though still a little wobbly. Joe took him in the woods and he ran away from him. All day he was up and down the stairs and looking real good.
So today Skippy is still taking meds, but is eating and drinking on his own from his bowls. He is about 75% better. Keep Skippy in your thoughts and prayers.......never give up hope. We are still waiting for him to get some good sleep, but I don't think that our pup will ever totally relax since he is afraid that he will miss something.
Here is a card that I made to thank his doctor for the hope she gave us:
Sorry for the long post, but I thought that anyone with a pet would appreciate knowing that sometimes the right vet will do the right thing.