Here's the thing: I love my animals. I'm generally a dog person, but I honestly love the vast majority of animals. Can't claim a strong affinity for rats, but I'm not out to get them either. Having said that, I am also a realist. I don't "baby" my pets in the stroller, outfits, and real bed sort of ways. I take the best care I can of them, but I also treat them like the animals they are. Reliable, caring, professional boarding? Absolutely. Doggie ice cream before bed and an armchair to sleep on? Um, no.
Bubba is sick. Really sick. It happened last night after supper -- fast. He was suddenly restless, drooling, breathing heavily, trying unsuccessfully to vomit. I felt his stomach and it seemed full of air. In the two minutes it took me to find the number for the emergency vet his abdomen had swelled a third more and was hard. By the time we got him to the vet he was already in shock. It was a classic case of bloat, the dreaded sudden condition which can cause death very quickly if not treated in time. X-ray, IV, tube down the throat... Boo and I served as the lab techs.
|Bubba and his ducky|
We opted for the surgery.
Because although the practical thing was euthanasia, my heart couldn't take it. This dog helped save me when I was at my worst post-op. This dog has helped walk off frustration, loved me when I wanted to be left alone, irritated me beyond measure occasionally, and always demanded that I care for him. Which has meant I couldn't sit around and be miserable all the time. Because when you take on the care of an animal, you have a responsibility to that animal. So even when the house was empty and all I wanted to do was sit and sob, I had to take Bubba for a walk. And that might not have physically saved my life (although the exercise surely didn't hurt!), it did help save my bigger, non-physical life. I owe him.
Which might all be sentimental drivel; I don't know right now. Oh, God. Forgive me if I've done the irresponsible thing!
Bubba is out of surgery but still in intensive care. We won't know if he's going to make it for a few more hours. I'm just hoping and praying for peace and the best thing for Bubba, whatever that is.