“Spa day,” as he calls it. After all, a Cavalier King Charles who descends from royalty deserves to be given the royal treatment now and then, right?
Yet, little did I know then, that I would be needing to cancel said appointment because, well, how do I say it? He’d be out of commission. And for this, I feel bad.
Very bad. Extremely bad.
But please don’t judge me. Let the record show that what happened next was with the best intentions, albeit stupid and for that I feel really dumb. Guilt-ridden dumb. If only I could go back in time, I would do things differently, of course. It goes without saying. But we all wish we could do that, at one point or another.
Oh, that it could be true!
Well, you’re probably wondering what exactly happened. Last weekend, I woke up to discover Henry was limping and half a day later, when he was still limping, I gave him a medication to help with the inflammation in his knee. And though it did help because, frankly, the limping disappeared, it created another problem. A HUGE problem.
A life or death problem.
It turns out, that the medication proved to be very bad for him. Dire bad. It was enough to cause bleeding in his gastrointestinal tract and to lose so much blood to send him into a rather catatonic state.
But before it got critical, I took him to the vet where he spent the day on IV in order to stabilize him and to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. Well, it got worse anyway and I had minutes to take him to the hospital. During rush hour traffic, no less. There are no ambulances for dogs, as far as I’m aware. Besides, there wouldn’t have been time to wait for one. His vet impressed upon me the need for speed. And boy, did I ever.
Flash forward to today. Henry was just released from the hospital and I am thankful he’s going to be okay. He spent a few days there. That first night when I brought him in, I almost lost him, and had to make that life and death decision, which only caused me to burst into tears. Believe me, this hasn’t been easy because it’s hard to imagine life without my little noblesse oblige. There is nothing, nothing in the world like the love of a dog.
Henry has been a trooper, taking it on the chin. The hospital staff adored him and said he gave them oodles of kisses. He was given countless shots and at least four blood transfusions, to help increase his red blood cell count. The doctor has checked the count twice a day, to make sure it doesn’t go back down.
For now, it’s stabilized, but he’s gone through a lot, the poor kiddo. That’s what his doctor calls him. “Kiddo,” which I kind of like. But guess what? The doctor also calls him a unicorn.
Why unicorn? I asked. Because Henry is defying all odds and recovering rather well, the doctor tells me. (Translation: he didn’t have kidney failure, which usually is the case.)
He’s been taking his daily constitutionals and is now eating voraciously. I’ve been visiting him everyday and bringing him boiled chicken which he devours. And then he licks my face. Makes me proud he’s my little king, I mean, unicorn.
So, get better soon, Henry! You’re home now, but you’re not out of the woods yet!
Oliver and I are thrilled to have you home. In fact, Oliver promises not to chase after your tail when you’re feeling tired, and I promise to let you sit on my lap even though you’re, ahem, too big for that. Plus, we got you a new tennis ball for when you’re feeling up to playing fetch again. It has your name on it. It says,
Editor’s note: Thank goodness I signed Henry up for pet insurance a couple of years ago. I am telling you, if you have a pet but no insurance, you are not thinking straight and even may live to regret it. The vets bills are expensive enough, but hospital bills–overnight stays and blood transfusions? Forget about it! Without pet insurance, there goes whatever you’ve been saving up for. Kiss your retirement/dream vacation or (fill-in-the-blank) goodbye!