In response to the Daily Prompt – Contrast
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
I can remember it like yesterday. She had vitality and life in every step. She was always running after something. Her legs were so strong, she was like lightning. The only thing that could ever escape her were squirrels. One day she almost had one though. There was a particular squirrel that used to taunt her from atop the privacy fence. It would snicker and twitch it’s tail, then run along the fence. This one day, it fell. I swear it was the end of its life. But somehow it managed to escape but only within inches of being chomped.
Her concentration and eyesight were something else too. If she saw a lizard she’d lunge for it. If it got away by escaping into a crevice, she’d sit or lay waiting. Once that critter dare to show it’s head, it was game time. She didn’t even have to be looking directly at her prey. She would spot it from the side of her eye. I don’t know how many times she would scare the bejesus out of me when she would abruptly jump up in hot pursuit.
And the kisses. She loved giving me kisses. When I came home from work I could expect to be tackled. She’d jump up trying to lay a wet one on me. At times, she would get so excited that she’d nip at me. It wasn’t anything aggressive. They were what I called love bites.
Those are the kinds of thoughts that must be running through my husbands mind these days. He rescued our Pit Bull 14 years ago from the pound. It was just in the nick of time. She was scheduled to be put down within a couple of days. He often says that she rescued him just as much as he rescued her.
She’s only been my dog for 7 years. But, I remember some of those things as well. It amazed me how quick she was. If ever a critter made it into the house all you had to do was call Chyna. She had it covered. And she wouldn’t rest till she had that thing in her mouth. Once she caught it, you’d open the back door and tell her to take outside. The rest was history.
Now, in contrast, our baby girl isn’t doing too well. She started having trouble with her hind legs a couple of years ago. But we helped her out with a daily dose of glucosamine. We also had her on a small daily dosage of steroids. That started because she developed a bad allergy problem. But, it also helped her legs.
At first, she would attempt to get up and lose strength in her legs. She’d end up falling on her belly. We’d tease her and say, “what, did you get a new pair of legs, Bambi?” Now, she has trouble just moving.
It started to get worse when she developed a breathing problem. She would have these sneezing fits and her nose was dry and crusty. We took her to the vet and he told us the dry crusty stuff was dead skin cells. As some dogs get older they don’t shed the cells from their nose. He told us to moisturize it and it will go back to normal. But he also told us something else. He said her right nostril was constricted. She might have sniffed something and it got lodged in there, or worse case scenario, she has a tumor.
He told us he could go in with a microscopic lens to discover what the problem was. But since she’s older and had a lot of trauma in her life, he said it might not be a good idea. He adjusted her medications and told us to monitor her. He told us if it was a tumor, surgery at her age did not have a good success rate. The only thing we could do was to make her comfortable.
That’s exactly what we did. We bought her a humidifier, which helped. We flushed out her nose with a saline solution which seemed to help as well. Then one day she had a sneezing fit and blood spewed from her nose. Soon after, she developed a mass on the top of her nose. That was it, It was confirmed, she had a tumor.
Since then she’s had several nose bleeds and her body is deteriorating. There’s no way we’re going to attempt surgery. She just won’t make it. So we sit and watch the contrast of a once vital dog turn into something unrecognizable.
We don’t want to see her suffer anymore. So, we’re grappling with the decision of whether or not to put her down before the contrast is too great.
UPDATE: April 13, 2016
After posting this and asking for prayer, Chyna has made a miraculous recovery.
She still has a little trouble walking, but she dose not know it. She has always had a dislike for lawn mowers and a couple of weeks ago the neighbor behind us had a lawn service over mowing the yard. Chyna was running (kind of) along the fence trying to tell him to cut it out. She’s still herself.
The tumor on her nose broke open and dose not look too good. But, she has not bleed from it and she can breathe through it.
It’s funny how things can take a turn for the better. We know she will not be around forever, I mean, she is going to be 15 years old soon.
Rob and I make a joke. We were watching television and a commercial came on promoting a dog food that claims to help with a dogs joints. A supposed customer gave a testimony on how wonderful the product was, saying “It’s like she is a different dog.” They went on claiming their dog can move more easily and it was all because of the dog food. Rob looked at me and said, “You can buy the dog food, or talk about putting them down.”
To all the people who offered their prayers, we offer our gratitude. In my heart, I know that is what made the difference.