Three months later, I am still hurting over the loss of my Freddy, but I am finding ways to honor his memory and focus mostly on the good times we shared. I still look for him in the house at times, thinking he’s right there next to me, eager to give me kisses and whining for my attention. To me, he was my child and I was his mom, he was a special being who opened my heart as it has never been opened before. Because of Freddy, I know I am forever changed for the better.
On that note, I have started to hide my grief in front of people who have never had a dog pet, as they may see it as a bit of an overreaction. Most people are too polite to say that it’s “just a dog” out loud, even when they are thinking it. I have been lucky to have a few people who truly understand how deep and intense the pain can be and thus respect and honor my grief. Plus, those of us who have loved a dog know the truth: Your own pet is never “just a dog”. Anyone reading this who may be going through a loss of a pet and is seeking advice, I promise I will share what has been working for me in another post in a few weeks.
—-Now to the promise we made Fred. My husband and I planned to get another dog –a brother, a fellow canine playmate once we got back from our wedding and we were starting to look around for one we were stopped in our tracks.
After struggling to find what our new normal could be like, we realized that Freddy made us dog lovers, our normal absolutely needed to include a dog.
We started to look again and came across a photo of an adorable puppy with a DOB of 8/11, we knew it was a sign, I mean 382 miles away, a puppy was born the town over from where we got Freddy — on “that” very same day. We went back and forth emotionally, but ultimately decided to go and adopt him. Well, the puppy from the photo was already taken by someone else and we came home with one of his litter mates, only to find out a day later that we got the wrong dog. . We were kind of bummed about it, but had so much love to give. We figured that maybe it was another sign that things got mixed up and the one we came home with was meant to be in our lives. We named him Theodore, the named we always planned to name Freddy’s canine brother.
Theo seemed to have a drippling problem. He soaked my clothes every time he lay on my lap and every time he slept, he drenched his back legs. It was only a few days of having him so I tried not to over-analyze. I mean a 10-week-old puppy is bound to have a ton of accidents like that. Well, his belly looked bloated and we saw a worm in his stool. Being super nervous to take him to the same exact animal clinic that Freddy was a patient at, I decided to go to *Banfield Pet Hospital at PetSmart. I was relieved when the Veterinarian seemed to ignore our concerns about the urine drippling (said he was a “silly puppy peeing on himself”), bloated belly (saying he “just has a big wormy belly”) and the black discharge in his ears (saying “it’s just waxy puppy ears”).
She said we have a “very healthy puppy”, gave him some de-wormer and sent us on our way.
Well, my worrying habits would soon prove beneficial. I was overly worried about the leaking, about the dark wax in his ears, about the bloated belly. I swallowed my anxiety of going to Fred’s vet and took Theo there Friday afternoon.
There, I explained the same concerns to Dr. L just like I did at Banfield 5 days prior. As he was examining T, there was worry in his eyes and he immediately took him for a “fast” ultrasound.
I am getting the ultrasound images sent over to me and will post them shortly.
Dr. L told me there is a severe problem: a massive amount of fluid outside of his bladder and no visibility of a right kidney. He alerted me that he needed to take x-rays immediately. At this point, I walked outside to update my husband, as things seemed to be escalating rather quickly.
After the x-rays, Dr. L brought a gasping Theodore wrapped in a towel back in, put him in my arms on the examination table and started to explain, “this is not good, this is not a healthy puppy whatsoever…”
I am embarrassed to admit what happened next. But as he was explaining the situation to me and as T’s head was collapsing in my arms, I had flashbacks of holding Freddy after he was hit by the car and died in my arms as I frantically administering CPR. The next thing I remember from the conversation, was that my brother kept repeating, “please breathe” and the paramedics were taking my pulse…
I had blacked out.
As my eyes started to open, all I could see was Theo’s little head and puppy eyes looking at me from the corner of the room still so aspirated. I regained strength — I needed to see if I could save him — I would not lose another precious soul.
Next steps were to take blood work to see if there were abnormalities associated with kidney function. I gave Theo a kiss as he was taken away and the paramedics escorted me out.
I did not know if I would see him again.
This is where we are now. He was sent to the ER at the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital.
A conclusive ultrasound was performed and again there was no identification of a right kidney, and the concern was the massive fluid pocket, which was urine. Our options at this point: 1) send him back to where we got him from with a high probability he would be euthanized or 2) try and save his life with surgery.
Once they open him up and remove the nonfunctioning right kidney tissue (as planned), attach the suspected ectopic ureter to the bladder, he has a chance to survive.
We can’t give up on such a helpless living thing that in just 6 days brought us joy again. The bloating and pain he’s been in have not stopped him from showing us love and dedication, so how could we give up on that? There must be a reason that we got the wrong dog – that we got a sick dog – someone knew that we would fight to save a life.
We want Theodore to have a chance at a good life just like his brother Freddy had.
I know I will have more dogs in my lifetime, but Freddy will always be my first dog and the dog who taught me so much about myself. Theo already can thank his big brother for allowing his momma to always examine him and knowing what is normal and what may not be 🙂
*In no way am I bashing Banfield Hospitals. I just want people to be aware that misdiagnosis can happen and your responsibility as a dog owner is to always look for signs of discomfort and do your research on what’s normal and what might not be. If I did not do so much research with my first puppy, Theo would not have a chance at life. That was confirmed by the doctors. The large sac would eventually burst ending his life.