Lesson 400 – A waiting game

Yesterday I was planning on writing a post today about harvesting a chicken. It’s the ethical killing of a chicken that is very sick. It’s not something that I ever want to do but I hope that when the time comes, I have enough sense and strength to be able to put an animal out of it’s misery. No one wants to see an animal suffer.

It’s funny how life throws you a lesson when you’re not looking.

One of our flock members is not doing well and I fear the worst.

It’s Nessa Rose, our 5 year old Maltese. She’s been listing lately when she sits or stands. Nothing major, one day she’d be quiet, the next day she’d be fine. Yesterday, I made an appointment for this morning to take her to the vets at 11:30.

But when Logan got up this morning, he found that she couldn’t walk,
or get up,
or eat food.

I’m not a vet (I only play one on the internet) but I know a catastrophic failure when I see one.

So now I’m waiting for a call from the vets. I’m a little torn here. I know that some people would take their dogs to the ends of the world in order to get them health care. I read yesterday about one guy who spent 7000 dollars in Boston repairing a rip in a puppy’s throat.

We don’t have 7000 dollars to spend on a dog.

As a writer, I’ve long protested the care that some of these animals receive when there are children (Children!) in the U.S. who have no healthcare and no medical treatment. It’s not fair.

But then, we’re talking about our dog. My dog. The one I got when I found out I had needed (yet again) another operation.

Oh sure, she’s been a handful (never, NEVER buy a puppy from a mall store, like I did on impulse). She’s even bitten some people and by all rights should have been put down years ago.

But instead, if someone came to the door, we’d hold her, or put her outside. We did what we had to do to keep her in our flock.

But now, I’m looking at something entirely different. Something has happened to this dog, it looks like a stroke of some sort. I’ve looked at the prices for emergency care and to be perfectly honest, I can’t justify 1500 dollars for a medical procedure when we have kids who are in the midst of severe health problems themselves. Even with insurance, we have to juggle to keep up with their expenses.

Nessa appears to be comfortable, her ears move when I rub them, and when I call her name, they perk up a little. When I take her to the water bowl she drinks water, but I have to keep her head from falling in.

So it becomes a waiting game.

I wait for the vet.

I wait for something to be determined.

I wait for what I think will be a very difficult evening in our little  flock.


Filed under Life Lessons, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family, The puppies

7 responses to “Lesson 400 – A waiting game

  1. Heartbreaking, Wendy. Flock, Family, Pet…. We blur the lines between them, because we’re human.
    Nessa Rose clearly knows you’re there to love and comfort her.
    Sometimes it’s so hard to follow your heart.

  2. Kristin

    Waiting is so hard….and Nessa Rose is your family…our animal family members rely on us to care for them and make decisions about them and for them…On a pure instinct level I am convinced they know this. I hope your waiting today gives you time to love to Nessa Rose and for her to feel cared for and loved while she waits as well. You inspire me today to have my “waiting” in perspective. Thinking of you all today Wendy…

  3. I was the person who contacted you about the ill chicken. I despatched, but perhaps not as humanely or effectively as I might have. My wife was (and is) quite upset about the experience. I collected a number of suggestions for despatching chickens on the Internet and put them in a folder, so we can prepare better for the next time this comes up. Fortunately, our four remaining chickens, two hens and two pullets, all seem to be doing fine at the moment, though they have not yet completely integrated yet as a new flock. I asked my wife to speak severely to them about the matter.

  4. Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)

    Wendy, I’m so sorry. Poor Nessa Rose and poor you.
    Our pets become such deeply loved members of our families, it’s so hard to know where to draw the line. I think that your pup is very lucky to have spent her life with your family, and very lucky – at the end – to have you there to watch over her and do the right thing.
    Sending hugs to you both.

  5. Gina Rosati

    So sad for you all … keep us posted.

  6. diane foss

    Wendy, sometimes the best thing you can do is gently let them go. Trent and I were heart-broken when, out of nowhere, we had to put down Brady Patrick. He was my first dog. I told him I loved several times a day. People close to me had heard me say, “Brady is only thing I own that I can honestly say I love”. I also told him many times that when the “day” came, it would be about him and not me.

    I have never regretted putting him down. The options for life were thousands of dollars of chemo treatment that, maybe, would keep him alive for a year…if we were lucky. I miss him to this day, but I know I did the right thing.

    Don’t feel guilty if you choose the end of life option. It can be a great closure for your whole family. God knows I wish it was available to humans who were terminal. At any rate, I know you will make the right decision, no matter what you decide to do, for Nessa and the rest of your flock.

    Take care, Diane, Trent, Elliot Carter, Sushi, Figgy, Bartleby, and Prince Albert

  7. Pingback: Lesson 401 – The dog’s will « Lessons Learned from the Flock

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