Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lucky dog

There is a lot going on in our house lately. We are doing renovations to our kitchen and making our porch into a dining room. Great things and will be all good in the end, but the time now is stressful. On top of this, my dog, Lucky, has been having health issues.

Lucky came to my house in September 2002. Israel and I were searching for a dog. We didn't get one yet but searching for prospects. I always have had dogs ever since I can remember. Dogs are easy to get attached to and I love them. I like cats but always liked dogs.

My sister told me about a puppy she met at one of her homes she did home therapy in. When she brought Lucky in the house, she was a small 9 month old black and white dog. She looked like a miniature german hair pointer. The previous owners didn't want her because she was too lively and they had 5 kids. One had a disability.

Lucky was rough around the edges. She ran around like crazy, chewed everything in sight and was aggressive. The first time she was left alone with me, she tried to rip my sweater off. I almost opened my front door and let her lose. I called my dad and he brought me over a stick.

No, I didn't hit her. All I had to do was wack it on the floor and she stopped. During the first Christmas, she ate lots of decorations and even light bulbs. She was an active girl.

After a few months, Lucky had her first seizure. She was diagnosed with epilepsy. She was put on medication and every once in awhile has a seizure but is good otherwise.

This year she had skin infections and ear infections. She was sick more than healthy. Vet bills were piling. Then she started going to the bathroom on furniture without knowing it. She even went on me and didn't wake. She looked sad and miserable.

Jeff put the decision in my hands. He listened as I drew my conclusion that I should put Lucky asleep.

I cried as I made the appointment, I cried all morning. Whenever I looked at her, I felt like Judas. Most of my friends on Facebook agreed. My dad agreed. I forgot to mention she stopped eating her dog food and drinking excessive amounts of water.

We did not exactly tell Laura what we were doing. However, I explained that she was old, uncomfortable and soon God might call her to Heaven. I told her about the rainbow bridge. She was excited for Lucky but also cried and I cried too.

Jeff took Laura to the store with him and got me a carvel chocolate cake and chocolates. He got Laura donuts and Lucky hot dogs. He was supportive to me and calming even though I felt sad and a terrible person.

My dad picked up Laura and Jeff and I made the trip to the vet with Lucky. Jeff put music on trying to avoid sad songs. I answered texts and broke down numerous times.

As we parked, I physically felt sick. Now I just wanted it over with for all involved. When I entered, the nurse looked at me and I'm sure I looked like Hell and was crying. She knew who I was. I saw a lady with puppies and felt immediately jealous. I wanted Lucky to be a puppy again.

The nurse teared up. Jeff answered questions. The nurse asked if I wanted to speak to a vet. I said yes. I needed that last minute knowledge that I did all I could. They escorted us back.

The vet was silent during her exam. I explained why we were doing it in detail. She left the room and Jeff and I petted Lucky. It felt like forever.

She came back and said Lucky's medications from ear infections were causing her not to eat, have accidents and be sick. She said she would do what we want to do but her suggestion was to wait two weeks and see.

We decided to wait. Lucky did have another accident but is drinking less water and eating more. I'm cautiously optimistic but I have a piece of mind that we did everything.

If we need to euthanise her in the future, I'll be sad and it will be hard. However, I know we did all we could. Now we just enjoy her and monitor the situation. Ideally a few more years would be great but day by day works for now.

On a side note, thank you to all those who supported us during the difficult time. It definitely helped me and felt not so alone.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friendships: what is real?

Sometimes in life learning is hard and painful. Having friends is so important. However, friendships when you have a disability, especially a severe one, are tricky.

Growing up, I had lots of friends in my special education classes. But when the gates of inclusion helped me tremendously academically, I was like a fish out of water socially. To this day, I don't know all the answers or why but I hope to help some others who think they are alone.

Having a disability that interferes with your speech, mobility, driving etc does have an impact on friendships. You might find yourself not being included or invited to things simply because they might not think its worth the effort to take you.

Other people might impact your friendship as well. They might think that hanging out with you isn't cool or ties them down.

Try to not let it get to you. I know from personal experience that it can cut your heart deeper than you want to admit it could. I've had friends who were all about hanging out and doing stuff when they needed something or were bored. But in the end, left me alone when something better came along.

As I watch Laura grow and make her own friends, I pray she is a good friend and she isn't hurt a lot. I teach her how to be kind and cherish everyone who brings some happiness to her life.

Unfortunately, friendships can be like lightning - one minute brilliant warm friendship and next gone.

Please remember friendships are real and matter. Text, email, or call a friend. Don't make them do it all because that is an obvious reflection on your true feelings about them.

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