Thursday, January 19, 2012

Little Dogs, Big Losses

The week before Christmas, we lost Max. He went into renal failure and in spite of 4 days on an IV trying to kick start his kidneys, we knew we had no choice except to let him go. He was old and fluids and heroics wouldn't change that fact. I don't have the words to explain how much I miss him. We have other dogs, but there was only one Max. He was a little dog, but it feels like a big loss. 

Earlier this week I was storming heaven with prayers that our Sunny Bunny was not going to be next. She doesn't eat well - hasn't for about a year now. Part of it is probably related to her kidney issues which can cause nausea. Part may be related to her heart issues and I suspect a big part may have to do with her simply being a picky eater.

Regardless of the reason, her not eating is sure to give me a case of the crazies.  I know a healthy dog can not starve itself to death if it has access to food but I also believe an unhealthy dog can.

She has heart issues, kidney issues, calcium in her left eye, disintegrating disks and yes, she's older, about 13 or 14 yrs old.  I'm okay when she skips one meal, still good when she skips two. The third skipped meal alerts the crazies to get ready and the 4th skipped meal generates a full blown case.

We try a smorgashboard of canned dog food, dry dog food, kibble with or without gravy (beef, turkey or chicken), combinations of all of the above. We go through chicken and rice, baked chicken, rotisserie chicken - anything we can think of to get her to eat. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't.

Why, you ask, do we bother. Look at that face sound asleep on the day bed above. Even in her sleep you can see her sunny disposition. I know that one day we won't be able to get her to eat, we won't be able to bring her BUN or Creatin numbers down to a safer level or her disk pain will be so excrutiating that the Tramadol won't touch it.  I know that day could be next week or next month or maybe next year.  I know it's coming. But thank God, I know it's not today.