Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Dog Days of April
This may look like a bowl of dog food.
But to me, it's more.
The fact that it has been sitting in the bowl, untouched for more than 30 minutes, means my Nellie isn't feeling well. And hasn't for a while now.
Two weeks ago, she started vomiting (my second post about hurling in a week). Her temperature had spiked -- I know this because, despite living in a house with three women and their alleged maternal instincts, I had to stick the digital thermometer in her butt.
She also stopped eating.
A fortnight has passed and now Nellie is shy one gall bladder. And I'm shy a few thousand dollars.
She's home now, resting in her own bed. And for the past 5 days, I've been jamming pills down her throat and administering injections and subcutaneous IV fluids. For someone who is incredibly squeamish and can't sit through a Quinton Tarantino movie with both eyes open, this is a remarkable achievement.
But for all my Herculean/Nightinggale type efforts, she is still not feeling well.
I know this from all the non-verbal communication.
From how she looks at me, with brown eyes that were once clear, but are now cloudy and blue.
From the way she strains to get out of bed and rest her head on my lap. Leaning into me for comfort in a way my daughters no longer do.
From the way she latches on to my wrist and won't let me pull away after petting her.
The nails dig into my forearm but I don't budge an inch.
I know all this from the two spoonfuls of high-protein, low-fat gastrointestinal food that still sits in her bowl.
And taunts me. Making her pain, my pain.
If I thought it would make her feel better, I'd bend down on all fours and eat that brown gelatinous slop.