I never like to write about the bad/sad/mad. I try to reserve the negative and my cynicism, it’s not a side of me that people need to see, unless maybe I just gave myself a doozy of a blister bashing my driveway apart or pulled a rusty pin out of my heel or had to stare down the butt crack of some man buying lumber off me (all of those actually happened, were documented in some form, and accessorized with unnecessary profanity). Blogger barriers are one of those things that leads people to believe that we live some kind of smooth, easy, unattainably beautiful lifestyle–hopefully you know that isn’t the case, ever, for anyone–I just think it’s just a struggle to write about the bad, to find the words, or to be OK with knowing that something bad/sad/mad is permanently documented. Permanent documentation is scary.
I considered leaving this off the blog too, but in the category of “lifestyle,” and the fact that our dog has been a leading character on Merrypad since the beginning, the situation we dealt with over the last week certainly took us for a real ride. I want to remember this and better myself from the experience. Hopefully other dog owners who struggle with bad dog behavior will buckle down and benefit too.
First of all, thank you to everyone who sent well wishes after I posted this photo to FB, Twitter, and IG. Our best dog friend survived an emergency surgery on Saturday morning.
Cody has eaten a lot of shit, deer feces included. He’s much more well-behaved than he used to be; I’ve known him to secretly consume dishtowels, underpants, foam padding, mail, and even styrofoam (can’t hide it when it static clings to the end of his nose), but thanks to him naturally transitioning off the fabrics and us buckling down big time, we thought that now he was only getting away with the occasional tissue (usually when filled with boogies and left on the coffee table, yum). He started acting off last week. His odd behavior came and went, and didn’t register as something being wrong until a few days ago when he started vomiting. A virus, I assumed, it happens, and usually he recovers with some sound sleep. We snuggled, he puked, we lovingly cleaned up his mess and reminded him that he was a good boy, repeat for two days. When it didn’t clear up itself and he showed no signs of appetite, we called the vet.
See, he was already scheduled to go in for his annual shots and check-up today, but we thought it might be good to have him seen early, just in case.
Based on the diagnosis, he couldn’t have waited, it was already really bad. He received X-rays and was admitted for an emergency surgery on Saturday morning due to an extreme intestinal blockage, a block caused by eating our new baby’s diaper wipes. I’m really sad about it–sick over it, really–and thrown off my game. Whatever it was, when we found out he was lodged, we expected would pass. I’m sure I didn’t tell you about the time he ingested a large, knotted piece of rope that unbraided in his stomach, I thought that would need to be cut out for sure, but if that could pass, couldn’t anything?
This was the first time that we had to actually consider that we might lose him; it was a reality check that 5.5 years is actually past middle age for a Berner. It was a weekend filled with exhausted tears, much family time, lots of comforting, and many positive thoughts. It came with the serious/sad/mad realization that this was something we could and should have been able to avoid, something that never should have happened (…did he learn to push the pedal to lift the lid on the baby’s trash can?).
He’s coming home tonight, complete with sutures that extend 12″ along his belly. He’ll be sleeping on this brand new dog bed. You’ll probably be seeing lots of photos of him as we stay with him as he heals. We’re so happy this guy made it through.