Monday, October 25, 2010

Ode to Radar

One of my roommates left for a camping trip on thursday.
Thursday night someone stopped by to pick up the two remaining puppies that she was giving away, except one of them was sick. He was hiding in the corner of the yard puking his poor little guts out. Needless to say, he didn't want to take a sick puppy, so he took the healthy one and left. The puppy (Radar) looked so sick and sad. "It's not my dog" I thought to myself, as I went to sleep that night. The next morning I happy to see that the puppy was still alive! He looked a little better as I left for work. Friday afternoon when I got off I came home to re-evaluate him.

He was awful.

I tried to to get him to drink some fluids, he refused. So I got a syringe and mixed up some carnation instant breakfast and fed him about 12cc. Apparently that was a mistake because 5 minutes later he puked it all up and was so exhausted that he just laid right down in it. I washed him off and brought him inside. I listened to his heart and lungs. His poor belly was tender, he was obviously dehydrated, and he had a fever.

What do I do? It's not my dog, it's not my responsibility, but if I don't do anything, no one else would. (Reminds me of my bathtub situation)
What if he dies and I could have helped him? So, I took him to the vet. Here they confirmed fever, found a GI bleed, and diagnosed Parvovirus. :( The vet gave him a shot for abdominal cramping, medication for nausea, antiviral, antibiotics for likely secondary infection, and a nutritional supplement/paste for glucose and electrolytes. I asked for a bag of IV fluids that I could run at home (being a PA), but apparently that is a no-no. He had a 50/50 chance of survival.

When we returned from the vet Radar felt so much better! Belly pain relieved, he drank so much, but 20 minutes later he looked surprised as it all came right back up. After that liquids were rationed to him, but even with nausea medication he continued to throw up. I tried to keep that paste down him. I was giving it every 2 hours to keep his blood sugar up, but he kept throwing it up. He was miserable.

I kept him by my bed in a big tub that night. He was quite restless and would moan a lot. He threw up 4 times and had a spell of awful smelling diarrhea. I didn't sleep much and was reminded of my CNA days. He took a significant turn for the worse around 6am groaning with every breath, abdominal cramping (from what I could tell) and increased lethargy. He was in pain. It was Sabbath morning and I was supposed to lead song service for church, so I stuck Radar in the car, sang, and then promptly took him back over to the vet seeking pain control.
Even if he was actively dying, he didn't have to be in pain. The re-evaluated him and told me they would set an IV and let me have IV fluids for home use, I was a PA after all.

After they got the IV in place, the vet's husband, also a vet, introduced himself and brought me to the back where Radar was. He was receiving fluids and looking comfortable when all of a sudden his legs drew up, he let out a horrible noise, had a seizure and stopped breathing. His heart had also stopped. In no time Radar was intubated and being bagged with pure oxygen. Epinephrine was given and his heart started beating slowly and in a few minutes was once again pounding. He started breathing on his own and was extubated.

It all happened so quickly! I was assisting, thinking ahead of what else we might do to help him. It wasn't until he was comfortable in a little bed with a heating pad, hot water bottle, and IV fluids, when I left to return back to church that I thought to myself "Wait a minute! What am I doing?! This is not even my dog!" I never thought I would be one to take my dog to the vet and rack up hundreds of dollars in bills. We intubated a dog! Gave him life support! CPR! If he survives, what then? Would I save his life just to take him to the pound? It was then I realized that if Radar made it, I would have to keep him. I really had no other choice.

Radar, fortunately and unfortunately, did not make it. He passed away Sat night. Thankfully he is no longer suffering. I cried. I felt ridiculous for crying about a puppy that wasn't mine and that was going to be given away, but I couldn't help it. He was just so helpless. Sigh. Here is a picture of the late Radar. Poor guy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


How can a shower/bathtub become so dirty?
A place with soap, lot of water, a place one comes out so clean. How can it be a place that is not vibrant and sparkling?
I have been waiting to see if my roommates will clean the shower. There is three of us here, you would think that one of us would do it. I have been holding out for so long just hoping that someone else might become inspired. Nope. It's me. Tonight I attacked it, but only with a little force. In fact, I only cleaned 1/4 of it, but now you can really tell how dirty it actually was. Tomorrow perhaps another quarter.
And so are the events of my life.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Life Love and Lincoln

I feel good
God is so good to me
I have so much to be thankful for

I don't think I have mentioned lately how grateful I am for good friends, great family, and the life that I have now.
I just got back from a whole weekend devoted to my 2 great friends Anita and Sally. It was wonderful. We laughed, we cried, we bonded. The interesting thing is that when I try to explain to someone else what we did this weekend that was so fun, I am somewhat at a loss as to what to say. It seems like we did almost nothing. It was a packed weekend full of... hanging out :)
Also it was really nice to be in Lincoln. Each time I come back I drag my feet when I leave. I love Lincoln. I will be back.