Frequent Flier

When the staff at the emergency vet’s office know you and your dog by name, it is a horrible feeling.
Ace has been to the vet twice in the past week. I have avoided blogging because it was too upsetting to rehash all the scary details of her recurrent health issues. Perhaps, what with my immune system taking a dive and my consciousness clouded by cold medication, I am feeling distant enough to share.
In sum, last Tuesday we brought her to our vet at 8 A.M. after I was up all night with the little girl while she had explosive, liquid diarrhea. She was so heartbreakingly good about alerting me when she needed to go out on the porch to let out another torrent of gross. The last few contained bright red, and then dark, blood, prompting our vet visit. They kept her all day for observation, and sent us home with the same drugs she took for giardia. We received lab results Saturday morning that revealed Ace has a C.diff infection, but the doctor became concerned when I told him she was still shitting blood, which should have stopped if the C.diff was her only problem. I was to bring her back in today if the bleeding continued. It stopped Sunday evening, and I can’t decide whether I’m relieved that it’s gone for now, or if I wish it had continued so we’d be forced to run more tests to get some concrete answers.
Over the weekend, I tried not to freak out over her increasingly reddening left eye, the same one that had the corneal abrasion a month ago. Last night, after dinner, Jeff convinced me I wasn’t being an overly-protective crazy dog mama, and back to the ED we went. My stomach twisted when the vet found two more corneal abrasions. More medication, more Cone of Shame-wearing. This vet guessed that Ace is sleeping with her eyes open (she does; I used to find this endearing…), which dries them out and causes the ulcers. He referred us to a doggie ophthalmologist. Yikes.
I can’t escape this feeling of guilt, that somehow I am letting her down. Serendipitously, I read this timely article about the author’s immense grief over the sudden loss of his dog; he kept whispering “I’m sorry” to the pup days after his death, because he couldn’t shake the feeling that he might have done more to save the little guy. That part of his story struck me; I apologize to Ace daily for her current troubles. She is just so young to be suffering so much.
And where do I go from here? I’m immensely lucky to have a loving partner, family, friends, and dog walking duo that are supportive of me as I try to determine what’s best for my puppy, my wallet, and my sanity. Despite reassurances and positive reframing, I admit that I am fearful that we will keep walking down this road without finding a bit of a plateau to rest upon and take a break from antibiotics and anal thermometers. Being sick is exhausting, especially for mamas.

Today is National Puppy Day!! Coincidentally, I have the sweetest 8-month-old puppy that has ever existed sitting right next to me as I write this. What could be better than a puppy??

Boston Meetup: March

Ace, Jefe, and I attended March’s Boston Meetup. There were only a few BTs, probably on account of the about-to-rain cloudy sky. Ace was so tired we had to actually drag her out of bed, and about every other step of the way (besides eating breakfast), to Stern Grove on the other side of the city. Once there, though not at 100% capacity, she enjoyed frolicking with her cousins.


I’m not gonna lie: I love dressing up the puppy. I look at dog clothing and accessories on a regular basis, and all the ads chosen for me on various Websites are dog-related. I will spend more on a dog sweater than I will on a sweater for myself. This is another instance in which raising a child and raising a puppy in our culture have suspicious similarities.
I’ve been sublimating, or rather, redirecting my desires by focusing my purchases on collars recently. (and also, a Snoop Dogg t-shirt. I haven’t had the balls to post the photos. Yet.) Collars are the most appropriate, socially acceptable dog accessory. I mean, she needs to wear identification, right?? So now I have a small army of collars collecting. And with them, I desired a new dog tag (no practical excuse comes to mind). I found a Website where one can upload an image and have it made into a tag.

Whatever. You know it’s perfect for her.


Earlier this week, Ace and I paid yet another visit to our favorite local veterinary emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a corneal ulcer and GIARDIA ARRRGGGHHH. Coincidentally, I had spent the better part of my day going round and round with various medical professionals in an ultimately successful but deeply frustrating attempt to get a particular medication. So I was a little fried when I found out my baby girl had these uncomfortable ailments. I felt like I had failed her; I had not accurately registered her discomfort. And isn’t that a mama’s job?
Later, I relayed this harrowing tale to my own mother via text. She responded with the kind of unique comfort given by someone who has nurtured you through the pains of your early days. And then she told me, “It’s not easy being a mom.”
Of course she is right. It feels as if there exists a raw nerve between us, and every bump and bruise she suffers shoots down that axon and into me tenfold. And this is not easy. It is not supposed to be. That kind of reflexive empathy was designed to motivate caregiving and protection.
It has another purpose, or at least another complementary side: Mamas feel love and joy tenfold as well. Jefe and I took Ace to Duboce Park for the first time yesterday. The first half of our courtship included looking out his apartment window onto this park at the menagerie of dogs frolicking off leash. We returned with our own dog, and it was as if we had stepped directly into the world we once admired. Ace was a total ace, meeting all the dogs, playing fetch with her new Chuck-It, trotting over to me with a big doggie smile when I asked her come get some water. It was unconscionably warm, and every canine and human was friendly and drunk on the good weather.

Imagine my tenfold excitement. Imagine my exponential happiness. Mamas get a pretty good deal.