Silver Linings

A week ago last Friday, our dog Lucy came down with Vestibular Syndrome, which has symptoms that closely resemble a stroke.  Her eyes flicked back and forth, her head drooped to one side, and when she tried to walk she either staggered in a tight little circle or fell over completely.   She emptied her stomach, seemed to have little control of her bladder, and a steady stream of drool dripped from her mouth.  But the vet at the Emergency Clinic assured us she would recover, and so we brought her home and did our best to keep her safe and comfortable.  It was hard to see her struggling, and I admit I had some real doubts about her quality of life.

IMG_2431But it turned out that the vets were right.  Her head still tips to the right and she is still not as steady on her feet (paws) as we would like, but all the other symptoms have disappeared.  She’s not only eating again, but she seems to have total recall of all the meals she missed when she was too sick to eat.  Furthermore, she’s made it very clear that we still owe her those meals and she’d like them served immediately.  She is back to giving me the “stink eye” when I don’t give her what she wants, and yesterday I caught her trying to dig a hole in the back yard.  Believe me, if Lucy is trying to be bad, then Lucy is very close to being back to normal.

I truly wish my dog hadn’t gotten sick.  I would have rather not thrown out two perfectly good dog beds because she peed on them before we figured out the trick of placing a puppy training pad between the mattress and the cover.  I didn’t want to spend so much time worrying about if she would recover, and the decisions we would have to make if she didn’t.  Most of all, I didn’t want her to suffer, physically or mentally.  Which makes it all the more surprising that, when I look back on the past ten days, what I mostly feel is gratitude.

I’m grateful to have access to an Emergency Vet Clinic, and even more grateful to Lucy’s regular vet, who took the time on a busy Saturday morning to answer all my questions and reassure me that we were doing the right thing to give Lucy a chance.  I’m especially grateful for the kindness and support we received from so many people, whether it was in person, on the phone, or on-line.  It helped to hear from people whose own dogs had suffered from Vestibular Syndrome and fully recovered, and it was incredibly comforting to know that so many people cared.

I hadn’t realized just how much I had taken for granted in my life until Lucy got sick.  I didn’t fully appreciate how many good, kind, and helpful people I know and what a true gift those relationships are.  It’s so easy to get caught up with life’s troubles, both big and small, that we overlook the good things that are right in front of us, day in and day out.  Which is why I’m glad that the events of the past week forced me to recognize that I have so much in my life to be grateful for.  And I’m hoping that I have sense enough to remember it.

68 thoughts on “Silver Linings

  1. Hi Lucy – Tink here. Mom said that Tabitha, her Shih Tzu before me, recovered from several of these as she aged (finally going to the Bridge at 19). So you feel better and tell your Mom to hang in — and to watch you carefully when it gets hot out. Carry a bottle of water and a towel on all warm walks from now on – so if you seem to be getting overheated she can cool you down immediately.
    Woof! TINK

    Liked by 2 people

    • I did like Tink’s advice! And yes, sometimes Mom forgets that she was put on this earth specifically to cater to me, and I have to give her “the eye” to remind her. She means well and tried her best, but sometimes she forgets the important stuff. Thanks for the comment on my mom’s blog!

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  2. So glad Lucy is doing better! What a sweetie she is! Oh how we love our furry kids – huh?! And isn’t it wonderful how dogs bring us closer to people? Walk on the street by yourself and people will often just pass with a nod or even ignore, but walk by with a dog, and they will greet the dog and smile and ask about them. They draw people together. Dogs are truly special! And SO ARE YOU dear Ann!

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    • It’s so nice to know that she’s “out of the woods,” so to speak, because I did worry a lot about her quality of life. But she’s back to enjoying herself, and her coordination continues to improve.
      I was really surprised by how supportive and kind everyone was. (Not a single person said, “she’s just a dog!”) Here I thought people wouldn’t quite understand my concern, when it was just as you said–the dog brought the people together. It’s one of the many gifts they give to us!
      And thanks…you know you are very special too!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right! We learn so much from our dogs, and I am forever grateful for it. And I’m also grateful that it’s not Lucy’s time to leave us just yet…. Thanks for your thoughts and kind words.

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  3. So glad Lucy is feeling better, Ann. You’re right about what you say. So often we go through our lives and take so much of what we have and who we love for granted. As if they’ll always be there. Moments like what you experienced allow us to take pause and be grateful. If only we carried those thoughts with us always..:)

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    • Thanks, George! I am feeling very relieved about Lucy, and still very grateful for the way people responded to our situation. I hope I can remember all that I have to be thankful for, especially the people, now that things have settled down a bit. Sometimes it takes a crisis (big or small) to provide the clarity that we need to see things as they really are.

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  4. Glad to hear she’s better. I’ve never heard of Vestibular Syndrome as a sickness. So happy to hear that the hard experience shed light on all the good that surrounds you. That’s the best news of all! 💜

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  5. I’m so glad to hear that Lucy is on the mend Ann. It really is in times like these that we realise how much we have to be grateful for in our lives. Get her a big scruff and hug from me and Harry.

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    • I’m sorry, Barb, I replied to this a week ago, but it came up as a new comment rather than a reply to you. Anyway, what I said was that I am so grateful, not only that Lucy is better, but that her illness made me realize all that I have to be grateful for. And blogging friends like you are on that list!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Ann, and I’m so glad. There is something wrong with my comments/notifications. In the last week or so I haven’t been able to open them most days, so I’m behind in everything. I’m glad I could open yours! So the comment problem may have been on my end.

        Liked by 1 person

        • So sorry you’re having problems with your blog…that’s got to be frustrating. I think this one was my fault, sometimes I comment on my own blog rather than answer someone else’s comment because I hit the wrong button. But for a while there, when I would reply to someone’s comment, my reply wouldn’t show up until I left the page and came back on, which was a huge pain!

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  6. I’m so glad she has bounced back. I have had 2 pups over the years who had VS. they are so resilient though 💛
    You have dropped off my reader Ann. I need to re-follow so I don’t miss out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Word Press is odd like that, it’s happened to other people too. Thanks for noticing!
      And we’re so happy about Lucy, too. She had a minor set back a couple of weeks ago, but is once again back to her old sassy self! I’d never heard of VS until she had it, but you’re one of several people who told me their dog had it too.

      Liked by 1 person

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