Okay, Okay, he’s alive.
I didn’t mean to make you worry.
It was touch and go for a few days. Honest.
Stormy, our six year-old rescue lab got sick for the first time since ever. He went down for the count in the middle of a hectic week, filled with NaNo and evening plans, school and work, family life bustling all around. It took us all a good twenty-four hours to realize the big guy was just lying there – not moving, not eating, not drinking. He’d stopped barking at the neighborhood kids, the postal worker, the squirrels, the wind blowing in the trees. He’d stopped greeting us at the door with more barking.
It was the silence that alerted us to his condition. That and when my daughter tried to take him for a walk, the usually bouncy, barky dog couldn’t even make it down the driveway.
Then we noticed he wasn’t eating either.
No fluids in or out.
After day two, we really began to panic. And we were wracked with guilt for not noticing sooner and for not knowing what to do. First thing I’ll tell you is the viral email about giving a cat a pill I read years ago is ten times funnier now that I’ve tried to give our dog pain medicine. He wouldn’t take it no matter how we disguised it. Even with peanut butter – and that dog loves peanut butter. Everything we tried went down, but that damn pill always came back up. My daughter and I were covered in dog drool and fur when we finally smashed the pill up and gave it to him in some water. We maybe got a fourth of the medicine down him. Who knows if it made him feel any better.
We read everything online we could and kept trying to feed him and give him water. He’d take a few laps out of a cup if it was put to his lips, but not enough to get him back on his feet. (He was probably a little leery of taking water from us after the medicine trick from the day before.) He peed once, but according to my husband the nurse, it was a very unhealthy dark color. I took his word for it. No, I didn’t need to see it. (He captured some just in case. Nurses are weird.)
We even started an IV on him on day three. Okay, my husband did. After he watched a video on YouTube (you can really find out how to do almost anything on there). For my part, I closed my eyes and held him down, being the good, yet squeamish assistant. Stormy laid still like a good dog. He didn’t even whine after the initial stick. (Yes, Tim, you’re awesome. You can stick anything. Again, nurses are weird.) After getting a fourth of the bag in, Stormy sat up abruptly – the most activity we’d seen in days – and promptly pulled the IV out of his leg. It was a start, but we were done with that line of therapy. There was no way we were doing that again. Because I said so. The nurse probably would have tried again. Stormy seemed to do better for awhile. He moved around and drank some more out of the cup. Then he stopped moving and drinking again.
Still no good pee came.
Later in the day, we made him some chicken and rice. He ate that up. He was on the mend. Water and food intake shot up, although we had to hand feed him. For the next few days, he only drank out of a cup if we brought it to him and only ate if we made him chicken and rice and laid it at his feet. (I was beginning to feel we were being snookered.)
By day five, he peed a good strong stream and we all cheered. (Yes, it really takes so little to make us happy.) He even ran to the door when our daughter came home from school. We knew then he’d be okay. And that the little bugger could drink out of his bowl, again.
Yesterday, he barked like mad when my husband came home and I forgot how nice and quiet it had been while he was sick. I also realized how much his illness had affected all of us. I didn’t write as much during the second half of the week, more preoccupied with Stormy than my story. (I’m always complaining that my dogs are underfoot – even now they surround my desk while I write – I’m in danger of stepping on one of them whenever I get up and I’ve rolled over an ear or tail more times than I care to remember.) My husband called me several times while working, not to check on me or the kids, but to check on our ailing dog. Both of our kids tried to comfort Stormy and snuggled with him on the floor or brought him water.
I know we’re all glad to have him back to his bouncy, barky self.
Let’s talk about weekly goals now that my head’s back in the game.
Here are my #writemotivation /NaNo goals for this month:
1. Survive, nay, WIN NaNoWriMo. (I will finish a first draft this year. I WILL!) I broke through the ceiling of the 10K mark and that felt so amazing. I’m a little behind right now, but with everyone in good health and after talking through some of my plot points with my husband this weekend on a nice long walk, I’m ready for round two. Bring it, NaNo!
2. Attend at least three NaNo Write-Ins and take some dares. I didn’t attend any write-ins this week because of sick puppy and husband’s work schedule, but this week shouldn’t be a problem. And I will be taking another dare. I double-dog dare you to take one, too.
3. Before Nano starts and maybe even into the first week, prep some posts for the month. I did get some posts pre-scheduled and this made life so much easier. This is my new favorite thing to do. If I don’t watch out, I may become…ORGANIZED! ACK!
4. Try to look up every once in awhile and acknowledge family’s presence. Family took precedent over writing many times this week, if you count Stormy, which I think you all can tell, I do. (I spent time with the younglings and my husband, too. But I didn’t hand-feed them.)
I know some people have already finished – insane! – and some are ready to give up because life or their project is too overwhelming/not working out right now, which is okay, too. I’ve given up a few times, myself. This is a very personal/individual thing with a community of support to drive you on, no matter how your NaNo goes.
How’s your NaNo going?