Friday night we almost lost our dog. We’ve had a little forty-pound Beagle mix for nine years. We seriously got our dog off Craigslist from a guy who said he was going to Afghanistan. We hadn’t had a dog in 14 years. We had a big, hairy 85 lb. Golden Retriever when the kids were small, and I missed him but enjoyed not having to clean up after him all the time. My husband who grew up in the country with dogs had to have another and we adopted Athena.
She has been a joy. She came into a house of old people at five months old and fit right in. She is the queen, no other animals to share with, and she just lays around under the air conditioner. The three of us go for walks when the weather is nice and then return to the artificially cool house. She loves to lay belly up under a ceiling fan.
We’d bathed her and given her the flea and tick treatment on her neck along with a heart-worm prevention pill like we do every month. We’d taken a long walk that morning and all came in hot and ready for some cool air. Hours later she was sick. She barely moved off her bed. I checked her breathing to be sure a few times. She acted like just rolling over was a chore. I know she was in the same position for several hours.
The vet checked her blood and the only thing that was off was a liver enzyme. She came home with pills to take daily for a few months. He thought it might have been brought on by the heat. I wondered about the treatments after her bath. We asked about the toads around the house and he seemed to think they weren’t that dangerous. Whatever it was, I think the end was near. I slept part of the night on the floor beside her so I could feel her breathing on me.
Today, she is a new puppy! It is amazing how quickly they can go down and how quickly they feel better. My babies were much the same way, sick one minute and well the next.
Anyway, we took a short walk this morning so no one got overheated and may do that from now on. Maybe take a quick one in the morning and another in the evening. We all need our exercise but not at the risk of heat stroke! She’ll be checked at the vets every month to see how things go and she’ll take her pills. They are chewable and she seems to like them.
I learned just how important the little dog has become to me this week. I also learned none of us are as young as we used to be, and heat can have its effects on a body. Do you have pets? Are they like family?