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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Guin's not doing well, Wiscassett Public Library, more

A week ago Friday, we had our friend Joanne over and ordered a pizza to be delivered from a local pizza joint. It's the only one in town that delivers. Got the pizza, ate it, gave the crust to Bandit and Guin (which I always do) and watched some TV. In the middle of the night Guin began yelping in pain. I jumped up, Chris followed me and she was in her bed, her head up and yelping. We did everything to try to calm her down - holding her, petting her, taking her outside to go to the bathroom. Nothing seemed to work.

Sleep was not coming that night. I ended up trading off with Chris on getting up every time she yelped. She'd be quiet for a bit, then start up again. I slept on the floor next to her by 3 am.

Saturday was no better - now she wasn't getting out of bed at all unless we took her out to go pee. She was peeing and pooping, which was good. She was also drinking water and eating a little bit, but not a lot.

I began to wonder if something had been wrong with the pizza. Chris, Joanne and I all had diarrhea. But Bandit was fine - he's alwasy had an iron stomach.

I had to do a book panel at the Wiscassett Public Library at 10 am and Chris was working from 9-6, so we were panicking about Guin. We called Joanne to see if she could stop by, but she wasn't answering. So I went to my book panel and tried to be cheerful. I was exhausted.

The two authors I spoke with were nice enough, although one made a snide comment about how she and the other author had more books published than I did - one of them had published over 80 books and the other over 40, while I have a "measly" 8. I almost snapped at that point, but kept my cool.

I drove home as fast as I could and Guin was okay. She was just lying so still, breathing kind of heavy and starting to shake. The vet's office was closed and quite frankly, we couldn't afford the emergency vet. Guin is 15 years old. What are they going to tell me except she's dying of old age.

Saturday night was again sleepless with us taking turns sleeping with Guin on the floor. I had to leave early Sunday morning for Boise, Idaho (which I'll write about in another post). I hated leaving. I was tired. I was worried. Chris called in sick to Home Depot and told them he needed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off to be with the dog. I would be home late Tuesday night.

I called between flights and Chris was panicking. Joanne had come over and we all feared the worst - that Guin would die before I made it home. I was glad I'd had a little talk with Guin before I left for the airport. I told her I loved her and she was the best dog ever.

I slept on the longer flight and kept in touch with Chris. Monday, he took her to our vet, who took blood and urine samples. She was still breathing heavily and shaking so hard. The results were that she's got the beginning of kidney and renal failure - typical in an old dog. The vet told me over the phone it was not life threatening. . .yet and that she would have good days and bad days and could be like that for a year or two or die next week. He said it would have to be our decision on if and when we'd put her down.

I know she's old. I hate thinking about putting her to sleep. All I can think of is Chris' dad when he was at home dying of cancer and how he kept telling us to just kill him. Why can we put an animal out of its misery, but not a human? I don't understand that, but I am glad I can make that decision instead of letting her suffer like Chris' dad did.

I got home Tuesday night, late, and Guin was up and about. It was like almost nothing happened. She was wobbly, but walking and eating like a pig. She slept most of the night and only yelped when she needed to go out to pee.

Wednesday Chris went to work and I spent the day upstairs with Guin, working off my laptop. She kept getting better and better. She slept through the night better. On Thursday I went to see Dr. Ross, our vet, and I told him I was realistic about her being old and it was going to be tough to make the decision, but I will make it when I feel she's ready. He'd wanted to do some other tests, but I told him I'd rather spend that money on making her more comfortable toward the end.

Went home and Guin actually walked around the yard with me, ate more, drank water and slept well. It was like nothing happened.

We breathed a sigh of relief. Friday was just as good and we actually ventured out to the local hangout for one drink. We were too worried about her to have more than one.

In the middle of the night, she started with the yelping again. I stayed out in the living room with her, trying to comfort her. At 6 am, I got Chris up and asked him to sit with her so that I could sleep before he left for work at 1130 am.

I had to hold Guin up to take her out to pee. At least she was peeing and pooping okay. I would put her back on her bed each time and she'd just lay there. No shaking this time and less yelping, which I hope is a good sign. I knew she was having her bad day.

Saturday night she was a bit better and Sunday even more better. She was eating fine, as long as I hand fed her and by yesterday morning, she was toddling around the house, going to her water dish by herself and actually sleeping in Bandit's bed for a bit.

Today she's almost normal. A little wobbly sometimes, but almost bit my fingers off when I gave them their cheese this morning (that's to hide their pills - she's on prednisone and pepcid AC - yep you read right).

Last night was the first night since Friday we both were able to sleep through most of the night. I only had to get up twice all night to let her out. Poor Bandit slept through the entire night without getting up once. I guess he was exhausted, too.

She's upstairs with Bandit and so far, so good.

We pick up Chris' oldest daughter tomorrow night for a long Halloween weekend and I'm hoping Guin has good days until C is gone. I'd hate to have C go through the sleepless nights with us.

I'll write more tomorrow - exciting things have happened in between Guin getting sick. A hint of things to come: We got a boat and it was free! Idaho is a very brown state and Chris and I got to ride in a race car with a NASCAR driver. And that was free, too!

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