For the Love of a Dog

This has been a tough week. Facing realities of love and money. We have a Beagle named Gracie. We adopted her from a shelter 8 years ago. She is the first pet for this family and getting her was definitely a learning experience. Hubby and I each had a dog growing up; I actually had several. There was Lady and Fuzz that I remember. Both outside dogs. Lady was something black and white that I only remember from pictures. Fuzz was a huge German Shepherd – and we had him when I was five or six years old. Honestly, I was scared of him. We didn’t have him for a long time. My parents had too much on their plates to manage pets and us kids didn’t really step up. Hubby had a Boston Terrier named Snoopy for most of his growing up years. He has great memories – especially about feeding poor Snoopy things like green onions and peanut butter:)!

Deciding to get a dog took a little while. Its a big decision. There is a lot to consider; pet ownership is a big responsibility. We knew we wanted a medium to small dog and we knew we wanted to get a dog from a shelter. We watched petfinder.com for quite a while. I would see small dogs, but before I could call they were already adopted. Then, on July 5, 2003 I saw the most beautiful girl! And thanks to the 105 degree temps over the weekend, she was still available. So we brought home Gracie. And she changed our lives.

There is nothing like the howl of a happy beagle when you come home from a long day at work. Gracie stands at the top of the steps and lets out a howl of joy when she sees me. She sits at my feet when I’m in the living room, backing up close and plopping herself down. She is my girl. She sleeps under my bed and snores a duet with Hubby. On stormy nights she is on top of the bed, breathing hot dog-breath in my face.

Gracie was in excruciating pain Sunday night. I really had no idea what was going on, but she wouldn’t come up the steps to come in the house and she screamed horribly when we picked her up. We took her to the emergency vet, very scared about what might be going on. Long story short, she has what the vet thinks is a bulging disk. It’s very painful. They are trying non-surgical treatment for now. She is on muscle relaxer and steroid along with being confined to a kennel for 23 hours and 50 minute each day. That’s all the time. The hope is that this will allow her back to heal. If not, she may require surgery. A very expensive surgery. My prayer is that we are not faced with that decision.

I would do nearly anything for Gracie. But, I don’t have unlimited resources. The thought of being faced with making a choice about whether to continue treatment or not is excruciating. I don’t want to have to make that choice. I know there are those who would criticize me for even considering anything other than treatment. And I understand that. She is a part of our family and I want to do what is best for her. Its such a gut wrenching decision. Just thinking of it makes me feel ill.

So for the next 5 weeks we will be keeping Gracie in her kennel and praying. Praying this heals her and she is able to enjoy frapping, snoring under my bed and breathing hot dog-breath on my face during storms.

Your prayers for Gracie are welcome!

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2 Comments

Filed under Family, Randomness

2 responses to “For the Love of a Dog

  1. Cindy

    Judy – I feel for you. I wouldn’t want to have to make these tough decisions. I love my dog as much as you love Gracie. I hope her kennel plan works!

  2. Great post thanks for sharing. Family and friends are what truly makes life worth living. Even as we get older we find out how much we truly need one another.

    For more information check out these Family Activities

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