Tuesday, June 23, 2009

a noticeable absence

For those who have followed my facebook ramblings, our beloved family dog has been in the animal hospital. Initially, the vets thought that the dog had a bowel obstruction, possibly needing surgery. Unfortunately, Largo has a heart condition. Surgery for him is, in itself, life threatening. He has a very small chance of surviving even minor surgery. But, if he had an obstruction, it would kill him if he didn't have surgery. So, huge stress-inducing dilemma.

Because they didn't want to operate, they elected to do a risky test instead. This involved Largo drinking a huge quantity of barium, which they would then trace in x-ray every hour to follow the path of the barium through the digestive tract. The test should take 4 hours to complete. After 11 hours, the barium still wasn't completely through Largo's system.

But he wasn't obstructed and didn't need surgery. He has pancreatitis, and we should be able to manage it with meds and diet, once we are over this episode.

All of this detail is really preamble. What I discovered is how noticeable an absence we have in our home, with Largo at the vet. I derive incredible comfort from the sight of the dog sleeping on the floor next to our bed. I am more secure, and I feel more safe, with the dog in the house. I even miss his rather over-bearing company at dinner. I hate his begging and mugging for food -- but apparently I miss it when it's not there. I can sit all evening, reading undisturbed. And it doesn't feel right. I keep thinking I am forgetting something. I feel this distressing sense of things being out of kilter. I come home at night and there isn't a face pressed against the glass. No wagging tail. No head-butt of adoration as I come in. I cook dinner, and there is no one watching my every move with utter concentration.

There is a hole here that can only be filled by a dog. And not just any dog, OUR DOG.

1 comment:

Kitten Herder said...

Isn't it odd and wonderful how much a part of our lives animals can become? I wish you and Largo the best through this episode. You both deserve many more years of your affectionate give and take relationship.