White Dog came and sat with me on the end of the bed. I was there staring out into the yard trying to still my disquiet. The others sensed my mood and did not press.
Last week we took Puff to see Dr. Julia. Our Little Old Lady had developed "pimples" along the edge of her private parts. When we arrived the office was in chaos. Dr. Julia had been involved in a horse riding accident and it seemed pretty serious. We saw her associate, in whom we d not have much confidence, who promised to discuss Puff with Dr. Julia and report back.
Today Puff went back for a recheck on her walking dandruff condition which is much improved but still lingers in spots. It was then we learned that our beloved Dr. Julia was working VERY limited hours because she was still recovering from the accident which left her with a concussion and brain trauma. She must see a neurologist and give the injury time to heal. Of course, the White Dog Army is sending its strongest healing energies and hopes for a speedy return.
At the sake of sounding selfish, I need to have a conversation with Dr. Julia that I cannot have with the other vet. Dr. Julia knows my Puff. She has been with her since she arrived in Albuquerque heartworm Stage 3+ and near to death. Dr. Julia pulls no punches and will help me work through Puff's current health issues. I feel lost without her guidance.
The other vet did confer with Dr. Julia and got back to us that we had made the right decision to go another round on dosing for the walking dandruff...and that in two weeks we should do a third and final injection. I still am not comfortable that the "pimple"-like things are something to not worry about. When a nearly 17 year old dog with a compromised immune system starts having weird things appear on her, I worry. Especially since no one has put a name to this condition or explained how to clear it up.
Mostly, I need to discuss the mammary tumors, two of them in a string, that have sprung up on Puff's right side. Clearly at her age and with her pulmonary issues we cannot have them surgically removed. Nor are we inclined to put her through the stress of chemo or radiation. Still Another White Dog has lost none of her zest for life, or her enthusiasm. She still has a roaring appetite, comes charging in through the dog door, is alert and a participant in the WDA's daily songs to the mailman and more. Yes, she sleeps a lot (she is 91 in human years), has an occasional senior moment, and receives oxygen therapy every morning.
Cindy, Dr. Julia's Number One and her holistic health expert, advised increasing Puff's daily sprinkling of turmeric and adding mushroom extract to her diet to slow down the growths. And this we will do.
But I need to sit with Julia (both of us of a certain age who understand each other) and ask when will we know that pain management is needed? How do we adapt to this part of the cycle of life without treating our Street Fighter too preciously (because Puff would be offended at that)? I won't ask "how long" because I know there is no answer that has any validity. But I would ask how we make ourselves ready enough so that when Puff chooses to Cross the Bridge it doesn't rip our hearts out?