When I came to write this post, I found the previous one still saved as a draft which is why we have two posts in the same day!
We had a scare on Sunday night. Our elderly dog, Shaggy, had a Vestibular Syndrome attack http://www.nutrecare.co.uk/Product-2245/Dog-Diseases/Vestibular-Syndrome. Basically, he looked like he’d had a stroke, he was tilting over to the left, falling over and being sick. I honestly thought he was dying and it was horrible. I phoned an emergency vet and after talking through the symptoms with her and establishing that he was settled and rested, decided to wait to see our own vet the next day. Monday morning arrived and he seemed worse, I thought we would be taking him to the vet and not bringing him home again. Michael, my eldest son and I had slept downstairs with him all night to make sure he was ok during the night. I say slept, I dozed but woke and sat up at every little movement from Shaggy. I had cried a lot during the night, thinking that we would be saying goodbye to him the next day. When Michael woke up, I told him what I thought and he was devastated. I mean really heartbroken, sobbing, it was awful to see because I couldn’t do anything to ease his pain. Shaggy is very much Michael’s dog. He all but lives in Michael’s room, coming downstairs only for food and toilet needs! He sleeps on Michael’s bed, shares Michael’s snacks and is generally all-round devoted to the boy. Michael is almost 19 now but still that devotion is mutual. He stands for a lot of what most owners would draw the line at, getting up in the middle of the night to take Shaggy downstairs because he needs to go outside, having to curl up uncomfortably in a small area in his own bed because Shaggy (who is a fairly small dog) has decided that he will stretch out and utilise almost all the bed for himself. Shaggy also smells! He is an old dog at 16 years of age and makes some pretty nasty smells at times. Michael just doesn’t let it bother him, most people would be throwing him off the bed in digust but Michael just laughs and gives him a hug. So, I’m sure you can imagine how the lad felt thinking that his beloved pet was about to be put to sleep. So, off we go to the vets, both sobbing all the way. My ex-husband met us at the vet with younger son Mason who is almost 16 who wanted to say goodbye to Shaggy. In we all trooped, crying! The vet and his wife are the parents of Mason’s best friend so we know the family fairly well, Mike the vet called us through and the boys and I went in, me carrying Shaggy. I explained the symptoms and was surprised to see that Mike wasn’t perturbed by this at all. He went on to explain that it is fairly common in older dogs and is treatable with drugs and most dogs make a full recovery in about 10 days! All that grief was unecessary, thankfully! Michael has now decamped to the lounge with his mattress and bedding and computer equipment so that he can still be with Shaggy who cannot manage the stairs at the moment. I don’t know if he ever will be able to again so I really don’t know what will happen when Michael has to go back upstairs to his room but for the time being, we are happy to still have him with us and will do whatever we can to keep him happy whilst he is recovering from a very unpleasant experience.