Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Got Shorty

This past couple of weeks have been rough ones at Meadow Breeze Farm. Our 6-1/2 year old Bassett/Terrier cross, Shorty, spent last week in the Metropolitan Veterinary Referral Services clinic, fighting for his life. He came home last Friday, brightening everyone's mood, including that of his brother, a 6-1/2 year old Bassett/German Shepard cross, CJ. And while it will be some weeks before Shorty recovers fully, the panic, fear, helplessness, depression and emotional roller coaster experienced since January 25th, will make those weeks, and all the weeks beyond, all the more precious.

The threat of losing Shorty brought several life lessons into sharp focus. Besides the usual "hug your kids", "hug your spouse/significant other", "call Mom and Dad while you can", and "live each day as if it were your last", I was again reminded of how blessed I am to have an extensive network of friends and family who took the time to offer emotional and spiritual support when the need arouse. The comfort garnered from reading comments posted on Facebook (where I chronicled Shorty's struggles) wishing Shorty well is indescribable.

I've also come to realize the truth of another life lesson. Taking responsibility for the well-being of another of God's creatures puts you all in. All the times that I longed for no more than to be home with my dogs, trading their unconditional love for the stress of the real world, came home to roost. Since he was asymptomatic, it took us a week too long to bring Shorty to the vet. But once we realized that his condition was life-threatening and the odds were against our little guy, there was no turning back. Treatment was expensive; medical miracles always are. We were fortunate to have actual miracle workers, Dr. Goullaud and Dr. Reinker, applying all of their considerable training and skills to keep Shorty around for us.

Today, Shorty seems to have beaten the odds. His jaundice is dissipating. He's starting to eat more regularly. The days of roaming the countryside on his own are a thing of the past. There's no sense letting him find another meal on one of those sojourns that will shut down what's left of his liver. I am less inclined to take Shorty for granted. The spectre of losing him shut me down for a week. In the end, his unconditional love comes with a condition. "Love me back".



Mary said...

One of the greatest things about a liver is its ability to regenerate. Awesome. One of the greatest things about a heart is its ability to get even bigger for love of a dog.

Charles Leck said...

Good for Shorty! Long live Shorty!

Molly Montgomery said...

Hi Sam,
This is an awkward way to introduce oneself but my name is Molly Montgomery and I am the granddaughter of Celia Malamet Montgomery who had a newphew named Norman and a niece named Phyllis (nee Glicksberg) who I believe was your mother. Celia was my father James' mother. I am interested in starting our family tree and would love to connect with you if you are open to it. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and now live in Phoenix, Arizona. My email address is mollymontgomery74@yahoo.com.