A sick dog, still undiagnosed, creates in me this Nana whose sole purpose is To Make You Feel Better, but who doesn’t have any idea whether you need a nap, or something to eat, or a cold cloth against your forehead. I mean, when your dog is sick, you get him help. You get his meds, and you keep his blankie clean and you get him new squeaky toys, and you cuddle and spoon him till he gets better. And then, hey! Everything’s better.
But when your dog is sick, and nobody can tell you why, we can’t give him what he needs–we don’t know what he needs–and so all you can do is be there. You follow him all around the house, sort of bent, crouched over, literally hovering over him. Helping him onto his bed, your bed, the couch. Giving him treats because even a sick dog who won’t eat will take a treat and that makes you feel better for a minute, like, hey! He’s eating, he must be getting better.
But he’s limping for no reason that we can find, and he’s not getting better. Even the people meds that are super strong and take away my back pain won’t take away his limp and even when he’s resting in my six-thousand dollar bed he still groans and moans with discomfort. “What should I do?” I constantly ask my husband and honestly, I think that the dog is sometimes so tired of me moving him this way, and THAT way, and putting the pillow under his head and then removing it and then turning the light and the music on and trying to tip-toe out of the room because he’ll just get up, you know, he’ll follow me everywhere. So instead, I sit with him and when he moves, I follow. I hover, follow and hover, waiting I guess, for his body to reveal that secret it holds so tight: What Is Wrong With My Dog.
Today, I’ll email his doctor; not his regular vet, his specialist who consults with internal medicine and the oncology group and who admitted to me that he might have had cancer only after she’s certain he doesn’t. What else is she not saying to me? If he might have something we should start treating him, right now. Today. Why are we waiting?
Why don’t we all just drop what we’re doing and put our heads together and figure out What Is Wrong With My Dog?