Our Sweetness, Miss Molly, just passed another milestone, so to speak. She turned twelve just over a month ago, and life has been a series of challenges for her, but she faces them with a smile. Her latest bout with what seems like a neverending trip to the vet (no matter where we are) was for problems with bladder stones. This has been a recurrent issue with our little girl. In spite of feeding her special diet, (read that as costly), her metabolism is such that stones keep building up in her urinary bladder. Last Wednesday, she underwent her fourth (Yes 4th!) surgery for the flushing out of her waterworks and removal of her stones, She had been passing them along with what seemed like a considerable amount of blood for about ten days, and so upon consultation with a couple of vets, and weighing the pros and cons of her compromised health and slightly advanced age (she is diabetic and blind, and very prone to infections) we decided that we should go ahead. All things considered, we had three choices...(a) do nothing and let her suffer intermittent passings of stones, blood and be in obvious discomfort and in jeopardy of a bad rupture in her urinary tract; (b) do the unthinkable and put her down or (c) opt for surgery for the fourth time.
I need to go back one day before her surgery, a week ago Tuesday, to make the story 'complete'. DH and I were on pins and needles, anticipating the surgery and its outcomes. Given Molly's diabetic condition, the surgery was a little riskier than normal, but the vets at Power Road Animal Hospital and the staff described how her glucose levels would be monitored during surgery and we took a supply of insulin (they do not carry the brand she takes) to administer just in case things went awry. Of course, the cost was discussed and we had been given high and low estimates of the entire procedure. That too was a very mindful thing for the vets and staff at Power Road. From about four oclock on during that Tuesday, neither one of us could rest easy. I tried to work on some polymer clay (things would not go well) and Himself decided to go to Fry's, the local supermarket, to get milk.
Almost all of Monday and all of Tuesday, the divine Miss M had been staying in her crate a lot, because otherwise she was very anxious and just wanted to 'go pee' every five minutes, without success. She would squat, but very little would come out, maybe a trickle of blood, or a few 1/4 inch stones. But when she was in her crate, she seemed more comfortable, especially in the car because she associates that with going for a ride, which she loves. So, when DH went to the store for milk, Miss M. was in the back seat of the van.
I sent them off, and expected them back within a quarter hour. After half an hour, they hadn't returned. During the interim, I heard several sirens from police cars, ambulances and fire trucks, and four helicopters overhead, and of course, I was fearing the worst. The sirens kept on bellering and soon, I was in the driveway, watching squad car after squad car driving down the thoroughfare that heads for Fry's. People were gathering on the road, wondering what was happening. At that point, I got a call from a local cell phone (Dan doesn't have one) and it was him. He told me he wouldn't be home for some time, as he and all the other shoppers at Fry's were in a lock down inside the store because there was a shoot-out going on in the parking lot. He had previously headed out to put the groceries in the car, but the uniformed officers told him that he was in the line of fire and he had to go back into the store.
He witnessed the shooting of one bad guy (dead), several others (guys and girls) and also one officer. They were superficially wounded, all except for the one that the cops had been following who was dead at the scene. He was the one who initiated the shooting. And to think that Miss Molly (who could have witnessed it, except she is blind) sat through the whole episode just a few cars away. I wonder what she thinks of rapid fire gun shots!!!
When they returned home about an hour later, they each got a huge hug. I told Molly, that if she could live through that, there was not going to be any problem with the surgery the following day. That made me sleep a little better that night.
The rest, as they say, is history. Her procedure came off without a hitch, and the little girl, although tired and groggy after the anaethesia, was home by six p.m. We fed her a little, and then she rested quietly all night. By the next morning, you'd never have known the dog had been in distress. She was back to her old self, eating, peeing without incident, and doing all the other things our dear pets do, including drying me off after my morning shower.
The picture above shows how she is joking about the size of the stones she was passing. She must have felt they were as big as geodes, all ragged and scratchy inside her. But she's smiling now that this is all in the past.