Playing Catch-up

Wow, it has certainly been a while. I thought I might try to fit everything into one big post, but maybe I’ll start with the most recent happenings then work my way backward, especially since something people I know have asked about needs to be shared in full:

Thursday night, my mother called to inform me that Hilde, the most wonderful dog anyone could ever know, was sick.

Hilde has been a joy to our small family. She is loving, sweet, playful at times, serene at others, hardly ever barks, never has accidents indoors, great with other people and other dogs… the list goes on. But Hilde has an Achilles’ heel called Pica. To date, she has had at least five surgeries to remove non-food items from her stomach or intestines. You might say to yourself, “then just keep her away from the things she likes to eat.” Well, the last few surgeries have revealed that she enjoys compulsively consumes rocks/gravel, wood chips, and grass, and that she gorges herself to the point that she cannot pass whatever she has eaten. I’ve also seen her try to surreptitiously eat (and sometimes succeed in eating) plastic, metal, and paper, which is sometimes hard to notice. In other words, she eats anything and everything. So it’s not so easy.

Thursday night into Friday was frightening and painful as we waited for Hilde’s condition to change. My mom now recognizes the signs of illness in Hilde, and she didn’t want to put her through another surgery, plus the cost is rather high. How many more times will Hilde need surgery? How much suffering can this dog put herself through? My mom thought the best option might be to put her down.

This horrified me. Hilde is just three years old, and she has many more good days than bad. I had a terrible night full of tears, ideas of whisking her away and fixing her up, and attempts at rationalization. I kept thinking there must be a way out of this. I still keep thinking this.

However, Hilde seems to be doing a little better. My mom has been working to clear her blockages, and it’s proving effective, although slow-going. Hopefully this was just a scare, but we both wonder how long until the next one, and could that one be deadly to poor Hilde? I hope more vigorous training is in Hilde’s future, but for now, all I can do is be there and love her.

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