Monday, September 5, 2011

Petey my brave little soldier...

To me, it's not so much a cone as a halo.
I'll get right to the point. Petey's eye had gotten worse, to the point where we made a visit to the emergency veterinary clinic on Saturday night when he was squinting, unwilling to open it, listless and clearly uncomfortable, hiding under the bed. The initial exam did not look good - there was pressure on his eye that made him feel like he had a 24-hour migraine. The vet on call did an eye exam and said he'd probably lost all vision in his eye. She sent a photo of his eye and her report on his exam to their veterinary opthomologist who said that he
may have a tumor causing the problem and would probably need to have his eye removed. I literally felt my blood turn to ice water as she told me this. Petey was given new drops to help control thepressure and it had gone down from 75 to 60 by Sunday afternoon when he went back to our local vet for x-rays and bloodtests to see if there were signs of cancer spreading. (Good news, the x-rays were clean and clear.) He also had new pain pills so he was more comfortable and almost back to his old self. I, on the other hand, was a shattered wreck.

Waiting, waiting, waiting through the long holiday weekend for our appointment on Tuesday morning. On Monday, Petey took me for a long walk in the morning and in the afternoon, we joined his pal Bear for a little walk (and some cookies at his favorite stops). There was a new ice cream cart on the corner called Je + Jo and the girl working there said that her boss was a big "dog lover" and gave us a free cup of vanilla for the dogs. Petey was thrilled and stood with his front paws on my knees so he wouldn't miss a drop. Since he wouldn't be able to have anything to eat after midnight in case he needed surgery on Tuesday, I felt it was perfectly fine to indulge him.
Waiting patiently for his next spoonful of ice cream.

In the pouring rain on Tuesday morning we went back to the NYC Veterinary Specialists (aka the emergency vet) to see the ophthalmologist, a very nice young woman named Dr. Jennifer Welser. As she examined his eye, I babbled about spoiling him with ice cream the day before and showed her a little video on my phone. (I wanted everyone there to love Petey as much as I do so they'd take extra good care of him.) "Where did you take that?" she asked suddenly. I told her and she laughed and said that Je + Jo ice cream was her sideline company! She was the "Je" of Je + Jo - the "dog-loving boss!" I told her that she was already taking good care of Petey before she'd even met him!

Anyhow, there was good news and bad news. The good news was that he does NOT have glaucoma and his right eye is perfectly healthy. His pathology and x-rays were clean and clear. However, a sonogram showed a massive hemorrhage and possible tumor in his eye and it would have to come out. My beautiful boy with those shiny brown eyes that smiled when you entered a room and would follow a tennis ball with laser-like focus would now have a permanently closed lid. (I'm teary just typing these words a day later.) I sat on the floor next to Petey while he dozed in a makeshift bed, just crying and stroking his coat and whispering silly songs and sayings to him. He so often is told that he resembles the dog in the Traveller's Insurance TV spots and the phrase "protect what you love the most" kept ringing in my ears. I carried him into the surgery, covering his head with kisses and more salty tears.

About an hour later the doctor came in and said that everything had gone fine, he was in recovery sleeping off his anesthesia. When the vet tech brought him back into the room, his tail was wagging. She put him on the exam table and his nose went right for the container of liver treats that had been forbidden beforehand. He eagerly ate about a dozen then and there, even giving the vet tech a "high five" before he got one (with the little catheter still taped to his paw!). Then he settled back down on the bed in the corner and I sat pressed next to him for the next hour and a half while he dozed in his big plastic cone, his shaved eyebrow giving his closed eye a bit of an "ah ha!" look. More tears, not so many this time, and many words of reassurance. Angus of wrote poignantly yesterday that "As blind dog owners learn 'to be trusted is an even greater compliment than to be loved.'" And while Petey is definitely not blind, he is disoriented -- as someone eloquently put it, his brain needs a bit of rewiring.

Got home in yet another downpour almost 11 hours after we'd left. Petey wasn't too interested in food, but I got him settled in his bed and ran across the street to the deli to get a roast beef sandwich for my dinner as I too had not eaten all day. I could only face a half a sandwich and since Petey was refusing to eat his own dinner, he proceeded to eat the lion's share of mine. Then allowed himself to be hand-fed another handful of kibble. To bed at 10:30, slept soundly until I insisted he get up this morning at 10:00 AM for a walk around the block which he did quite well. Still not interested in kibble, but more roast beef allowed me to get his antibiotic and pain pill in him. A little snooze in his own bed, then he walked into the kitchen on his own accord and drank some water and finished his kibble. Progress!

He is indeed my brave little soldier, now with a battle scar to prove it. Or as he told me, "Mom, now all the girls will think I'm winking at them!" Once I see him pick up a tennis ball, this ball of ice will finally melt inside of me.

In the meantime, many thanks for your kind words and encouragement. The power of the paw!


Eric said...

Petey BFF. You know I sending truck loads of healing zen and wiry loves across the miles and my bestie prescribed medicine, squillions of them dogalicious kittie logs,are on the way.

I'll get the nursies over too.Hoo boy, those girlies are going to be swoooning over you even more now you lucky dog but whatever you do don't wink at the flakie Lacie ok?
But drink in all the Power of the Paw smoothies she'll make you and your Mom.

Tons of wiry love bestie. I'll be right their with you always.

Eric xxxx

Unknown said...

Hmm, if Lacie's smoothies usually make me see double, I guess now I'll see regular when I drink them, right?

Arran, Arthur and Mum said...

Ah Petey, that sure must have beed really scary for your Mom. Girl dogs really like the whole badboy pirate things so you really will has them falling at your feet. Here's to many more tennis ball chasings to come. Keep on making a smooth recovery, you brave boy!
~lickies, Ludo

Rocky Creek Scotties and Rocky Creek Ramblings said...

Oh Jane and Petey. Please know we are sending love and healing thoughts to both of you. ARRROOO!!!

Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh, Ruairi and Ivy

Dexter said...

Petey will be fine (but might take a while for him to learn to navigate with one eye). I am so relieved that it was only one eye. He is a little trooper.

Mango Momma

Oskar said...

Wow, what a scary time. I know that Petey will heal quickly & re-adjust with your love.

Nubbin wiggles,

Two French Bulldogs said...

We are sending all kinds of good vibes your way
Benny & Lily

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

Excuse me...I came here to offer words of comfort and kindness only to find myself being discussed in the first two comments. (Lacie simpers a bit, thoroughly enjoying the attention.)

Now Eric...I have my nurse's kit packed and will be Brooming to NYC pronto...

Now dear Petey...all kidding aside, I love you very much (Lacie actually gets a catch in her throat and her eyes dampen but she quickly mops them with her lace hankie so no one notices.) We have the Power of the Paw flowing!! And the Paw Power Smoothies are quadruple you still may see double!! I have a large glass with a straw for your mom!

That adorable wink you now have just makes me melt!!

Kisses and will see you soon...Scruffy and Stan are flying with me, too!

Miss Lacie Beastie

Pee ess Which nurse shall I assign to your bedbath????

Eric said...

Hey Petey yep them smoothies will look regular and here's another another billy bonus.... her hooooge behind will look a lot smaller too!!!!!

Eric xxx

Bouncing Bertie said...

Oh Jane, oh Petey, what a hard time you've been having, but I am so pleased you told us. Petey, I are sure that your spirit will continue to shine brightly even though your sight is not what it was. It is so hard to see our dear little furry pals suffering. I am sure that at some level Petey knows that he is being cared for and loved and will be finding comfort in your presence Jane, and the two of you will be even closer now.

Bertie is telling Petey to keep on holding out for the roast beef!

Fingers and paws crossed that Petey recovers well from the operation, and that happy time lie ahead.

Much love,

Molly the Airedale said...

Lots of AireZen is heading your way, Petey! Our paws are crossed for you!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

rottrover said...

Many gentle rottie kisses and Power of the Paw smoothies being air mailed to NYC. Dude, you're gonna be sportin' the eye patch soon. We are also sending love and strength to Jane.

-Gizmo, Bart and Ruby

Mango the Maltese kiddo said...

Petey! Petey!
You brave little fighter,
We held our breath while reading your mama's report about your emergency surgery, thanks goodness, in the first look at your cone, we thought you just had another "snippy" operation again.
Stay well, Petey, we pray hard for you. The nightmare was over, your mama loves you very much, she made us laughed when she told us what you had told her "Mom, now all the girls will think I'm winking at them!".
Hey, we're winking back at you Petey.

Sally Ann and Andy said...

Petey, In Atlanta, there are two little dogs thinking of you. Please feel better. You are very much loved and you are part of a great big, but sometimes unseen, group of doggies and their people who think you are the best.
Sally Ann

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

This surely isn't anything wou would have expected but given all the things in could have been, it is manageable -

A friend has a rescued AkitaHusky - blind in one eye AND the other one removed - he gets by well -

And the relief from the pressure being gone was an incredible change for the him -

Like our pals that become tripaws, our furries are resilient -

We could all learn so much from them!

Khyra and Phyll

Bocci said...

Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear of sweet Petey's surgery.
We're thinking of both of you and wish you both the courage to "soldier on", as I'm sure you both will!

All the best to you!

Ruby Bleu said...

Sending lots of love and healing licks from California! We love you Petey!!!

Lots of Licks,
Ruby, Speeeedy & Michele

Clive said...

Poor Petey! But he is indeed a brave little soldier and we're sure he'll adjust just fine and be out chasing tennis balls in no time!

Tons of healing vibes and good wishes from us all here ....

- Clive and Murray

Gus said...

Oh Wow! Gussie sends this message to Petey:

"Man, you were some tough competitor for the ladies before, but if you can talk your Mom into one of those black silk eye-patch things, the rest of us guys won't have a chance!"

I simply say that we will keep you and Petey in our prayers, and hope that both of you can relax for a while and recover.

kisses from all

Gus and family.

Tama-Chan, Gen-Chan, Vidock, Violette, Ollie, Hotesse & Heloise said...

You both have been through so much and you both have been so brave. Here's to no more problems and Petey quickly learning to manage with the new situation.

Woofs, Purrs, Neighs and Hugs,
Tommy, The Chans, Vidock and #1

Maxmom said...

Oh Jane,
I am so, so sorry to hear about your dear Petey's ordeal, but also relieved to here that they've been able to do something for him.
I am so sorry that I've not been around to your blog lately...
Please know that you guys are such great, long-standing cyber-friends, who have stood by me in troubled times, and I am really sorry to hear that you have been through this without me knowing.
I hope he improves each day - although he's bout with the Sibe couldn't have done his confidence much good.
Sending lots and lots of love to you and your dear little tennis-ball-muncher.

Angus said...

Heartbreaking . We so know what you're living through .