Dog Days

After two and a half years of living with Andy he puggle it’s safe to say I know him as well as I know anyone. A few days ago I sensed a slight change in him. His eating and bathroom habits were the same as always. He didn’t seem sick in anyway yet there was something about him that just seemed off.

I wrote it off to stress. We are two weeks into a new apartment and I just wrote it off as part of the adjustment period. That theory, however, went out the window when I woke up Wednesday morning. I made my way into the living room and found it odd that Andy, who sleeps at the end of my bed, had not followed me. As he had always done for two years.

I went back into the bedroom and Andy was standing near the edge of the bed whimpering. He reminded me of a castaway on a sinking ship – wanting to get off but afraid to jump. I called to him a few times yet he would not come down. When he didn’t respond to, “Wanna go for a walk?” I knew something was wrong.

I grabbed him by the collar and attempted to pull him down but he resisted. So I wrapped my arms around him, lifted and set him on the ground. As soon as his legs hit the floor he crumbled to the ground in a heap. He grunted a few times and lifted himself up and began to limp toward me.

The life was immediately sucked out of me. My heart began to pound and I felt sick to my stomach. Something was seriously wrong with my dog.

It appeared that his legs hurt and he couldn’t walk because of it. So, like anyone who needs immediate answers I went to Google. All signs pointed to Lyme disease. Apparently a dog’s joints become inflamed as a result of the disease and it impacts their ability to walk. I then called Keely, his former owner. She explained how Andy has suffered from the disease when he was two and he was showing the same symptoms.

We contacted the vet who said it sounded like Lyme Disease but wanted to see him to be sure. Unfortunately we couldn’t get an appointment until the next day.

I carried Andy outside so he could go to the bathroom. He couldn’t even lift his leg to pee. I brought him back inside and set him on the couch. I brought his food to him and thankfully he ate.

I explained the situation to my mother who agreed to check on him periodically through out the day while I was at work. She would later tell me that each time she arrived at my apartment to check on him he seemed happy but would not leave the couch. She covered him with his favorite blanket and let him be.

I arrived home 8 hours later and for the first time in the two years of owning Andy, the trusted Puggle was not there to greet me when I opened the door.

I instantly walked over to the couch where he was still laying where I left him earlier in the day. He was alert and seemed happy to see me. He was barely moving but his tail was thumping madly against the couch cushions. The sight was just too much for me to take. I sat down beside him as a wave of emotion splashed over me. I buried my face in my hands and began to sob as Andy struggled to put his head in my lap.

I eventually composed myself and made some calls to fellow dog owners who I know have dealt with Lyme disease before. They all spoke of similar symptoms and the agony of seeing their pet in pain. In made me feel a bit better knowing that although Lyme Disease is a serious thing, it is in fact common and more importantly, treatable.

At 9 a.m. this morning Andy and I were off to the vet. After a short examination we were on our way home with a prescription for doxycycline, aka, the Lyme Disease antibiotic. As I type this Andy is already showing improvement. He can walk again and his old wild self is starting to shine through.

Thanks to Sherry, Ashlie and Jamie for their doggie advice. Thanks to Mom and Keely for help with the vet stuff.

Andy is a pain in my ass but I don’t know what I’d do without him.


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