Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted a dog, and of course, my parents would always say no. They would tell me over and over again how I wasn’t ready to take care of a dog (or maybe deep inside, they really didn’t want one), but it wasn’t until I was in 4th grade where one of my mom’s patients’ dog gave birth to a litter of puppies. He asked me if I wanted one and told my mom that he would give us a puppy for free to thank her for doing such a great job as his physical therapist. My mom then told me that since I don’t have a sister and my two older brothers had each other that I could have a dog to have as my playmate. She then went on about the different responsibilities that came with owning a dog, but I didn’t care. I was overjoyed that I finally had someone to play with. A year later, my dog passed away because she had a hyperactive heart (or so that’s what PetSmart told us). In hope of cheering me up, my parents sought out to buy me a new dog and so began our journey in finding me another furry little friend.
A month passed. My mom and I had gone to almost every pet store we could think of, yet we couldn’t find a dog that we both wanted. After what seemed to be a dead end, my mom and I decided to go to a flea market where a breeder was advertising a littler of puppies, and it was at that flea market where I found and chose my little fluff ball of a friend, Candy. If you’ve ever met her, you’ll know we’re quite similar. We’re crazy, energetic, curious about the world, always excited to meet people, and always wanting to sleep. As we both get older, I’m finding myself having to face the hard truth that Candy is slowly reaching the end of her time here on Earth, so now whenever something out of the ordinary happens to her, I find myself expecting the worst so that I can mentally and emotionally start preparing myself for what’s to come.
Now, I understand all of this sounds really depressing (it got me a little teary-eyed just thinking about it), so I apologize if I just dampened your day (heh, my b). But there’s a perfectly good reason why I’m blogging about this, I promise! Here, let me give you a little back story for this post.
Within the 9 years that I’ve had Candy, she’s eaten grapes, foil, chicken bones, and chocolate. She’s had a yeast infection in her ear, a really bad allergic reaction to flea bites, she’s hyperventilated before, and she’s had an episode of weird behavior. I also spent 2 hours looking for my lost dog one Thanksgiving Day (you can ask me about that if you’d like). Now if you’re not a dog owner, you’re probably thinking “Okay…what’s the big deal?”, but if you ARE a dog owner, you’re probably thinking “Oh my goodness, your dog should be dead, and you’re an awful person.” Yeah, you’re right, she should probably be dead or have been hospitalized or something because dogs aren’t allowed to eat grapes, chicken bones, or chocolate, and I’m pretty sure they’re not allowed to eat tin foil either.
My dog is a very curious creature, always sniffing, always wandering around, always eating things she’s not supposed to eat. Thankfully, I always catch her in time to prevent her from indulging on more of these poisonous snacks, and thankfully she threw up all of those chicken bones. Of course, after I’ve realized she’s eaten something that’s harmful to her, I literally freak the living crap out of everything, but she’s fine and has always been fine afterwards. These little incidences happened in our early years together, and well, now I just keep all of those things and more away from her. Also, just because I feel like this post makes me look really bad…I’M A GOOD OWNER, I PROMISE. I love her very, very much.
Anywho, so this episode of weird behavior. She was closing her eyes while she was sitting straight up as if she was about to fall over, she ignored the pieces of apple that we were giving her (she loves apples), and she didn’t come to me when I sat a few feet away from her. I was, of course, freaking the crap out because everything she was doing was so out of the ordinary. My mom and I went and bought some soft dog food because we thought it’d be easier to eat and digest later, and when we gave it to her, she scarfed it down and felt better immediately afterwards. We just figured maybe she was weak from a lack of energy…who knows.
In all of these different little freak out moments though, I expected the worst. I feared that whatever she had consumed or whatever was happening to her body would be the end of her furry little life. Sure, I could be optimistic about the situation, which I was, but I couldn’t help but prepare myself for the worst possible outcome there could be just in case it actually did happen. Thankfully, she’s been perfectly fine after each of these incidences, but as we’re both getting older, I’m growing more weary of that dreadful day where her tiny little heart decides to just stop beating.
A few days ago, I noticed that Candy was scratching her ear a lot, and she seemed extremely uncomfortable. I flipped open her ear to take a look at it, and I saw some brown gunk deep in her ear canal. I also noticed some weird brown splotches of skin while I was petting her one day too. After I checked her ear, I figured that I should just do a body check, so I took a look at her teeth which turned out to be a little discolored which is not healthy. Naturally, I started freaking out because well…she’s getting older, and now that I’m older, I’m thinking more and more about that dreadful, ominous day.
In my eagerness to try to fix my little bugger, I used a Q-tip to try to get some of the gunk out of her ear, and I brushed her teeth with toothpaste in attempt to clean her teeth. After I had used the Q-tip and the toothpaste, I had a bad feeling that what I had just done was probably not the best idea, and Google later confirmed shortly after that using both of those items can be harmful to a dog. Then I thought, “Great. I am literally the best dog owner ever. Someone give me an award”. Now, in hindsight, I should’ve googled all of that before I did anything, but I didn’t which was totally my fault. Before that though, I googled everything that was wrong with my dog (such a bad idea) which only freaked me out even more because Google gave me gum disease, skin disease, and everything in between. I then turned to my dad and told him in my frantic and worried state, “I think Candy needs to go to the vet”.
I made the appointment, and we went to the vet today. People say dogs hate going to the vet, but let me tell you, I hate going to the vet. It is seriously the worst feeling waiting for the doctor to come in or to return from checking on something or even while they’re telling you what’s going on with your pet. It is literally the worst feeling ever. I was expecting the worst. I was expecting the vet to say something totally crazy that would potentially end my dog’s life. I was terrified. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want her to go away anytime soon. Not. At. All. I’m just at the point in our relationship where I’m preparing myself for the day of her inevitable death. I’m simply just expecting the worst.
Also, if you’re ever there with me when that day comes…I’m terribly sorry and am apologizing in advance because no matter how much I prepare myself now, I’m still going to be an emotional hot mess. Just sayin’.