Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bailey The Dog Is Very Sick; I'm A Worried Parent

I've never had kids, but now I have a taste of the anguish parents feel when their kids get really sick.

Bailey, the sweet boy we adopted a year ago is very sick, and he seems to be getting worse. He stopped eating Saturday and it's been downhill from there.
Bailey just last week, when he was
still feeling good

The veterinarian thinks it's a really bad case of pancreatitis. Bailey is 13 years old, so this is not a good thing for a dog his age.

But, Bailey's a tough old guy, so we'll see what happens.

The vet's office spent the day yesterday controlling Bailey's fever, filling him up with fluids, flooding his system with antibiotics and giving him pain medication.

He actually seemed to rally a bit by evening. They had me take him home, because he'd be more comfortable in his own digs, ,and I'd bring him back to the veterinarian's office this morning for more treatment.

Bailey seemed OK for awhile last evening, but he spent most of the night crying in pain and fear. You feel so helpless, obviously. I wanted to fix it, but all I could do is gently rub is neck and back and tell him I was there.

Bailey always feels better when there's somebody nearby, so I think a lot of his yelping was his need for reassurance that I had his back. I was happy to oblige.

If I get so wrapped up in worrying about Bailey, I can't imagine what a parent who has a child with, say, cancer goes through.

My husband Jeff is out of town, working. He obviously wishes intensely he could be here. But he's been incredibly helpful via phone, via email. Jeff knows I'm upset about this, and he says and does exactly the right thing to make me feel better, and keeps bolstering my strength and optimism.

It's amazing how much love you can feel over a distance of 1,000 miles.

Barb, the woman who takes care our boys for us during the day while we are at work, has been incredibly helpful too. Her expertise and compassion is just incredible. So, with people like that around, this little crisis is certainly bearable.

And of course, I feel guilty because I'm screwing over other people, especially people I work, because I'm not where I'm supposed to be, doing what I'm supposed to do. Somebody has to pick up the slack. My slack.
Bailey loves to stand outside and let the wind
blow through his fur.  

People have been patient with me, but still.

A certain other dog is being a very good boy, too. Jackson, our two year old cocker spaniel with the wild personality,  has been providing me with happy companionship and has been contributing lots of comic relief.

Last night, Jackson sensed I was a little upset when I tried to sleep for a little while. He cuddled up against me and licked my hand. Has Jackson been taking compassion lessons from Jeff and Barb?

I know all this sounds like a self pity party, and it is. This is a routine problem, a part of life for so many people. And it's trivial, given the unfortunate and sad, intense pain and suffering in the world. This little problem with Bailey throws into stark relief the good fortune I have.

I have the ability to keep Bailey as comfortable as possible in a warm, safe house. Incredible people are surrounding me and helping. We have the financial wherewithal, sort of anyway, to give Bailey some good medical care. No humans around me that I love are hungry, homeless, sick or suffering.

Which is a reminder that I'm better off than most people in this world.

I don't know if Bailey will pull through, or pass on. He did seem to rally just a bit as I coaxed him into the truck to return to the veterinarian's office this morning. The veterinarian just called me to report Bailey is hanging in there.

Bailey has lived us with a year since we adopted him.  Even if we lose him, he's given us a year of dog wisdom, joy, companionship, dog kisses, loyalty and love through his calm, steady and zen-like demeanor.

Which is another reason among many why I feel lucky and blessed.


  1. Matt
    So sorry to read your Bailey is not doing well.

    Same at my house, my old yellow lab Jay (probably 13 years old) that I rescued 5 years ago is in his final weeks.

    Hubby is away in LA for work, so as you mentioned it is hard and upsetting.

    Sending you lots of love and healing thoughts for your pup and your family


  2. Having a sick pet is just like having a sick child. You take them in and treat them like family, because they ARE family. Thinking of you and Jeff while Bailey is sick, Matt.