Today is a difficult day for us. We are in limbo, waiting, to hear the outcome of two things that mean a lot to us.
This picture of Lulu was taken seven weeks ago, in the bluebell woods near our UK home. At the time we had noticed that she was often a little less perky than usual, sleeping more during the day, but she enjoyed her walks and her food.
Just before we came back to the UK on 14th June we realised that she was becoming much more subdued, spending most of the day sleeping and often being reluctant to get off her bed and go out for a walk. This we put down to possibly her age and also the weather. We have had awful weather in our part of France and Lulu has often been known to refuse to go out or get out of the car in the rain. She hates getting her feet wet. We hate her getting muddy so it was a fair arrangement.
On arriving home we decided that there was something very wrong. She was eating hardly anything and keeping very little of it down, meaning she was losing weight rapidly. She was also in pain, shrieking horribly when she first got up off her bed, then being rooted to the spot, looking terrified and trembling violently. A visit to the vet resulted in a diagnosis of infected anal glands. These were dealt with by the vet and she came home with antibiotic tablets. She got rapidly worse, eating nothing and vomiting for no reason. She became very thin very quickly and the pain episodes increased.
And yet, often by the afternoon she would be almost normal, trotting along in her walks and doing all the things she likes to do. We took her back to the vet who agreed to do a blood test and, luckily, she exhibited her most dramatic symptoms in the surgery, shrieking and shaking and looking terrified. Otherwise we had the distinct impression the vet thought we were making it up. Although you couldn’t make up the obvious loss of weight, she was so skinny it was heartbreaking.
Yesterday the result of the blood test was made known and her kidneys are failing. The vet told us of the possible outcome, that nothing could be done to repair her kidneys, but, depending on what they found after doing an ultrasound scan, they might be able to make her feel less ill and more like herself by “flushing them out”. Then there would be long term medication, a special diet and regular blood tests resulting in the “flushing” treatment when she became ill.
We’re not sure we want that for Lulu, or for ourselves.
She has spent the night last night “in hospital” at the vet’s, on a drip which would flush the kidneys. It’s the first time ever that she has spent a night on her own, not with us or friends who love her. This morning she is having her scan and after that we will decide what to do.
We went to vote in the referendum early, so that we could be back and be sure to be in if the vet phoned. There were plenty of voters around, all gleefully accepting the free pens being handed out by the older woman (probably my age) wearing the red “vote leave” t-shirt. We declined. Where were all the “vote remain” supporters and who is financing all these t-shirts, posters and pens? Living in what is usually described as a “staunch labour area” it makes no sense that so many people seem to want to leave when the labour party advise against it. I can’t help wondering what the hell we are playing at – this is the stupidest game I have ever known.
So we wait, on two counts. One has me in tears every five minutes and one has me in numb disbelief. You can guess which one is which.
Lulu is a lovely dog, beautiful, well behaved and utterly delightful. We are so glad to have had her for nearly eight years and it seems so unfair that we might lose her in her prime. We really would love to keep her for another two, three or even four years. But we are not about to embark upon an uncertain future which requires frequent visits to the vet for blood tests and treatments that can’t guarantee that she will feel well and not be in pain.
I sincerely hope that we will not wake up in the morning to find our world has been turned upside down on two counts. This has been a difficult post to write, we are in pieces, just waiting.