My Charlie dog. He's my sweet devoted angel and my chicken chasin' devil. But that dog has my heart and I clearly have his. So this week as he fell ill I was devastated. I wrestled with the fear of losing him and the unwillingness to say good-bye.
I waited with him at the vet. He painfully rested. I held back tears. After an hour the doctor was able to see us. No diagnosis given but suspected trauma to his abdomen. They wanted to keep him overnight, do some imaging, give him antibiotics and pain medicine.
Leaving him there hurt. The last time I took a dog to the vet and left without her was permanent. It was a gut wrenching pain and the memory of it came back to me as I carried Charlie's blue leash out to my Jeep.
He stayed the night. He stayed the next day. I went to check on him in the afternoon. They were ready to release him when we noticed that his injury area was leaking blood and pus. The doctor immediately sedated him and opened up the area to drain it. He invited me to come see.
I will never forget the sight of my Charlie, laying limp on the table, a tube in his throat, an incision in his abdomen. I don't regret seeing it but it wasn't the easiest thing that I've ever had to hold composure through.
Sparing every detail, we may never know the cause of Charlie's infection. At this point we don't think he got in a scuffle with our Lab. The doctor entertained the idea of a Foxtail grass seed embedding itself and then working it's way up his shaft. The result was a massive pus and blood filled boil. Gross, I know.
While sedated, Charlie also had an incisor removed. It had broken and was openly exposing him to bacteria and was probably causing pain that we were unaware of. Separate issue but easier to address while he was already sedated.
At this point, my Charlie is home. He has what I only know to call a stint in his incision area to hold it open and allow it to drain. It's disgusting and gaping and scary. We have care instructions for the next three days and an appointment on Saturday to check on his stint(?).
I know that an ill/injured dog is not the biggest care in this world. I know that my troubles could be so much larger. But that doesn't erase the fact that I LOVE THIS DOG.
I love his deep brown eyes and his soft black ears and the way his tail wags in circles like a whirligig when he's happy to see me.
And how his body dances when he can't contain his love.
And how he'll stare into the wind like a wise sea captain.
And how I'll catch him staring at me with so much devotion that I'm sure his heart will burst.
I love him. And that is all.