The Mojo is Gone
November 18th, 2013
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t been blogging lately. Last week our family has suffered a terrible tragedy. Twister, our half-beagle/half something similar, was bitten by a rattlesnake on Monday. We took him to the veterinary emergency room and was given a vial of antivenom. Typically, under these circumstances the prognosis is good and he improved Tuesday morning, but then stalled out by Tuesday night — not improving, not deteriorating dramatically, although his platelet count was slowly declining. We gave him another vial of antivenom late Tuesday night.
The vet’s main concern was actually that he wasn’t eating. So on Wednesday morning I laid in the floor with him and was able to coax him to eat about three-fourths of his breakfast, which the vet was very happy to see. His platelets were still unstable, but his coagulation, while not back in the normal range, wasn’t deteriorating.
At 5:00 on Wednesday — this would be soon after I quickly posted about Hawaii’s marriage news — I talked with the vet over the phone and her main worry still was that he wasn’t eating and that his numbers weren’t improving. Getting him to eat seemed to be the key. She agreed that it would be a good idea of we brought him home where I was sure Chris and I could get him to eat. She would give us pain meds and a list of things to watch for and if there were problems we could still take him to the emergency room again. But in the hour it took to get there — we stopped at Walgreens on the way to stock up on supplies — Twister took a sudden and dramatic turn for the worse. The vet met us and said that his heart was damaged and giving out. We asked to be with him, and she said she’d bring him to the visiting room so we could spend as much time with him as we wanted. But not even a minute later she returned to say that he was too unstable to move.
So we went back to the intensive care area and said our goodbyes. At first, I thought Twister was unconscious, but at one point he raised his head and saw us, and knew we were there, he then lowered his head and closed his eyes. We pet him and told him we loved him. It was clear that he didn’t have much time at all. We gave the signal and he was gone.
Chris and I are absolutely devastated. We had gone to the vet expecting to bring him home — I had already made arrangements to take the next day off thinking that I’d be taking care of him — but that just wasn’t in the cards. I find myself in shock over the tragedy, and surprised by how much grief we are experiencing. I know that people without children often treat their pets like substitute kids, but I always thought that we were smarter than that. I never once thought of Twister as a substitute child, nor do I want to in any way compare our grief to that of a parent’s. But somehow it happened: Twister was deeply loved and now he is gone and Chris and I are really having a very hard time right now. I have to go back to my father’s death when I was 22 to recall a grief this massive and dark.
All of this is to say that I don’t know how much blogging I’ll be doing for a while. I’ll keep the Agendas going, but beyond that I’m not sure when I’ll return. I will be back, but I just can’t say when.