Saturday, October 13, 2007

Canine Communication

Early this morning, our 9 yr. old poodle Maggie sat in the doorway to our bedroom with a look that said, "Do something." She had been restless all night and not feeling well in the evening. We took her to the vet because her behavior seemed so odd.

Two hours later, Maggie had emergency surgery for an intestinal mass. She came through the surgery (her fourth since she was 2 yrs. old) well, and might come home tomorrow or Monday. The vet invited us in to watch as he performed an ultrasound -- fascinating stuff. We were able to see her liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and intestines (sorry if this makes anyone queasy), and there it was: the dark spot causing the vet to say, "I don't like the looks of that." Our vet, by the way, was married in our home parish, with his dog as ring bearer!

After surgery, we viewed the tumor itself via camera. Things might have been worse, so we're fortunate (but $2000 poorer). I still marvel at dogs' capacity to communicate distress. Many humans communicate less effectively and less directly.

At least for tonight, Maggie seems to have gotten through another health crisis. But the house is too quiet, and this day certainly challenged our emotions.

We had to transport her to the after-hours animal hospital across town. While we waited, a man in the next room said to the technician, "I gave the dog some amoxicillin that was leftover in the fridge...and she keeps falling over..." (Are you flippin' kidding me?!)

Send up a prayer for Maggie's recovery, if you will. Thanks.



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