Friday, August 19, 2011

My Little Girl Friend

Yesterday I got an email from Chicken Mama and oddly the talk about her "this" and my "that" were relatively close to heart.  She was working on something bittersweet and I was trying to catalog sad news.

I wasn't going to post this, but she told me I should and that it wouldn't be perceived all downer like.  So here goes...

Wednesday night, the FedEx man came to the door.  Like any other knock on the door, my little dogs go nuts.  I generally have to squeeze myself thru a space a mouse could use and step out.  That done, I hear all the usual ruckus going on behind the door.  You know, one dog trying to eat the other.

Step back inside and suddenly, Ami - my less than 3lbs and nearly 14 year old Yorkie, is limping.  She's been known to do this three-legged hop thing for many years.  So I wasn't too concerned at first.  But then I noticed that she wasn't snapping out of it like usual.  Her foot wouldn't go to the ground and it was actually crossing behind the other hind leg.

After watching her closely, I realized this was not her usual antics at all.  She got a little mopey and wouldn't let me investigate.  Ok, maybe she would sleep it off?

Thursday morning after a fitful night of sleep worrying that every move she or I made would aggravate her leg, we got up and still...the leg was the same.

I was able to get her to the Vet in the afternoon.  Naturally, Ami tried to bite the Vet.  Ok...that's normal and a good sign in my book.  That means there is feeling in the leg and she is trying to get this mean lady to knock it off!  Besides, she doesn't have lowers in the front, just uppers.  So it only counts as half a bite.  Right?

So the Vet took x-rays.  I was prepared to hear she had a sprain or ya know, something simple.  It's never good when the Vet says, "This isn't good."
Little Ami dislocated her hip.  The first thing I thought of was how every time you hear of a human breaking a hip, it almost always leads to the end.  And folks, if you've never seen a pint size x-ray with a bone some place it shouldn't be, and ya never had kids and your pets are your kids or ya have kids and your kids are your pets and your pets are still your kids, then ya know how heart breaking it is.

The options are:

 1)  Put her under and have them relocate (I suppose that's what its called) her hip and then sling the leg for several weeks.  There is no promise that it wont happen again.  To the tune of about $500.

2)  Medicate her with anti-inflammatory and pain killers and pray that she adjusts on three legs and can live out her remaining time peacefully.

3)  Put her down.   

As you probably can imagine, I am not ready for what's behind door number 3.  And neither is Ami.  She has been one tough little codger for some time now.  Last year, when she went thru her neurotic pacing and I thought I was going to lose her, it came down to the equivalent of Doggie Alzheimers.  Did you know there's a pill for that?  She's tough, she pulled thru!  And why wouldn't she?  She simply has to prove to me what I always knew when she was little and constantly up to no good ~ I used to tell her she would live to be 15 just to piss me off!  Yes, I regularly talk to my doggies.

Any time I have an animal issue, I always call my SIL Laura who has been a Vet Tech for over 20 years.  How she managed to decipher what I was telling her over the phone thru all the tears and blabble is beyond me.  She is obviously used to the heartache pet owners display when faced with difficult decisions.  And trust me, I have cried my eyes out all dang day/night.

I asked Laura what she would do if it were her dog.  We decided to try Option 2 and medicate her along with a healthy dose of Ice Cream on a regular basis.  According to Jane, this helps all dogs.
And I figure she deserves it.  She's been a really good friend.  Ami (pronounced Amy) is short for Amiga.  Which in Spanish is "girlfriend".   I will do whatever for my little girlfriend.  And I promise, I'll know "when".

In the meantime, I hope she pulls her stubborn little butt thru. 
Maybe with the Ice Cream and a little help from Pig Pen.  I'll take one of these in a Pint Size version, please.


  1. Oh---such a sweet little dog. I know it must be a painful thing for you to go through--what a doll she is. But PROMISE----if it's TIME, please do it. I've gone through that hell, and I didn't do it when it was time. NOBODY benefits from that.
    A great big hug for you!
    Now go give your friend some ice cream!

  2. oh,APG,I fell real bad for you ,my sister [the only one of us 8 girls who couldn't have kids ] had her children and very young in life I learned that people's pets were as important to some as there own children. take care of that baby!

  3. Getting old is hell, whether you have 4 legs or two. And modern vet medicine has come a long way to keep elderly dogs comfortable. But never underestimate what good old love can do. (and some honey nut cheerios on ice cream ;)

  4. Hopefully Ami will do well. Just give her lots of love and I'm sure that the ice cream will help too!

  5. Sue, I promise I will. As hard as it will be. When my other Yorkie's time came, I did. And my SIL was right, you really do just "know". I am hoping that she will just go peacefully, but she's pretty ornery.

    Judy, yes it doesn't take much for them to wiggle their way in to our hearts. Especially when they have wet kisses.

    Jane, I thought of you last night and wondered if your homemade cheerios would pass the doggie treat test. But then I remembered what a debacle you had with them and had to laugh! I never thought of putting them on ice cream tho! :o)

  6. Robin, she is already doing much better this morning and I can see an improvement in her willingness to leap around on three. So that's good!

  7. Oh Apple Pie Gal, I am so sorry to hear about your baby! Having an injured pet-child is never an easy thing to go through. I hope she is able to adjust well enough to have a decent rest of her time with you. Now, I think I am going to go have some ice cream for breakfast in honor of Ami! You and your babies are in our thoughts! If you end up needing a little doggie cart, there is a guy in Cleveland that makes teeny ones for weeny dogs, just so ya know!

  8. So sorry to hear about Ami. I agree with your decision, I worked in a vet hospital too for many years and I have seen many people choose that first option which really just leaves you right back at option 2 or 3 anyways only with a lot less money to medicate with. These things rarely "fix well", especially with tiny, older dogs. I hope she improves so that she can live the rest of her life in relative comfort!

  9. Well, none of those options were good, that's for sure. But I think you chose the very best one. I am so loathe to choose surgery, especially when they are "up there". And I completely, totally, unequivacably understand how you feel because I don't have kids, and my pets is my kids, and if I had kids, they'd be as loved as my kids. Extremely large hug sent to you and your little Amiga.

  10. Tiny, I think I stumbled across that site actually! I will tell Adam, he is such a dynamo with building things and it would be a totally pimped out ride for her :) Enjoy your breakfast ice cream!

    Erin, yes! I forgot that you used to do that too! That makes me feel so much better that you concur. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    Susan, they you certainly know the feeling those 'kids' give us too. Thank you too for the encouragement! From one mom to another!

  11. I'm trying not to cry again after having read this post an hour or so. (Losing our Zoey last May is still very fresh for us.)

    I think choosing Door #2 was the best decision also. You know your little girl better than anyone else so you will definitely know when the right time comes to do something else.

    Dogs may not be human kids but are just as precious to us in so many ways. How can they be more a part of our families?? We pour so much love into them . . . even though I'm sure they sometimes know we're the crazy ones.

    Remember that dogs are so much better about being in the here and now than we are. They don't think about dying or even wonder why they're not feeling top notch. They just make the very best they can of each day they have.

  12. See, I told you you'd receive support and 'confirmation of decisions made' by writing about it. :) I, too, would choose Door #2. Just make the most sense. And cents. Su pequeña amiga es adorable!

  13. MamaPea, I saw a card not long ago and almost got it for you, but the doggie on the front looked a little too much like Zoey. It really does take a while, just like any loss. And you are so right, they really do live in the here and now. And I love that their "nows" are so happy. I'm sorry for making you sad ma'am. xoxo

    Chicken Mama, been a long time since my spanish skills have been tested. Luckily I can read and understand it much better than I can speak it! So...muchos grassyass.

  14. Oh, I hope she pulls through!! I have to tell you - I was laughing hysterically when you described how you have to squeeze through the door for the delivery guys...I have to do the same thing with a 60- & 80-lb dog trying to get out! For all their pampering, dogs really are quite resilient. I hope everything goes well!

  15. She's a tough little cookie! You're doing the right thing APG. I hope you sleep a little better knowing that and if you don't there's always the IC at 2am (for both of you).

    I give an IC "snackie" twice a day. Ginny is on antihistamines and fish oil pills. IC makes everything go down easier. The other 2 dogs get theirs too.

  16. Go, little Ami, go girl! She has that look of determination on her face, I think she'll conquer it. But if she can't, if she has to let go and that time comes that none of us wants to come, she'll know you gave her your all. Love makes everything better, and she definitely has a lot of that. I think you made the right choice.

  17. I'll get the bullets and shovel ready. You put mom in loony bin and me and Donnie will visit her

  18. APG, I think door #2 is the best. At least give her the chance. I have a story for you:
    Once upon a time, I watched the neighbor's little elderly dog. All I had to do was let her out of the house to go potty, and feed her. (We live in country, no fence) I let her out to go potty, and she ran away. She turned around and looked at me, I called to her, and she ran. And ran. Called her Mommy's cell phone, they had no cell reception where they were. Didn't have anybody else to call. Waited, called, went out many times each day, nothing. They came home, her Mommy cried, and started looking. Fast forward..... little dog had been hit by car, and her hip was broken. Vet said; 1-surgery, $5000, and no guarantee it would last, 2-do nothing, 3-put her down. They chose #2. Fast forward (again)....... elderly dog is fine, running all over, you can't tell anything happened.
    Moral of the story??? Put a leash on the stinkin' dog!!!
    Other moral of the story??? Pick door number 2. They're stronger than we think. The End.
    PS, good luck. Give yourself permission to treat her like your little baby. Be nice to yourself.

  19. My heart hurts for you. My dogs are definitely my furry babies so I can imagine how difficult these choices must be. I never had any pets growing up, Kahlua and Oreo are my first pets. Sometimes when I talk to them I remind them that they are going to live forever even though I know Shih-Tzus are stubborn so they probably won't listen.

  20. BrokenRoad, hehee! Glad to hear someone else has to contort to get thru the pound also! Thanks!

    Tami, I never thought of hiding the meds in ice cream! Good thinking! Cheese sometimes gets old :}

    Granny, thanks for the three cheers! And for the positive reinforcements!

    Lori, holy moly! I can only imagine the panic you must have felt! At least there was a good moral to the story along with a little chuckle!

    Diane! You got a profile! YEAH!!! Lookin' good girl! Yes, fur babies are stubborn little buggers but they do make us happy!

    And then there's TIM! aka Little Brother...

    So I don't often let a swear word fly on the ole blog, but I will make an exception.

    JackAss! :oD

    Do not take that as encouragement either! You don't fool me, ya big ofe! And just for that little comment, "I'm tellin' Ma on you!" Better cover your face!!!

  21. I have 3 Yorkies and I would opt for #2. How is she doing?

  22. Preppy, I love your puppies! They really belong on magazine covers. Especially with such catchy names :o)

    So glad to hear that you would choose the same. Seeing as how you know the breed well makes me feel better. She is doing better I think. She has sorta gone up and down but more "up". She is eating good (this morning was a real battle tho) and she seems to be getting around better. She tries her best to shadow me and I let her. I think that is the best at least. I draw the line when she wants to leap at anything. I say "at" anything because when she wants your attention she leaps into you with her front paws. I call it the bulldozer :o)