Monday, April 9, 2012

My Little Fighter

Scott and I drove to LR Friday to spend Easter with my family. Holly was her typical self on the car ride. She even begged for Scotts beef jerky snack and wanted the entire bag for herself! That made me excited since it's been so hard to satisfy her with food these last 2 weeks.
Saturday I woke up to a completely different dog. She was absolutely pitiful and we all thought that she was dying. Around 3:00 we truly thought it was happening. Mom, Dad, Scott, and I gathered around her. I held her, we cried, I told her it was okay to let go, then Dad grabbed his camera and asked me if it was okay if he take a few photos. I thought about it for a while and my initial thought was to resist but I then said okay. I didn't want anything taken at that moment but felt I may want it one day.
In typical Holly style, after I'd made a mess of myself, she said 'umm...I think I'll hang around a bit longer' then decided to get up and sniff the grass. It's one thing for my Mom and I to assume the worst but even Scott and Dad thought that was it. Even though she got a little pep in her step, I still didn't feel out of the danger zone.
Sunday was basically the same. She was pitiful--just not her normal self and was now going on two days of no food and about 2 weeks of hardly any food. Scott got online and researched for about 2 hours. One thing he'd found was maybe her problem was her teeth. He said "I mean, I know she's 15 but what if this is something else? I think we need to take her to the doctor tomorrow just to see and not continue to think she's old and it's just her time." It gave me some hope--not much--but Mom and I decided we'd call her LR doctor just to see.
So this morning Mom called Dr. Bob's office--crying. They were sweet enough to squeeze us in at 9:30. Everyone loves Holly there too! We got there and Dr. Bob gave Holly a quick review and immediately knew what was wrong. Her teeth!!!
I don't know if you'd noticed from my tweets but I've been complaining about Holly's breath for so long now. It's horrible. She has plaque on her teeth and I know it's infecting her gums and causing periodontal disease. You're supposed to clean your dogs teeth once a year and we haven't done it since Holly was 12 because it's too high risk to put her under anesthesia because of her age.
Dr. Bob told us she absolutely needed her teeth cleaned. Her bad teeth and gums were affecting her kidneys and Holly already has bad kidneys. He said it was extremely high risk and if I were his wife he would tell me I might very likely lose my dog. But he thought we should give it a try. Dr. Bob said doing it could give her more time. If we chose not to do it we would lose her very soon. However, we could loose her during the process if we try. Obviously it was a big decision.
He left Mom and I to discuss what to do and we both decided the right thing to do was to give it a chance. Once we informed them of our decision they got started right away. We left Holly in their hands. With everything going against us. Not knowing if she would wake up from the anesthesia and taking the chance of never being able to see our little doodlebug ever again.
Leave it up to my little fighter to defy the odds of veterinary medicine.
Or should I praise Dr. Bob, the miracle doctor? I think a combo of both.
Holly made it. My 15.5 year old made it!
If Scott and I hadn't come down to Little Rock I think we'd all be saying goodbye to Holly this week. While I always compliment Holly's NWA doctor, and I do think she's great, she couldn't have helped Holly. What I love about Little Rock vets is that they specialize in medicine for dogs just like doctors do for humans. Dr. Bob is so big on dental health. He has dental technicians and has invested in the very best equipment there is to be able to clean teeth on even the most risky patients. Putting a 15 year old dog under and having them come through is an absolute miracle.
I trust Dr. Bob so much. I truly believe he's the reason Holly is still here. Holly has had little struggles here and there that anyone could fix. But Dr. Bob has fixed the major, big time issues we've had with Holly and I don't believe most doctors could do that. I appreciate that he takes risks. I kept telling him he's a miracle doctor!! He's my favorite person in the whole wide world today! Everyone at Briarwood Animal Clinic is. I can't even tell you how sweet they all are. It's almost like a family. It's like they love us, they love Holly, and they'll do everything they can to keep her around, comfortable, and happy as can be.
But I can't give all of the bragging rights to him. He gets 10%. The other 90% goes to my little fighter. My amazing little fighter. Holly is so strong and I am so proud of her. I didn't know when I was giving her away this morning if I would get to see her again. I gave her so many kisses and loved on her and she looked me in the eyes and I said "you can do this. You can do this Holly." And she did. She did it.
We've still got a road ahead of us and I'll write about that tomorrow. But for now all I can say is--my little girl is amazing. She is absolutely amazing. I was so nervous about doing this today but deep down inside I had peace. I know Holly. I know she's strong. I know she's a fighter. I know she loves life and loves her family. I didn't even cry giving her away today. I knew she would do it. And she did. She did it. My little fighter came through.

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