Woman’s Best Friend

This is probably going to get me a lot of flak, but I’ll say it anyway. I’m not an animal person. Don’t get me wrong, I think many animals are adorable or beautiful or majestic or whatever other adjective you’d suggest. Monkeys swinging from branch to branch. Lions roaming the savannas. Blue whales, reindeer, panda bears, puppy dogs. I just want to keep my distance from most of them. Observe them from afar.

Animals are unpredictable. They have sharp teeth, strong jaws, pointy claws. They slobber, stink, shed, and eat your favorite pair of shoes. They can seem sweet and cuddly one minute and bite your finger off the next. Some are just plain creepy. Rats, I’m thinking of you here. And some are poisonous. In short, animals are wild.

I’ve never quite understood the people who bring their dogs with them everywhere, dress them in sweaters or costumes, or let them sleep in their beds. And I still don’t…not fully. Well, except for the last one. Almost three years ago, my husband and I decided to get a dog. Or to be more accurate, he requested and I relented. Enter Chloe, a black lab puppy, part play-mate for our kids, part hunting companion for my husband. And fully responsible for softening my heart towards animals.

Slowly over the last few years, I have found myself becoming more and more attached to her. A dog. Did I get hit in the head? Well, not that I know of.

The first sign that Chloe was growing on me was when I started sitting on the floor to be next to her. Then, going against my previous conviction that I would NEVER let a dog sleep on my bed, I stopped kicking her off when she jumped on in the middle of the night. Although to be fair to my former self, I go back and forth on this–sometimes making her go back on her own bed when I’m tired of having my knees curled up to my chest (or tired of all the dang dog hair on my duvet).

And the biggest sign was after she got sick recently. I took her to an emergency vet, and after testing, the vet gave a diagnosis of gastroenteritis. Chloe got sent home with anti-nausea meds and antacids, and we were told to feed her a bland diet. But over the next few days, Chloe only got worse. She was lethargic and wouldn’t eat or drink. I resorted to feeding her water and baby food through a syringe.

Seeing her so sick was heartbreaking. I hated to see her suffer, and I felt guilty that there wasn’t anything else I could do to help her. Then one morning, my husband let Chloe outside. Instead of doing her business and coming back in, she hid behind our daughters’ playhouse, dug a hole in the ground, and laid down. We knew then that she didn’t have much time left.

I broke down and cried hard (and I don’t cry very often) and I stressed over what to do (Was it pointless to take her back to the vet since they hadn’t found anything the first time? Would our pet insurance actually reimburse us for all the costs? Emergency vets aren’t cheap…)

I laid on the floor next to Chloe and wrapped an arm around her. I could feel her shaking, and I knew I had to do something. So I took her back to the vet, and from there was sent to another location for an ultrasound. Turns out she had a blockage in her intestines and needed surgery ASAP. Let me note here that this was the second time this happened. The first time, when she was around six months old, she swallowed a rock. This time, the culprit was a mashup of what the vet said looked like grass and bits of plastic (that I suspect came from some toys we gave her–and will never buy for her again).

Chloe, I am glad to say, came through the surgery with no complications and after a couple weeks of healing and forced rest is now back to her sweet, energetic self. As a bonus, filing our pet insurance claim was much easier–and approved much quicker–than we expected. And I can now officially say I am an animal person. Or, at the very least, the part of my heart responsible for the love of animals has grown from Grinch-sized to Chloe-sized.

4 thoughts on “Woman’s Best Friend

  1. Leena Heikkila

    Chloe is very special dog who can make anybody to love her. I tiered up reading your blog how she changed you to open your heart to love her and care her. I beleave animals especially dogs can steal hearts of anybody. Sweetheart, Thank you for sharing 🐕❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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