In dog years, Grendel and I are about the same age. She’s eight. I brought her home shortly after my third child left on a two-year mission to Argentina in an effort to stem the depression caused by my children growing up and moving away. Before Grendel and I had met, I spent some time researching dogs and had decided I wanted a Welsh Terrier. The closest one I could find was in Las Vegas.
I contacted the breeder and arranged to meet her. She refused to let me come to her home and agreed to meet me in the parking lot of a casino. She had four puppies, but they were all lethargic and seemed unwell. I didn’t buy one, but I regretted it by the time I returned home. I called my son who was traveling through Las Vegas on his way home from college. He agreed to meet the breeder and pick up a dog for me.
Hours later, he returned home without a puppy. I was livid. “Mom, those puppies were sick,” he said. I told him I didn’t care. I couldn’t save all of them, but I could save one. “No. You would cry, the girls (his baby sisters) would cry. I couldn’t do it.”
The next day, my son found an advertisement for a Schnauzer puppy. She was just a few minutes from my house. When we got there, we found the Mormon missionaries visiting the home. Because I’m Mormon, I took it as an omen. I met Grendel and fell completely in love.
We’ve lived in happiness for many years. We wanted to breed her, but she never went into heat. On Tuesday, I took her to the groomer but they sent her home saying she was in heat! It seemed overdue, but whatever. On Friday, she vomited twice. I thought that maybe one of my visiting grandchildren had given her something that upset her belly. On Saturday morning, we found her with blood all down her hind legs. Knowing this couldn’t be normal, we took her to the vet.
Grendel had an emergency surgery on Saturday. She stayed at the hospital until Monday morning, but she wasn’t getting rallying. Every time we visited, she wouldn’t even lift her head, although she would cry when we’d leave. We brought her home, expecting her to die. I think if we’d left her at the hospital, she would have. She probably thought we’d abandoned her to a place where she was left in a cage and tortured.
My husband took Monday off of work to help nurse her. We placed her bed by the dining room door so she had access to outside, although that first day she didn’t move very much. By the third day, I came home from my morning run to find she’d made it halfway up the stairs. That must have exhausted her because it took her a few more hours to finish the climb to my room. I had to carry her back down when it was time for her medicine.
It was a milestone when she left her bed to join us in the family room. Another cause for celebration when she ate a piece of bread. More cheering when she ate her dog food.
It’s been a week and she’s not a 100%, but she’s sooo much better! I really think she’s turned a corner and hopefully will be with us for a long time. I’m not sure if she’ll ever be the bouncy, rambunctious creature she was before, but that’s part of aging…for all of us.