Friday, September 2, 2011

Caring for Zero

I have been up half the night with a sick dog. I think I've slept all of 1 1/2 hours before being woken up by Zero. She has that nasty hookah of a cough again.  She previously had caught kennel cough from some place (I think the ragg-a-muffin mut at dog school) and had to be rushed to the vet in the early AM on a Saturday morning in January or February, just to be loaded up with meds for a few weeks. Well it's that nasty cough that seems to be back on a smaller level. As I type this I am waiting for the Vet to get into their office at 8 AM. Not only does she have this cough but once she finally gets comfy enough to lay down and fall asleep she starts shaking like she is going into a seizure. This is not a fun night and not exactly how I expected my Friday morning to go, but it is what it is. I would stay up for days straight if it meant having to stay near my animals while they are sick. Matter of fact I don't think I slept a single night from the day Charity got hurt until six weeks after I had put her to sleep.

The look on poor Zero's face is just breaking my heart right now. She is laying behind me and every time I turn around to look at her I get that sad "help me Momma" face looking at me. She is so tired she is laying with her head stretched out into the air and you can see her eyes fighting to close. Then finally she lays her head down and falls asleep just to be followed by the shaking. It is such a struggle for her to get comfy right now and how this kills me to watch her like this.

 I am that type that puts coats on my dogs in the cold months and cover them up with blankets when they are in the house sleeping and it's cold outside. My rule of thumb has always been if it's cool enough for you to wear a sweatshirt or jacket outside then the horses and dogs should have on a "coat" of sorts too, actually I was told this by a vet. Well there is Zero on the bed with my pink throw on her.

Isn't it amazing how we will sit up all night and be worried if we have a sick pet? Just as if we would with a child if they were sick. I've pulled one too many to count all nighters when I had a sick dog or horse and if I did sleep, well then it was very little. When pets get sick they are so helpless. Helpless because unlike a child they can't tell you what hurts or what they feel, you need to learn to read their body language. I can tell how Zero is feeling just by how she is acting that day. She gets her bumped out days just like we do.  She may be just a dog, but she is my dog and I treat my dogs like they are my kids. I would go to all lengths for my animals if it meant keeping them from harm and saving them. By saving them I mean within reason, within the bounds of will their quality of life be there once they are better. I faced this choice with Charity, the choice of being selfish and putting that horse through a major surgery and have her alive and well with me for who knows how much longer, letting her live her life on pain meds and antibiotics or to let her go and give her back her freedom free of pain. My choice was to let her go, I gave back to her what she gave to me for almost 20 years... I gave her back her life of no pain.  The choices we make for the sake of our pets can sometimes be as heartbreaking and hurtful as they are helpful and happy. We are our pets voices, no one else can speak for them.

It is rather ironic I am doing this post following the one about being a responsible dog owner, because here I find myself in yet that position of being the best responsible dog owner I can be. By sitting up with my dog half the night while she was coughing her poor little lungs out and then covering her up with a blanket when she was shaking.  The second she gets up and hops off the bed or even makes a move that concerns me I rush right to her and pet her and talk to her. This is my life of being a dog owner, being responsible and caring enough to want my Zero to be of the best health.  I just can't quit thinking of we've been down this road and if this is kennel cough yet again I am going to shoot through the roof.  We are in this complex and there are so many dogs here coupled with my Mom feels the need to let all the dogs, not just Zero but Dylan and Lucy too, socialize with the other dogs in the complex contrary to my screaming don't let Zero near those other dogs she's been sick once already.

Out of all the dogs I've had throughout my life Zero is by far the one I am most attached to. She is that dog that people wish for, that once in a lifetime animal to share so much happiness with. She just shows nothing but unconditional love for me. She is such a happy dog and even sings me songs when I come home and brings me a baby to show me "look what I have". That little stump of a tail wagging so fast her whole ass shakes and she can barely keep her feet on the ground.  That is how my Zero is when I come home, even if it's just a trip around the corner for five minutes she is still happy to see me no matter what. When I don't feel good she wants to cuddle behind my legs with me, when she gets cold she pulls the blankets into a nest with her teeth and gets into them to be close. Yes, my Zero sleeps in bed with me.. mostly she has her own pillow. I have always said that if my boyfriend or any boyfriend for that matter loved me even half as much as Zero did I would be the happiest girl around. So for right now I rush to finish this post so I can call the vet and hopefully get in to see Dr Sue in an hour or so... for not until I know what is wrong with my Zero I will not be able to rest.

God gave us the luxury of having animals as pets it's our responsibility to take care of them in their time of need. 


  1. Aw, I hope Zero gets well soon.

  2. Poor baby!!! Hope Zero is 100% better ASAP!! {{HUG}}

  3. Kathy, please text me and let me know how Zero is doing.....HUGS to you both!!



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