Saturday, June 5, 2010

Up with my sick kiddo

Yes, I'm up with a sick kid. No, Chase is happily slumbering, and no, Megan did not come to visit and then contract H1N1. It's my furry kid, Rusty.

We adopted our middle child on December 20, 1996. He was about a year old then (the pound estimate). Nobody really knows his lineage, but he is clearly part Corgi, and a vet once told me he thought part Dachshund. Whatever he is, he has been a part of our family for almost 14 years now. He has always been "my" dog and has protected me, often when I didn't actually need protecting...He LOVES to go on walks. Even now, when he can't really keep up and the walks have gotten shorter, he gets very excited when he sees me put on my shoes. He can't make it too far, but always looks disappointed when we get home. I always let him off the leash when we get to the driveway and he runs happily into the house to "do the loop." Last week, I let him off the leash, and he took off running down the street. Thankfully, he's getting slower, so I finally caught up with him, but it was a funny decision on his part for a little freedom!

He has been sick only a handful of times during his life, and I only took him to the vet once to get medicine - he has always been a very healthy and happy dog.

In the past five years, he has gotten a little grouchy...

He started biting children - not my favorite of his character traits. Thankfully that behavior started AFTER he had most of his teeth extracted, so no real damage was ever done.

Now he bites most people if they try and pick him up, but otherwise, he's mellowed with age.

He's deaf, and I think he's going blind as well.

Over the past two years, he has developed a weird habit - he licks the floor. I don't mean just the kitchen where, he might actually find a crumb or two; he licks all floors. Carpet is his favorite. The sound of him licking the carpet nearly drives me insane, but I have gotten good at sleeping with a pillow over my head.

So, tonight I woke up from my nightly night-terror around 11:30pm, and then heard Rusty gagging loudly. It's now 1:30am and he is showing signs of calming down. For the past two hours, he has been frantically wandering around, panting, licking everything, and when he has his head up, he is licking the air and his muzzle. He stops only to gulp water, then gag some more. I have been sitting near him, petting him and trying to get him to calm down.

As I type, he is finally settled down and has snuggled into his bed and appears to be asleep.

My fear is that he is really sick and that he may be dying. My biggest fear is that when I take him to the vet in the morning, he won't come home with me. Rusty has been a part of our family longer than some family members have!! I won't know what to do if I have to have him put to sleep.

So, I am blogging, while listening to my old friend's labored breathing and hoping he'll get some rest tonight. I don't think I will.


KristenWiley said...

I hope Rusty is okay. We are huge animal lovers over here and they really do become a part of your family. We have a german shepard now who is a big baby... When I lost my springer spaniel Simon 2 years ago I was a wreck. They really do have a special place in your heart. And are loyal to the end. Praying everything is better! :)

Vegetable House said...

Aww. I'm sorry Rusty is feeling so miserable.

Kristine said...

I hope Rusty is okay, I can only imagine what you're thinking. My dogs mean the world to me.