Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Never say Never

We have a dog at our house, named Molly, who has been with us for 11 years. She was at least a year or so old when we got her from the shelter, so we're guessing that she is closing in on teenager-hood.

Molly has always been a very healthy dog, and as a person on a tight budget, I am grateful for that. I have had friends and family members (some who read this blog), whose pets have had diabetes or liver failure or cancer, and many of them have gone to extraordinary measures and astronomical expense to keep them alive. We have known people who have gone into debt to pay for expensive surgeries, checked their cat's blood sugar several times a day, taken their dog for colonoscopies (you know who you are), and the like. Greg and I have always acted indignant about this, proclaiming that we would never do such a thing to our Molly, and that when her time comes, we will be grateful for all of the good years she has had, and bid her farewell.

When will I finally learn not to use the phrase, "I would never"?

It comes back to bite me every time.

Friday night, I noticed Molly was looking sullen and her entire body was trembling. She was clearly in pain, but with no obvious injury.

So Saturday morning, as I drove her gingerly to the vet, the thought of losing Molly was prominent in my mind. I tried to prepare myself for the Worst Possible Scenario, and I pictured myself standing in the vet's office having to make The Decision. The Decision Greg and I had already talked about, the one we swore we would make before we let Molly suffer unnecessarily.

Standing by the exam table, with Molly's pleading eyes upon me as the veterinarian probed and prodded her trembling body, my tears were fighting to come to the surface. I steeled myself for the diagnosis.

"Well, I think Molly has fractured one of her vertebrae," the doctor explained. He went on to talk about possible treatments for the injury, which all seemed agreeable until he mentioned the word "Surgery".

"Oh, nononono," I exclaimed. "We can't possibly afford for her to have surgery." I continued babbling incoherently about how many kids I have and how many bills, and then I launched into my spiel about not prolonging her life at the expense of her quality of life, and how I loveherbutI'mokaywithlettinghergo (SOB).

Calmly, the doctor handed me a box of Kleenexes, and I tried to stem the flow of tears running down my face.

"You know, this injury isn't life threatening."

Oh.

Well.

Never mind then.

So I walked out of there with a prescription and treatments for my dog, and no dignity whatsoever.

10 comments:

  1. Heh. Heh. The "I would never" keeps coming back to bite me as well. I am sorry that you had to go through that but am so thankful that Molly is okay. We have the "no expensive treatments" pet policy here as well but someone will have to tranquilize me when it comes time to say goodbye to our dog.

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  2. I learned early on not to say stuff like that about my pets, because my two elderly cats just need to sneeze and my husband and I pop open our wallets. WE ARE SUCKERS.

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  3. animals are family. less than one month into our marriage we had to take one of our kitties (my HUSBANDS kitties) to the emergency vet on a Friday night (My hubbies birthday). Kitty ended up in the kitty ICU with an emergency hysterectomy. and it was several years before we finally bought the china cabinet we planned to buy.

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  4. Hmmm.. My dog was blind in both eyes, so we paid $1500.00 so she could have surgery to regain her eyesight. I, however, still can't see and have to wear coke bottle eyeglasses.

    I am glad Molly is ok, and I bet she was relieved to hear her prognosis as well, considering the alternative. Don't be surprised if she bites you or something now that she knows you "would be ok with letting her go". haha!

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  5. Been there also! We had a dog an old dog that came with the marriage! He was acting strange and I called my husband to prepare him for the worst and I silently rejoiced! When I got there I found that he had a stroke and "his heart and lungs sound great" I called my husband and he cleared his tears and was soo happy it didn't cost a ton!

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  6. I always said that about my pets too, but I am such a sucker for animals. They really do become part of the family.
    Hope your baby is ok. :)

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  7. Yes, I can relate. And our animals are such a huge part of our family. It's painful at times LOL.

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  8. Very cute blog Chrissy! I also have caught up with so many random friends with this blog thing. lots and lots of fun! I will keep checking back to see who wins the 100 prize! Precious kiddos. I hope to eventually get some pictures on mine. not so computer savvy!

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  9. I can't imagine loosing my dog, she is family to us. But we've also never talked about the whole expensive surgery issue either. It would be a heartbreaking situation. Glad Molly is okay.

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