Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Trials of Ollie

Many of my friends already know that over the past couple of weeks, we've had a real life health scare of our newest family member, Ollie.


You might remember that Santa brought Ollie to Bean for this past Christmas.  He was so tiny and precious when we first met him.

A couple of weeks ago, right after Easter, he came in the house one evening after being in the back yard most of the day and just wasn't himself.  He normally bounds in the door, jumps on everything, swishes his little tail all over and licks everything and everyone in sight.  This night he barely crawled in the door.  We knew immediately something was wrong.   We couldn't get him to eat anything and all he wanted to do was lie down. He was also breathing heavily and had a constant slight whine.  He just wasn't feeling well and you could definitely tell it.

Hubz took him to the vet the next morning.  He was diagnosed with parvo.  This is a virus that usually affects puppies and can attack either their stomachs or their hearts.  If it is in their stomach, there is usually an 80% survival rate.

Ollie had to be quarantined at the vet and he was put on continuous IV drips, both fluids and antibiotics.  He was pitiful.

The vet told us that some dogs recover in two days, some a week and the longest they had ever seen it take was two weeks.  Ollie was their eight days.  They also said that parvo was a disease that would give a pet a good day, then a bad day and back and forth.

Ollie didn't have many good days.  He couldn't keep the fluids down and he wasn't responding to the meds. Bean and I stopped by a few times to visit him and he hardly acknowledged us for most of those visits.  He went in on a Monday, I believe, and when we went on Saturday to visit, he was at his lowest point.  The doctor was not very optimistic for his chances.  I was heartbroken.

I can't explain to you why this got to me so.  I grew up on a farm.  Sometimes the viewpoint on animals was that you don't get too close because more than likely, the animal won't be around very long.  Now there have always been exceptions to that rule, but that's how you are taught to think of them so you won't allow yourself to get too attached.  I don't think that's how I view animals now but it was what was taught to me and I know that I always try to remind myself "be careful, don't get so attached".  But like I said, there are always exceptions and as I've gotten older and off the farm, I have attached myself to a few wonderful furry friends that are more family than "farm animal".  My long-time best friend, Willy, our black lab, passed away last year and it devastated me.  He was with me during the passing of my mom, a divorce, a new marriage, many, many months of crying over not having a baby, all kinds of stuff.  He always had time for me and his favorite thing to do was to lie at my feet and just be there for me.

When Ollie came along, I kept thinking he couldn't measure up to Willy.  But then when Ollie got sick, it hit me just how much I had become attached to this little guy without realizing it.  So it just broke my heart to see him lying there in his cage at the vet with those sad Beagle eyes and knowing we just had to wait to see.

That Saturday the vet pretty much told me if things didn't turn around fast that by Monday, we'd have to make a decision on Ollie's future.  I just couldn't imagine our house without this little fella in it.  He's only 5 months old.  It wasn't fair.

But on Sunday we got a call from the vet saying that Ollie was starting to respond to the meds and starting to act like a Beagle by being curious about his environment for the first time since he'd been there.  Monday and Tuesday brought even more good news.  He was slowly recovering, keeping his food down and becoming more and more active.  I can tell you all that if you had seen him on that Saturday, you would know that the way he was acting on Tuesday was definitely a miracle.  There's no other word for it.  Divine intervention for sure.  Some don't believe that's possible for animals.  I grew up around quite a few with that outlook.  But I think if God made it, he cares about it.  And I know he healed our Ollie after many, many of our prayers and many, many of our friends' prayers on our behalf.  For those I will always be grateful.

Ollie got to come home and is now almost back to his old self.  He lost a lot of weight and still gets tired out.  But his "wagger" is back and he will lick you until you can't take it any more.  His whole fanny swishes about when he wags his tail and he has found  his Beagle voice again, and doesn't mind using it!

Here's the first picture I tried to take of Ollie once he was home but he didn't want to be still so I could take it.



Thanks to all our wonderful friends for sending their prayers Ollie's way.

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