07 May 2008

Fund for the dog

Yesterday was a rough evening, it was the first time I cried for her. I think it's because even though the atrophy happened over 5 days only she was fine and the eye then stated improving, but then two things happened, I walked into the hospital 2 days after she started the corticosteroids and most of the doctors remarked that she was so much worse; and yesterday my collague googled "unilateral head muscle atrophy trigeminal dogs" while we were having her seen and ran back in to call me and the paper she'd found was about a 6 yo Labrador who'd been diagnosed with a rhabdomyosarcoma, horrible prognosis bcs no surgery was possible due to the characteristics of the tumour and its location. I have refrained from reading anything regarding it, anything at all, I haven't even looked up the trigeminal other than to remember what it innervates, so this caught me off guard and I couldn't believe she'd told me, but it certainly is hard to remained wrapped in denial after reading that.

Then my colleagues said I should start a donation fund at school, that was, after all, how we had all put together the money for Papoila's leg surgery back in the days when she was a run-over street puppy abandoned in a cage with no treatment bcs there was no owner to pay for it, but I said no because I didn't feel comfortable with it, she had been no one's then but she was my dog now, I had adopted her, it was my responsibility. They asked me how was it different from all the other times I'd donated money myself to help someone else's dog and I said that was different, because in my mind it is, it is different when it is my dog. Then the doctor, who is a sweetheart and whom I actually remember as my fellow student there abt 5 years ago, said that was silly, I had adopted an animal with a disability (at first Papoila's leg was fully paralysed due to having remained broken without surgery for 2 months, and even after the surgery it was too late bcs she'd lost the joint, too late to save it, so the leg was permanently stuck in a semi-flexed position but I did a lot of physiotherapy with her, which will forever haunt me bcs she was a puppy and had just spent over 2 months in a cage being handed over to different people over the weekends bcs the hospital used to close then so she already felt insecure and afraid, and here I was forcing her leg to extend and bend and causing her pain, but as a result of that and all the time we spent running up and down the stairwell she did regain the use of it, she'd sometimes forget and actually put weight on it and slowly it became strong again and even though the leg is shorter and she can hardly bend it, when she sits she looks funny bcs it is half stretched to the side, she actually can run like bloody hell, and almost - almost - keep up with even greyhounds, and there's nothing more delightful than watching her run in circles on the beach or vast stretches of grass bcs she is so fast she almost becomes a blur) - fully lost on a tangent, need to read back. Animal with disability, yes. Papoila is prone to everything, it would seem, from ear infections to conjunctivitis, and not forgetting the regular enteritis bcs she will eat whatever she can find even when I'm paying attention (I've created a new diagnosis for her, Papoilitis), and then there's the mystery epilepsy and the only good thing abt it is that I don't pay for the appointment, only the meds/exams and for things like vaccinations I only pay half bcs I am a student, otherwise she'd have bankrupted me a good while ago - and I know this, and I never planned on having a dog bcs I already had the 2 cats but only I would be so stupid, knowing me, as to think that I'd be able to spend a long weekend with a 4-month battered, bruised and scared puppy that fit in my lap and would rest her head on my shoulder and sigh contendedly and deeply and then let her go, HA!, so yes, mine, and this is the problem bcs her being mine makes her my responsibility. But she is a bit of a mascot still, there are people who still remember those days when we all funded her surgery, and the outrage when we realised she'd had no proper treatment for 2 months for lack of money, and they want to help. And my dog needs it now more than ever, and she is my responsibility, yes, but also have a responsibility towards her.

After I got home from the fish docks I started wondering if I have the right to deny her that, and them, bcs she truly is loved. We are in general an animal-mad lot but she truly is special and I'm not saying this bcs she is mine, she is just so sweet and so gentle and so in love with everyone, her whole hindquarters wag, not just the tail, when she sees someone she cares for - and in her case that is almost anything that breathes. So I was thinking abt it when I checked my blog's email, and there I found a message from a reader - never commenter - caled Frank, let's say, and he said he too wanted to give me money so I promptly burst into tears bcs there are people who want to help who know me IRL, there are some I've chatted with, exchanged comments with, but we'd only exchanged a few emails a good while ago when I was going to go password-protected and here he was offering me all this money, just because he wanted to help my dog - and God, such a generous amount I had to say no, I could never take that much money from anyone, everyone's struggling or close to it but it was just amazing to me. I know I have been on the other end, I have donated to a lot of causes, and I have done it with people I never met and whom I actually know I never will, but when it happens to you it's different, isn't it. And then I started receiving more emails, and then V. left that comment, and then I realised that by putting up a donation button for her MRI I am not forcing anyone to pay, but I am giving those who'd really like help to the chance to do it. It goes without saying that I don't wish for anyone to indeed feel forced to even if you've been reading for a while, I myself have in the past not been able/or willing to donate. And other times I have donated ridiculous amounts - I remember US$3 once, because Papoila was in the midst of yet another enteritis bout and the meds are expensive, so, again, no pressure please, bcs if you feel pressured I will be stressed and I cannot have a fit rigth before exams.

I really am touched that some of you want to help this much. Not to be all Little Orphan Annie abt it but the fact alone that you would want to do is - I really am grateful that you care and I know I've written a whole lot that doesn't say much but that's bcs it's hard to find the exact words to tell you, I'm trying and failing so much I won't even re-read this bfr posting bcs I know I'll never do it, I have an inkling I'm all over the blogosphere and beyond style-wise. So I'll just leave you with Papoila, this is from 2 years ago, and I will try to make new ones bcs she's too delicious for words [there is another reason, of course, but we won't mention it]:

[PS - THOSE FATTY THIGHS ARE NO MORE. Just so you know. Am svelte now. Svelte!]
[PPS - Yes, dog worry and thigh horror can coexist. Also, humour is good, am trying to remember that.]

9 furballs:

Udge said...

I'm very glad that you have come around to letting us do this for you, Johnny. The paypal button is a blessing for us, you know: it gives us the opportunity to do something instead of just offering words. Beijos and gute Besserung.

Lioness said...

Blogger isn't allowing me to publish anything but omg you lot, I never dreamt of anything like this, I am so thankful to everyone who ha smet me who has donated but to think that there are those who have never even seen me, all they've ever done is read, and they are being this trusting and generous, I have spent half the day in tears. I have half the money already, cannot believe it... Thank you all so much.

Shoe said...

I just made a donation, and have linked to your blog from mine.

Much love to you both.

Shoe said...

And bloody hell, if those thighs weren't svelte I'm in serious trouble.


Diana said...

Dead Dog Emma and Dead Dog Maia send their best and say that this doggy illness is beyond bollucks. Live Dog Molly would feel sad, but she's too busy peeing inappropriately and barfing grass on the carpet. Mad-kitty has a soft place in her heart but she'd never admit it.

Anyway, I am thrilled to be able to do something other than feel bad and wring my hands. I know what it is to have a very ill loved furry one and to face the bills on top of the horror and the tears. Thank you for letting us at least do a bit for the bills so you can concentrate on the eyes and the tail and the paws and the licks.

Really. Thank you.

We need an MRI for answers. Yes we do.

(In my head, I have that picture you posted ages ago of a 'sorry' Papoila when you found, I believe, all that fur in your hard drive. All eyes and folded ears and sad nose. Such a love.)

Damn those puppy dogs for making us care.

And, dahling, in the States, we Yanks call those thighs 'thin'. Please slap yourself for all of us on the 'unfashionable Western arm' of the Atlantic.

Anonymous said...

Nu? How's Papoila doing? Minou has been thinking of her. As have I, seriously. A lot. And how is the fund? Please give us a report.


PiquantMolly said...

Manuela sent me over. It's not much, but I gave a bit for your darling pup. I understand how much love you can have for little furballs.

Megan/Always a Bridesmaid said...

Manuela sent me too.

I'd like to donate to help save your doggy friend, but I don't see a paypal button.

Lioness said...

Thank you all, I am speechless. I did write a terribly long post for someone who's speechless but I am speechless as far as the right words go. You are just fabulous, really.