March march maaaaarch

On March 31, 2014 by Eden M. Kennedy

March was an exciting month. For starters, Peewee almost died.


It started with Peewee barfing four times in a row one morning, and having this weird little palsy to his head. I started Googling things like “dog+barf+palsy” which led to “dog+symptoms+poison” which led to me freaking out and calling the vet. But an hour later he seemed to have shaken off whatever it was. I cancelled the vet and we decided to keep an eye on him. You know, they rally sometimes, these little beasts.

So we did keep an eye on him and what we saw was that over the course of the next couple of days he started eating less and less. He was still drinking water but his stomach looked swollen, and by last Thursday morning he’d become super lethargic and I knew I had to take him in.

A couple of hours later the vet called and said that they’d done a few tests and that Peewee had an enlarged heart and fluid in his abdomen and his liver and kidneys weren’t doing so hot and they were going to do a few more tests. An hour later the vet called and said that he didn’t want to alarm me but Peewee’s heart rate had leaped up to something like 330 bpm — a heart rate, he said, that was “not consistent with life” — and could we please come get him and take him over to the emergency vet, where they had a doctor on staff who had the skills to deal with a crisis like this.

Because I guess there’s no such thing as a pet ambulance, Jack and I hopped into his truck and hauled ass to the vet’s office, where Jack picked up the Wee and carried him out to his truck while I received a bag full of Peewee’s fluids and test results and then cried in the front seat while we drove three blocks to the 24-hour emergency vet’s office.

We sat in the waiting room for what felt like forever, drinking little cups of water and not talking, but it was strangely comforting to watch SpongeBob’s butt cheeks catch on fire on the TV mounted over the front desk. (When I tried to describe the episode later to Jackson he shook his head and said, “Mom, think about it. Butt cheeks can’t catch on fire under water.”) After a while a vet tech came out and told us Peewee’s heart rate was down to 120. Jack went to get Jackson from school, I cried some more, the vet techs shaved some fun new patterns in Peewee’s fur, the doctor gave him a sonogram. We hugged him and then we went home. They kept him overnight so they could take his blood pressure every hour, charge us lots and lots of money*, and save his chunky little life.

*I was fine with the money part because after what we went through with Katie we made sure Peewee had pet health insurance.

When we picked him up the next day the vet was all, “His heart is weak and that’s the way it’s going to be from now on, so no salt, no walks, no excitement,” and I was all, “Yeah, well, it’s not like he was on the agility circuit anyway.” He was tired and moving pretty slow that first day back home but now it’s Monday and he’s back to barking at the mail and begging for car rides and jalapeno cheese puffs and he seems pretty much fine with this new regime of us hiding his pills in a hot dog twice a day. I’m a tear-stained wretch, but he’s fine.

Having been through similar health scares with human beings, I can tell you that being in that space where you don’t know if someone you love is going to live or die is pretty much the most stressful thing that’s ever happened to me, and now it’s happened to me twice and I’m done, please. No more of this, Universe, thank you.

In other news, I got nominated for an inaugural Iris Award, which was quite a thrill. It’s a parent-blogging award, and since I’m down to posting once a month about almost anything except my kid, I don’t imagine I have much of a chance of winning. But I’m honored to be in such good company.

And now I’m going to go drink a gallon of vodka and pass out do another round of meditation and watch the Gravity DVD I got from the library. Please hug your dogs, cats, iguanas, and guinea pigs a little extra just for me. Thank you. That actually helps.



13 Responses to “March march maaaaarch”

  • Phew! I’m so glad Peewee’s back home. These little beings hold incredible sway over our hearts, don’t they?

  • I know, they’re like really close friends who just happen to be mute and covered with fur, and whose lives we’re totally responsible for. That’s all. THAT’S ALL.

  • I’m so glad to hear Peewee’s doing better. I had a similar scare with my dog last year. Fortunately the heart medication is doing wonders. Give him a scratch under the chin for me.

    • It’s really encouraging to hear that your dog’s still hanging in with the heart meds. I honestly wasn’t sure whether we were waiting for Peewee to die over the weekend or if he’d have another five years.

  • Thanks for sharing the full story. I saw the instagram pic a few days ago and wondered by didn’t want to pry. I always remember Jackson’s comment about how having Cookie wouldn’t change his love and sadness about Katie since “that love is Katie’s love.” These little mute furry roommates are a freaking roller coaster! Treat yourself gently while you recover from Peewee’s recovery.

  • Aww, Peewee! <3

  • I have a 13 year old dog … who loves life and wants to run and play except … her legs won’t allow that as they once did. So now we take it slow….and it really pisses her off. She lines up all her balls ….and wants me to throw them…and it breaks my fucking heart to toss them one by one a few inches away from her. They never lose the spirit…even tho they can’t do the job anymore.

    • When I was a kid we had a 13 y.o. dachshund that couldn’t use his hind legs and had to run around with his back end in a little cart. I think it bothered us more than it bothered him.

  • continued ~get betters~ for peewee. i remember you writing about dear katie. hey, cookie – did cookie go to the attic to get skis and never return? i’ve read you since 2004 and totally missed what became of cookie.

  • My dog had cancer and survived this bout. We also had pet insurance. It was still expensive. But we can save his life every time, if that is possible. That is really wonderful too.

    Gosh, I often get annoyed at this crazy dog. They are your friends, they are part of your family and this means you take them for granted I suppose. But they have a piece of your heart, forever, no question.

  • so glad pee wee is ok! Not to be a bummer, but as a cardiac nurse and someone who just went through this with a human relative, when they said low salt, I think they were talking about hotdogs and cheese puffs. Pee Wee need not be deprived. Try Swiss cheese. Its the lowest sodium of the cheeses!