Back in the Swing of Things

Photo property of Megan Stewart

Photo property of Megan Stewart

This past week was a struggle, to say the least. I had planned on keeping with my 3-4 posts a week, was all set to write my next book review and a new short story, but the week had other plans for me.

I got off work pretty early, and was home by three. I let my pup out of his crate and took him for a long walk around the neighborhood, came back to my apartment, and plopped on the couch. The day was going just like any other.

A few hours passed and I noticed that my pup wasn’t putting any pressure on his back left paw. I first thought that maybe he just slept on it wrong, so I stretched it out for him. That didn’t seem to help and a few minutes later his left front paw was also weak. I knew then that something was wrong. He started getting physically ill, and when he would try and walk, he would fall over and couldn’t support himself. Within a matter of minutes he was incontinent, and trying to make his way into my kitchen.

If you’ve ever seen an animal’s body shut down on them, you know what it’s like.

I was scared out of my mind and carried him to my car to take him to the emergency vet clinic. Carrying a 75-pound dog is hard. When that’s 75 pounds of dead weight, it’s even harder. We made it to the vet and by that point my adrenaline was running low and I could barely get him inside the building. Luckily, the attendees came out with a stretcher to help me and carried him into the back. I had no idea what was going on, but they were quick to get him oxygen and check his vitals.

I recounted everything that happened to the vet, and after some time, found out my pup had been bitten by a spider. He’d gone into anaphylactic shock. My pup is extremely sensitive when it comes to just about anything, so this had me worried. Was it a venomous spider? His brother was bitten by a brown recluse not too long ago, and while he lived, that fear is always in the back of my head.

The vet kept him overnight, and luckily I was able to take him home Wednesday morning. All day he was lethargic and didn’t really want to eat, but he was a trooper. By Thursday afternoon, some of his puppy energy had returned and I was confident that he was on the mend. Now, he’s almost back to his full energy and appetite, but he’s taking it pretty easy.

I don’t know what I would have done if it had been something more serious. I’ve battled with my fair share of health issues over the years, and that’s one of the main reasons I got my pup. He’s my service dog, helping me every day with whatever I need, whether that’s to control my anxiety, help me move around my apartment, or point out when I’m going to have kidney troubles.

But this was the first time that he really needed me. I thank my lucky stars that I was able to be there when he needed me the most, and that I was able to get him the help he needed in time. I can tell you that this event will stay with me for quite some time, and I’ll be playing the overprotective owner for a while, but when you almost lose something that has become your heart, I feel you’re entitled.

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2 thoughts on “Back in the Swing of Things

  1. I’m happy your ‘big puppy’ is doing ok now! I lost my dog 5 years ago (she was a month shy of 15) and that hole in my heart just won’t heal. They’re children (at least, I took care of her like she was).
    Ironically, I was personally bitten by a brown recluse some years ago, & my right arm & pectoral muscle went into a state of atrophy for awhile – very scary! I made a full recovery after a few months & built my muscle back to its original state.
    Hugs to your pup and to you as well! 🙂

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