“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my puppy you’ll be.”
paraphrasing Robert Munsch

Today has been a very emotional day for my family.  To update you on My Marley and Me Moment , my poor little Maddie’s condition is worsening.

Last night I went to bed thinking that it was kidney failure and prayed.

 “Dear God, if it is kidney failure would you please take Maddie tonight?  Please don’t make her suffer.”

Today, we received Maddie’s blood test results and the vet was stupefied.  She proclaimed that my dog was a medical mystery.  Her blood tests were perfect, she still had no temperature, there was a little blood in her urine, her heart rate was out of whack, and she was dehydrated and panting continuously.  Kidney disease or failure ruled out.

We decided that we’d continue with the IV and check her throughout the weekend.  However, around noon my husband called the Vet to check on Maddie’s status.  The doctor recommended an x-ray.  (I think curiosity was getting the best of the Vet).  We agreed that Maddie deserved a diagnosis.  Within minutes, the vet called me and proclaimed that Maddie has an enlarged heart and it was blocking the trachea.  There was also fluid in her lungs.  Next step, ECG and if nothing showed there, an ultrasound.

People have said to me that you only go so far with a dog as it is “Only a dog”,  However, at that moment it is no longer a dog, but a huge component of what makes your life perfect.  As a former dog disliker, I’ve probably said that line a thousand times.  One has to live it to truly comprehend that it isn’t “only a dog”.

We decided to take Maddie for the weekend, with an armload of pills, and decide over the weekend.

As I sat in my recliner, where Maddie and I are normally perched, I watched her do her familiar pacing that she has been doing since she’s been sick.   I watched her stagger to the right as her hind legs weakened.  That moment, I burst into tears and I didn’t stop for what seemed like three hours.

I looked at all the wonderful pictures I had of her (I think I had just as much, or more, than my children).   I recollected funny times with her.  My kid’s came and hugged me and kissed me which seemed like forever since they’ve done that.  Our family came together because of a pure, innocent animal who we all love very much.

I thought of that wonderful book that Robert Munsch wrote, I Love You Forever and was then inconsolable.   As long as I’m living, my puppy you’ll be and I cried and cried some more.  This will be my very first dog and my very last dog.

It truly doesn’t matter who or what it is that you love.   To be in the threatening situation of losing that love is utterly devastating.  I will never look at someone who says “It’s just a dog” the same again.  No,Maddie isn’t just a dog to me, she is clearly much more.  If she could turn this dog disliker to a Maddie lover, then she claimed my heart in more ways than just being a pet.  She became family.

So tonight when I go to bed, knowing that her quality of life is now affected and weakening due to an enlarged heart and a family who cannot afford to get to the diagnosis without severe financial strain, I pray.

“Dear God, please take Maddie at this time of suffering.  We realize that this will be a prolonged condition that may only be the beginning of something far greater as she is only four years old.  With tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart, I am saddened, embarrassed and shamed that I cannot continue to fund her final diagnosis.  If you do not take her, please Dear God, help us find a way to fund this venture because I cannot stand to watch her suffer because I love her just that much!  In God I trust, Amen” 

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