Posted by Rebecca
I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for the last week or so. I’m tired. I have a sick baby at home. My 10 1/2 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Cassi, hasn’t been her usual, healthy self.
When a human baby is sick, you can stay home from work or other obligations. When a canine baby is sick, your friends and family would think you were crazy if you interrupted your life in the same way. And it would be cooky. But, believe me, a sick pup is a lot of work!
In mid-February, Cassi went to the vet because she had coughed up blood a few times. I worry about being overly cautious about her because vet visits are not cheap. But since she has some heart problems, and I was told to watch for coughing, I was pretty concerned about the blood. So I took her to the vet and they x-rayed her chest; heart and lungs looked good. No explanation for the blood, but they put her on some meds just in case.
In the meantime, she became a regular Poopdeck Pappy, and began having accidents all over the place. No fun for her or me!!
Three times within a ten-day period, I came home to horrible messes in the trailer. Poor Cassi, who looked at me with guilty eyes, sure she was in big trouble. Poor me, who had to contend with the mess. After hours and hours of cleaning and laundry, and wiping out my cleaning supplies, Cassi and I have a new arrangement…. She is left outside on warmer days, for the first time in her life. Today is the 4th day of her new outside accommodations. So far so good.
Another adjustment is her diet. I have had several conversations with the vet in the last few weeks, and she is currently on more antibiotics, and soon to be switching to probiotics. But I also had to switch her to a bland diet of boiled chicken, rice and pureed pumpkin. No problem, right? Except that I haven’t eaten meat in 4 years, let alone purchase or cook it. Yuck!!!
Well, for now we are surviving. Quite frankly it’s exhausting having a sick, mess-making puppy at home. But life goes on. The hardest part, though, is facing Cassi’s mortality. A Rhodesian Ridgeback’s life expectancy averages 10-12 years. Cassi will be 11 in June. I keep telling her that she is going to live forever, but I’m worried she’s not listening. I try not to think of my home without her, but it’s hard these days when she is not her happy, healthy self.
I got Cassi in September of 2001, when she was just 4 months old. We have been best buddies ever since. And I’m hoping she will get back on her feet, beat this bout of illness, and carry on for another long long time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 🙂
BTW, if anyone has any suggestions for a meat-free bland diet, I’m all ears. The tricky part is it has to be high protein and low fiber. Let me know in the comments if you can help. 🙂