It is hard to imagine that there is anyone else in the world that feels the depth of sorrow over the loss of a loved one, an adopted loved one, a pet. My dad died, a terrible painful death...he was a great dad, it was hard, sad but I understood. Then the first member of the family cousins again lost to a painful cancer prolonged suffering withered away by chemo, so sad, soul searching that could have been me! Here I sit thinking that tomorrow marks the one month anniversary of the day I lost my heart, our heart because my husband is in the raptured tortured condition thinking of the day Turley passed away.
Just one year to the July day that Turley came to live with us she collapsed in front of her Dad, frothing at the mouth and body splayed to the back porch floor. To this day I can't explain the instinct to grab our phone while running to see what happened and then without discussion I dialed a number that was so very committed to memory, our local veterinary office. This was Sunday; emergency calls came with a wait from initiation to response. Her condition escalated and still no return call. Our decision to hop in our vehicle and make the 2 mile trek toward the Doc's office seemed to be the only action to take. With phone forwarded to cell we were off. Shortly thereafter the phone rang with the doctor on the way. I could not ever know the exact period of time because it seemed to an eternity sitting in the parking lot for the doctor to arrive. Our first name basis due to the family plan we created by having a total of 4 furry children. Mary quickly assessed that our child our 1 year and 10 week old baby was blind and suffering from a central nervous condition that neurologically could be one of several illnesses. Time was of the essence, emergency specialties were required with the closest being a 50 mile south to Albany area of New York. This critically ill creature lay in my arms with frothing at the mouth so prolific that a stop at a mini mart with the engine running was needed to purchase a roll of paper towels to absorb this amazing amount of fluid that was nonstop. Upon arrival, a technician was standing on call waiting for us, Turley not conscious was taking from my arms. We were told to sit in the waiting room along with several other grieving parents, hour after hour went by, probably after hour 5 the attending came out to tell us that they had our little patient was stable – an IV of Valium used to control the seizures, ugly word seizure, so that is what they look like. An invitation to visit was extended; we entered the hospital ward to find this very tiny little creature sitting in the corner of a cage...a cage, she slept in our bed...she was blind and deaf shaking with an electric fan blowing to keep her body heat down. At this point, we were told to go home and await updates throughout the night and a promise that Monday morning she would be diagnosed by a Veterinary Neurologist. Don't think that the hours that followed were ones that at any point we had dry eyes; especially after a phone call late that evening from the night attending who suggested that this was most likely the terminal illness PDE an acronym we grew to distain, PUG DOG ENCEPHELITUS, this message was not delivered in a compassionate way the demeanor that one expect of a nurturing care giver of animals, it was a very cold and heartless delivery that sent us into a tailspin that truly one can't ever recover from.