Thursday, February 15, 2007

Chloe, Home from the Hospital

It was hard for me to sleep well last night, knowing I had to drop Chloe off at the hospital in the morning. This was the first time in ten years I left her at the vet. My heart was breaking for her because she has always had a fear of the vet’s office and examinations. She's been very nasty with vets in the past. Today she went under general anesthesia to have a benign surface mass the size of a bing cherry removed from her shoulder, a teeth cleaning, and a nail clipping. While I was signing some papers this morning at the reception desk, an attendant took her lead and she toddled off before I could say good-bye. Around the corner I saw her go and I called to her in a soft, but loud enough voice, “Be a good girl, Chloe... I’ll be back later!” I had a knot in my throat the size of a lemon and told the receptionist it’s the first time I’ve left her for surgery in a decade. She understood. I drove to work fighting back tears to see the road.

You know, in a weird way, I think it’s harder to leave your frightened pet than it is to leave your child. Of course, leaving your child tears your gut and heart out, over and above this, but at least you can communicate with them, tell them everything will be OK and the doctors and nurses will take good care of them, and Mommy and Daddy are right here! Even though Chloe and Bella understand most of what I say, there’s no guarantee they understand me when I need it the most.


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On the way home, she didn’t care to look out the window at every stop. Too woozy.

Her dental treatment was more complicated than I expected, as the vet found dead and decayed molars and dead, loose front teeth. They were all extracted but she still has plenty of teeth for chewing. I regret not having her teeth professionally cleaned in all her years and I’m going to make sure Bella has a professional cleaning within the next year, or sooner. If you have pets, schedule an appointment. They’ll have cleaner breath in their later years and they won’t have to endure extractions.

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She thought we were in the neighborhood and needed to see if it was true! Can I leave my calling card on that hydrant, please? Just pick me up and take me to it.


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Bella was all over her, checking her wounds and ID. She was a very concerned sister and sensed that Chloe didn’t need any rough and tumble playing. Poor, insecure Bella was home alone all day. Chloe leads the way for her and I would imagine that she whined for a while after we left this morning and might have stood at the kitchen door all day, waiting for us to come back inside.


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Boston Terriers don’t give up on action. She needed to check out the back yard to see if it was still there. The girl is obviously exhausted in this photo, unsteady on her feet, but is afraid of missing out on something.


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Thirty minutes after her homecoming, she was snoring in the sun. You can see her incision (Chloe has a red collar and Bella has the black one.) Nurse Bella made sure she was sleeping soundly.

She didn’t miss a tid-bit treat here and there tonight and was still present for her daily dinnertime handout. Those Bostons are persistent, no matter what!


Since her incision is weeping a little blood from her leaps onto furniture, I think I’ll sleep in the family room with her tonight and I may even stay home from work tomorrow to keep an eye on her. We’ll see. Everyone is sleeping right now. That's good.

16 comments:

Trixie said...

Oh Mary! Rough day, I hope tomorrow is better. Snuggle your girls for me.

NatureWoman said...

Oh Mary - I didn't realize today was the day for Chloe to go in - I'm glad the trauma of leaving her at the vet is over with and I hope everything goes good tonight and tomorrow. I love Bella checking up on her. That's so sweet of her. Hugs to you and your doggies.

mon@rch said...

That can be very hard leaving them there! Might not have been an easy visit but you can be sure in time that good old chloe will be feeling so much better!

Mary said...

Trixie - I'll snuggle with Chloe tonight. Now her mouth is bleeding a little - to be expected. Poor old girl..

Pam - She's calm tonight and I'll be with her on the sofa. Her mouth has to be so sore! But if I dangled a slice of cheese in front of her face, she'd snatch it :)

Mon@rch - Tomorrow she'll be feeling better and perky but I need to watch that incision and the bleeding mouth and shoulder.

Laurie said...

I am glad everything went well today. It is so hard to take them in and leave them. What you said is so true.

By the way, if she starts to bother it, you may have to get a cone for her (but you probably already know that). My brother did for his dog when she had a tumor removed. She just wouldn't leave it alone until he did. It was so cute watching her with that thing though. She scooped up dog bones and tennis balls with it. In one of the pictures I took, she has a dog bone balanced on it, like it was a shelf.

LauraHinNJ said...

I'm sure you're glad it's done with, Mary! The anasthesia is worrisome for older doggies.

All the TLC will be appreciated. Try not to worry too much!

Mary said...

Laurie, I call them "lamp shades". They are hilariously funny on dogs and I thought she might need one, but she can't reach the incision with her foot or mouth. So, we'll see how it goes. LOL! You made me laugh, imagining the scooping up of things.

Mary said...

Laura, I am so glad it's over. I've been dreading this for weeks. She pulled through the operation, so her heart must be strong. Should be strong...she's walked and ran 100,000 miles in her lifetime. I'm just sad she lost teeth.

vicki said...

Poor Chloe. I know exactly what you mean about how hard it is when they can't understand what's up with vets and procedures. I'm impressed that she was back to treats after extensive dental work. Reminds me I need to go to the dentist. Cringe.
Bella's concern is very endearing.

Have a better day tomorrow.

Susan Gets Native said...

Poor ol' Chloe. Glad she's home where she belongs.
It IS National Pet Dental Care month, if anyone's interested. Nellie is due for a cleaning...I never have trouble with her front teeth, but she hates it when I try to get in the back.

Thankful the mass was benign!
And I noticed that Chloe was watching Oprah? Good dog.
Big kiss, placed gently on her stubby little nose...

Lynne said...

Poor Chloe- poor Mary. I'm glad it's done. Now you can both relax and put Bella in charge! It's sweet that you're sleeping downstairs with her to comfort her. Isn't it amazing how animals sense pain and sadness?

Jayne said...

Bless her heart. How sweet that Bella was such a concerned sister. I hope she heals with no problem and can be leaping with joy soon.

Sonia said...

Oh Mary! I am glad that Chloe is now at home feeling fine! I can understand how you feel so worry and concern about the health of your dear Chloe. You expressed so well when you said that "there’s no guarantee they understand me when I need it the most." I feel the same when I left Flora to make a surgery in the last December. She had a tumor in one nipple gland. Fortunately the surgery was OK and the vet cleaned her teeth, too. We love so much our pets and they know it so well. I am sending a kiss to Chloe. I love the photos, too, specially Bella checking up Chloe! So adorable!

PS: Thank you so much for the link to my blog! I also link you with pleaseure!

Cuppa said...

All behind you now. Whew! Our furry children do pull at the heart strings when they have to go to the vet.

Chloe looks comfy and cozy in the last picture so that must warm your heart.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Here's to a speedy recovery for your sweet Chloe! Bella is so sweet to be so concerned!

I have always given my dogs big raw bones from the butcher to chew on -- I know everyone says no bones but raw beef bones don't splinter. My vets were amazed at how clean my dog's teeth were even when they were very old. I'll have to figure out how to do that with a smaller dog.

Cathy said...

Very sweet - it brought back memories and you are so right about it being more difficult to turn the dog over to the vet than a child for a doctor's appointment - you just can't make them understand. I'm glad it's over and everything is on the mend.