Many of you know that I have a little furbaby that’s not so little anymore. So with him ageing slowly and gracefully, I have somewhat removed the idea of him getting old from my mind. With age comes illness, and as they say ou-mens-kwale and it is a tough pill to swallow no matter how perpared your mind is, or how well you understand the cycle of life…it doesn’t get easier.
A few months ago I was standing in the vet room, crying because the young vet told me she thinks Duke has cancer and I should consider that he lived a good life, I needed to think about those ‘difficult’ thoughts because I found a ‘tumour’ on his paw. They treated him with some antibiotics, and the tumour dried up completely, it hasn’t come back and he has been pretty much as good as new. They couldn’t confirm cancer as that would require a biopsy and putting him under anaesthesia which is not recommended for older doggos. I trusted in Allah and figured if it isn’t bothering him, then I will take it day by day.
Fast forward to us having the most perfect, calm day at the beach the other day…perfect weather, not a lot of people, just the peace and freedom of chilling at the beach with your bestie. Duke was exploring under the little Muizenberg beach huts while I threw a blanket on the sand and studied.
There was hardly any wind…like it doesn’t get much better. But the next day was completely the world turned upside down…
I went to check on Duke, feed him, play with him a bit… our normal morning ritual but he didn’t jump up as he normally does to greet me, and then I realised that he was fumbling and trying to come to me, but his legs gave in. I ran to him and try to hold him up and he looked at me almost more surprised that I was at what was happening. He was completely normal and well the day before. I sat with him for a really long time, gave him some food and started getting done to go to the vet. My mom called me and I had a full meltdown, I couldn’t even breathe I was crying to much. What was going on with my baby?!
Duke was born in 2009, which makes him 13 years old, and if the previous vet was so quick to send him over the rainbow for a cyst, what would she possibly do now!I was beside myself to say the least! When I managed to pick myself up from the floor and compose myself, I headed to the vet. Because Duke couldn’t walk, they said we can wait in the car and they will call us. We waited for 3hours, he fell asleep and they forgot about us in the car! I went to check a few times but eventually found the same receptionist and said we’re still waiting. She sent the vet out to us as Duke couldn’t walk into the room and the vet said it could be arthritis or hip dysplasia but they would need xrays to be sure.
Because they left us waiting so long, it was too late to do anything, so they asked that I bring him in the following day, they gave him some pain medication and sent us on our way. Gave Dukey some food and I basically spent the rest of the day curled in a ball on my bed, a complete mess! The next day they admitted him, he was wheeled into the hospital on a trolley!!! A sight I never thought I would ever see from my strong baby. It was heartbreaking leaving him but they said I can pick him up at 4pm.
Longest day ever!!!
When I went back, I waited for about two hours, an anxious mess to see him and make sure he’s okay and that he woke up… but someone came out and told us that due to loadshedding, they started the xrays too late, the pups are still asleep and will not be able to go home that day! I was mortified… I asked to at least see him but they ofcourse don’t allow that so back home I went… without him again.
I had gone through the 7stages of grief in those two days! My face was swollen of crying, my eyes were red and puffy, welcomed back some stress related tummy spasms and barely able to function like a working adult! But with a few hours of sleep, I was up early and off to the vet again. You may have guessed it, but I waited a REALLY long time and it’s like nobody is in quite as quick of a pace as you’d like in these scenarios but almost two hours later, he WALKS OUT!
I ran to him and he was still fumbling around a little bit but he was walking. They said it’s arthritis, that it is mostly managed with pain medication and some days will be better than others. A bunch of meds and a very releaved human finally reunited with her fur baby! It is quite a traumatic experience and I think he still doesn’t fully realise why he is fumbling around but he has progressively been improving. He is as loving as ever and I’ve been enjoying the usual cuddles more than ever!
We are not allowed to go on any adventures until he is healed and hopefully there will be many more perfect days for us to share.
We are set to head back for a check up next week, wish us luck!