Turns out that my Death should have a Manual post got people a bit confused. Probably not the first time. In a way, it’s a good thing because it means that you’re not in my head, but in another sense, I don’t want people to be unnecessarily sad.
Case in point, Nanna called me up and with a chocked up voice asked if I was still up for going out for lunch with her as planned yesterday**. You see, she thought that Phoenix had died.
The reason why the post was messy was because, in my mind it started out being about Phoenix and ended up being about so much more. Much, much more.
Back to where I was.
The Phoenix Has Risen Again and He’s Alive!
Even though it was his second seizure,*** it was the aftermath that was scary. For the next 12 hours his breathing was really laboured. He shook a lot. He had no control over his appendages let alone his head. He was foaming at the mouth. I’m not even sure that he knew what was going on.
I spent a lot of the night with him. The rest of the time I spent writing him a letter, as I did with Aries on the eve of her death. The remaining 10 minutes were spent pretending to sleep. I was dreading the morning.
But, like it always does, the morning came and nothing had changed. In 12 hours, he had done nothing. I couldn’t even coerce a wag out of his tail. I had prepared myself for the worst and it had arrived.
I called our vet and made an appointment to have Phoenix euthanized. I called Uncle Eric to help me with The Kids**** and collected Phoenix’s favourite blanket. I pulled up the van and laid his blanket in the back.
I was sad that he couldn’t travel in the front with me but I wouldn’t have been able to safely carry and place him in there. I knew that he wouldn’t know the difference, or blame me for it, but I was feeling guilty that his final car ride wouldn’t be ideal. In reality, the fact that it was his “final car ride” was the less than ideal part and it had nothing to do with where he would ride. Still, the guilt and desire to Mother is always there. Always.
By the time I turned around, I was greeted by Phoenix’s face at the front door. The Kids opened the door and he walked down the stairs and stood at the back of the van. He had this look on his face like “can you give me a hand up, I just rose from the ashes and I’m a bit tired”.
I couldn’t believe it.
Some people might think that he was sending me a message that “it was time and he was ready” but I didn’t see it like that at all. First of all, Phoenix isn’t so bright and I’m pretty sure that all he thinks about is “food” and “happy” and second of all, it was obvious that he had some life in him.
So, off we went to the vet. How it would end, I wasn’t sure but I was very optimistic.
After a check up to confirm that there wasn’t anything life-threatening at hand, they did some bloodwork. Three medications and two vitamins later (to address a slightly low functioning in the liver), the doctor told us to wait a few more days and that would tell us a lot more. She also commented that given his age (9 years) and his breed (Boxer), he had the healthiest bloodwork she’d ever seen.
For the first 4 days, he didn’t drink. Considering how much he usually drinks, this was a real worry. I figured that his seizure had caused that part of his brain to not work. So, we modified his diet and since he was still going outside to relieve himself, we figured that this was but one little thing that we could deal with.
Then, on day five, we heard it. The unmistakeable sound of a dog drinking from his water bowl. Except that Reina was with us. I rushed in so as not to miss it and sure enough, Phoenix was drinking! I’m pretty sure that he drank enough to make up for five days of thirst or, he now thought that he was a camel. Either way, he’s never drank so much in his life.
Then, yesterday, when Ed came home he ran over to him. Like ran. Fast. He had the grace of an elephant trying to look like a cheetah but he ran. Elephants can be graceful.
He is definitely slower. Much slower. He spends almost all of his time sleeping and when he isn’t lying down, he’s standing and staring at a wall. Probably hoping that it will give him a treat or something. As for his back legs, they don’t work quite right all the time so he trips a lot. Fortunately we live in a bungalow so no steps there. When he goes outside, the stairs only have three steps so it’s not a long fall.
We’ll take him. Just the way he is and enjoy every day that we do have with him. However many that may be.
Have Any Stories of Animals being Given a Second Chance?
* This is not a picture of a Phoenix but I figure you can pretend.
** Nanna and Jim were visiting friends a few hours from us so they stopped by and we went to the Five Star for lunch.
*** After Phoenix’s first seizure he was back to normal within hours so this was totally out of the “ordinary”.
**** Big Thanks to Uncle Eric for coming with me. I would have been a ball of soggy tissues if I’d had to go alone and Ed had meetings in the city.