Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Phoenix Has Risen… Again

The Phoenix Has Risen
Photo Source*

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!

In case you didn’t read my Facebook post, on Wednesday night, Phoenix had a grand mal seizure. I won’t go into details because it would scare a lot of people but he survived. Barely.

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.

Phoenix the Dog

Have Any Stories of Animals being Given a Second Chance?

In case you didn’t know it, Phoenix was in fact named after The Phoenix

* 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.

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20 thoughts on “The Phoenix Has Risen… Again

  1. Rae

    I’m so sorry you had that scare; I’m really happy to hear Phoenix has risen again! I hope he has many more days to enjoy his life here with you. I’m so glad he gets to be part of such a wonderful, loving family. Lots of love and hugs! ❤❤❤

    P.S. I don’t have access to a car during the day so may not be terribly useful in that sense, but if there is ever *anything* I or Mark can do to help please, please, please never hesitate to call us. Our numbers are the same. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Ali P

    Pets are so much more than just pets. They’re a part of the family and make us worry just as much as our other loved ones do. Glad Phoenix is okay!

    Reply
  3. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    As I write this comment I have tears in my eyes – may The Phoenix have many many more happy years to enjoy together with his family who all love him dearly.

    Reply
  4. Laurie P

    all I can say is WOW!
    and I’m still giggling at him running with “the grace of an elephant trying to look like a cheetah”….

    Reply
  5. Elva Roberts

    I think you must have been very surprised to see your pet coming on his own when you had given him up for (almost) dead. I think it was rather wonderful in a way;
    We have had pets that I was very fond of but nothing this exciting ever happened. -No resurrections for us.
    Hope Phoenix keeps away from the ashed for a while yet and pat his doggy head for me.

    Reply
  6. Trish

    Oh my goodness, what a scare! I’m glad he got a second chance and I know you’ll love him through whatever hardships are to come. Our family dog when I was growing up had congestive heart failure and was given a few weeks, a couple of months if he was lucky. He lived for YEARS afterward. We fed him a heart pill inside a meatball everyday and he passed peacefully in his sleep when I was in middle school. I’m so thankful we got such a long time with him. He was a wonderful dog and companion 🙂
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  7. Deanna Barkley

    I’m happy for you that Phoenix has risen. I had a dog that had a stroke, or so it appeared to me. She walked one step and her back legs wouldn’t work and then the front legs and she couldn’t move. Of course, we were out for a walk and were a kilometre from home. I carried her part way when someone stopped and gave us a drive home. We waited and finally took her to the vet. They weren’t sure what happened. They said dogs don’t have strokes. She was put on steroids and we took her home. Fortunately, it was the first day of March Break, and since I was a teacher, I had time to spend with her. We kept her in the kitchen for that week, since she really didn’t have control of her kidneys. She was finally able to move and eventually able to walk. I should mention that she was only 2 when this happened. She always walked with a slight limp, especially when she was tired, but she loved to walk. She was 18 when I finally had to put her down. Good luck to you.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Post author

      Dear Sandy,

      It’s always a joy to see read your comments because I know that they come from such a good and sincere place.

      We ended up having another four months with Phoenix but we had to put him down while in Mexico this winter (January 2015). He is resting comfortably in our backyard beside Aries (the Cat).

      We went from a “zoo” of three to 1 in a year and it looks like Reina may be laid to rest alongside them sooner rather than later. It’s always a sad time but I know that she has lived a beautiful 10+ years with us and we’ll forever have the memories.

      Besos Sarah
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