My beagle love

Well, that's the last time I complain about not having anything interesting to write about.

Clayton and I enjoyed a lovely Valentine's Day that consisted of watching movies and eating our traditional heart-shaped pizza (and bubbly). It was a low-key, relaxing Sunday and we didn't have a care in the world ... so of course something had to go wrong, right?

 Joey loved my Valentine's Day present as much as I did. Clayton also bought me a beautiful set of pearl earrings to replace the ones I lost, but of course I was more into the stuffed animal. 

Joey got sick.

I came home from work on Monday afternoon to discover a MESS all over the house.

Joey's had the poops and barfs before, but his lethargy is what was most concerning. In previous episodes like this, we'd come home to find a few spots on the carpet and he'd be sitting on the couch, wagging his tail (and probably worried he was going to be in trouble for making a mess). He'd eat like normal that evening and be right as rain by the next morning.

But this time Joey was withdrawn and mopey, approaching me with his tail between his legs. I scooped him up and put him in the car so we could go to the vet (our regular vet was closing for the day, so we went to a walk-in vet clinic). While we waited, he sat on my lap shaking. He normally paces the waiting room and whines and tries to sniff every dog in the room, but this time he sat quietly and occasionally glanced up at me with tired, big brown eyes.

It broke my heart.

Clayton met us at the walk-in clinic and came just in time to escort Joey outside to throw up again.

The vet determined that his vitals were perfectly fine and that he was perfectly healthy. She suggested he might have another food intolerance or bug, but didn't seem generally concerned. She also expressed his anal glands and as to be expected, that didn't go over too well. I mean, if you had diarrhea all day, would you then want to suffer the indignity of an anal probe?

While she was um, probing our dog, he started howling BLOODY MURDER. He usually yelps during this procedure, but this time it was GUTTURAL screaming. I couldn't even handle it. It lasted forever and both Clay and I had to hold his head in our hands and tell him it was okay. It got so bad, I had to leave the room and plug my ears.

He was prescribed a special wet food for a few days and we were sent on our way with some anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea meds.

Joey hates taking medicine and spit out everything we tried to give him. We tried putting the pills in peanut butter. We tried putting them in bread. We tried putting them in plain Greek yogurt. We tried crushing them up and putting them in his wet food. Nope. He's not stupid. He can smell the pills' bitterness a mile away. We ultimately had to shove a pill in his mouth and hold it shut until he swallowed. When that STILL didn't work (and he coughed up soggy bread into my hand), I dangled a pepperoni over his nose in hopes he'd open his mouth and I could poke the pill down the hatch.

Worked like a charm. He fell victim to his own pizza gluttony.

Joey was still sick on Tuesday morning and continued to throw up a few times and still wouldn't eat. Wanting more information, we were able to get an appointment with our regular vet later that afternoon. She listened to his belly and didn't hear any typical digestive noises, so she gave him a medicine that is supposed to start moving his system again. She also ran a blood test to rule out any diseases, infections, or signs of cancer (all the tests were negative--thank GOODNESS). Her conclusion? He ate something bad or had a small bug.

Joey was still slightly lethargic, but he did manage to eat a little more that evening. I took him for a walk and I think that started to revive him because as soon as we came home, he made a bee-line to his food bowl. Even after giving him a bit more to eat, he continued to lick his bowl for most of the night in hopes of getting more. We were so relieved.

This morning (Wednesday), he woke up wagging his tail and quickly ate his breakfast. But just to be safe, I dropped him off at my in-laws' on the way to work so they could keep an eye on him. Plus, I was just happy to put him in the car and NOT take him to the vet. I feel like I have rebuild his trust.

My in-laws gave us a good report and I'd say as of right now, Joey's darn near 100%. His appetite is great and his energy is back (I just chased him around the house). He barked his head off while we played and while that's normally annoying, tonight it was music to my ears.

Joey really scared me this week. The vomit and diarrhea thing has happened before, but his demeanor and lack of appetite is what really sent me into a tailspin. He was drowsy and sad and anyone who knows Joey knows that he NEVER says no to food. (I once tried to take him for a walk and he dragged me back home almost immediately because he knew Clayton was sitting on the couch eating a sandwichfood is this dog's LIFE.)

I love this dog so damn much. It's heartbreaking to watch someone you love suffer, be it a human or an animal. I know she was just doing her job and what was in Joey's best interest, but I almost had to restrain myself from smacking the vet when she made him cry.

My anxiety has me constantly looking at him and analyzing every move and sound he makes. And that's something I have to work on because I can't live in fear all the time.

Once again, I just find myself so, so grateful that he's okay. I am so grateful he's sitting next to me right now, trying to steal a bite of my banana while I type. I'm so grateful that he's ours and that God trusted us to love and take care of this little ball of fluff. I thought about a lot of things I didn't want to this week and through it all, I feel so incredibly thankful.