We got Sullivan on our oldest little girl’s birthday last September. It wasn’t her gift, it was simply a nice coincidence. We’d decided to buy a dog a few days earlier. My husband had seen the dogs of a client, Irish Setter/Goldendoodles, and he’d fallen in love. We both grew up with dogs, and had discussed getting our own for quite some time, but all it took was meeting dogs that couldn’t shed to get my husband fully on-board.
There were three left in the litter and we told the breeder to pick one. We met him an hour and a half out of the Cities in the parking lot of a truck stop. The guy opened his sliding door to reveal a chain-linked kennel in the back of his van. Our little Sullivan sat cowering in the back corner of the kennel. The man opened the gate and Sully wouldn’t come out. I reached in, grabbed him, and he was quickly snuggled in my arms.
Within his first month he was at the emergency vet late on a Monday night having little girl socks and undies removed from his tummy. Since then he’s swallowed rocks, more socks, more undies, hair binders, and more. Needless to say, we are proud owners of a fancy pet insurance policy.
I had never had a puppy before. My family had dogs but we’d found all of them at the Humane Society. We’d never gotten any of them as babies. In addition, I got my little girls when they were three and four. This girl has never had anything resembling a baby. Until Sullivan. And not only was he a baby…but he adores me. He has since I pulled him out of the van of the scary guy. He follows me everywhere I go. Sleeps on my ankles each night. Goes everywhere in the car with me. And he is unequivocally mine.
Early last week he start coughing/dry heaving. We assumed it was allergies, or perhaps, he was trying to get something out of his system which would be par for the course. By Friday night/Saturday morning the cough had worsened significantly and his eyes and nose were all gooey. We brought him to the vet yesterday. After an x-ray the vet was startled to find a) a rock in his tummy (again???), b) pneumonia (who knew dogs could get pneumonia???), and c) troubling and mysterious spots on his spine. It’s never good when the vet seems really…REALLY…concerned. Possibilities include an infection, a mysterious injury, or…cancer. None of which are at all normal in a one year-old dog.
Blood tests will help us figure out how to proceed, we’ll get lab results tomorrow, but OH MY GOD…he’s our baby!!!
We brought him home and he’s just so sad. He’s now on amoxicillin for dogs (again…who knew?). This morning I took him for a short walk and when we got home I noticed one of his eyes had swollen up. So to be clear…this poor dog has a rock in his tummy that we’re hoping he will pass today or tomorrow, an infection in one eye, a swollen other eye, pneumonia, and possible cancer.
We’re so sad. And so worried. And can’t actually think about what this could potentially mean (and shouldn’t until we have actual information). We’re snuggling with him, babying him, and hoping that it’s all just coincidentally happening at the same time and that he’ll be just fine.
TODAY: What if we just go ahead and assume that this little boy is going to live a long long life with us.
PS – Keep our little Sully in your happy thoughts, will you?