Being a firm believer that life show’s us the way, and that when we don’t listen life pours it over our head in buckets to make us see what we need to see, that has done that to us over the last three weeks.
As you know from previous posts things had been hard, we worried about money, work, bills all the things that you can overcome, that are not insurmountable but at times you let that little spin doctor in your head think they are!!; So we worried just the same and did not remember life’s lessons, that it will all come good in the end if you believe it and, do you know what, it can be worse, get a perspective!!
Therefore, because we did not listen, just after my last post on the 19th of November Harley our beautiful Welsh Terrier became ill. He became so ill that he was, quite literally, screaming in pain one minute and running around the garden the next. But as the days drew on the running around the garden became less and he just lay in his bed. Then one day he went out in the garden and just started to scream in pain. We had no money, and did not know what to do; but we did have a guardian angel who helped us and loves Harley theytold us to “just take him to the vet and do what needs to be done.”
We saw our vet in Ambrieres, who are really mainly agricultural vets, but they were lovely, gave him a thorough examination and found a bite where the skin had become necrotic and at this point he was not crying in pain at all. In fact he just wanted to get the hell out of there. So we were sent away with anti-inflammatory drugs and had to keep our eye on him. At this point our tinky tiny Tilly cat also went missing; so for four days we had a poorly dog and a missing cat and believe me we did not think about money once!! To say we were stressed to the max and crying in the kitchen without the other knowing was probably an understatement!
Our animals are our furry family,we love them all dearly and now our family was starting to fall apart.
On the Saturday Tilly came home and we rejoiced and thought good things are coming; but Harley got worse; and in the end I was putting a hot compress on his neck where the pain seemed to be. I had also looked up on the internet what the possibilities could be and knew it was likely that it was a ruptured disc or meningitis.
On the Monday we were back at the vets because our boy was in a lot of pain now and his neck was solid and hard. The vet again gave a thorough examination and called another vet to arrange an x ray; at that point, and being able to speak some French, I knew that they were discussing a ‘mass’ and were suggesting that they should refer him to what can only be described as a French supervet over an hours drive away. Being the type of girl who needs to know because if I don’t know I cannot deal with it, I looked at the vet and asked do you think it is cancer? He nodded and said it may be. And so it all came flooding back to me, the memories of when I was faced with losing someone I loved, and the reminder that NOW I was faced with something that was not insurmountable and something that I had no control over and that all the worrying over the last few weeks had been just a complete waste of time.
The vet gave Harley a massive dose of painkiller and I took him out whilst Rich paid the very small bill and got the details of the animal hospital. I did not care that I looked like a mad woman as I walked around the town with this beautiful little dog with his tail up, not looking as if there was a thing wrong with him, bawling my eyes out; praying that he would be okay.
We bought him home in a state of shock, Harley is only six years old. We prayed that it was not cancer but the alternatives were equally as scary and that night I lay on the floor with tears falling onto the mat as I told him how much I loved him. We did not want to go to bed, did not want the next day to come because it may mean that we would not have Harley any more. But it is one of the things in life you have to do, face the inevitable, and keep moving forward.
That night as Rich and I lay in bed I just continuously said a mantra “please let Harley get better, I have so much more love to give him.” I just did not stop saying it over and over again.
The next day in the dark of a very cold and damp morning, we left at 7.15am with Harley wrapped in a blanket on my lap and the Wiglet in the back of the Smart car; because she was getting stressed now given her history. I continued with my mantra all the way to Alencon.
When we arrived at this fantastic animal hospital it was a place to behold. The reception was huge and as we waited Wiglet entertained us as she barked at every dog that came in, set them all off barking, tried to get to the cats and got stopped in her tracks by an Airedale – seriously her mouth fell open when this huuuuuuuge dog that looked just like her walked through the door, and if she could have spoken she would have said “What the Fuck!!!” Despite our fear that Little Miss made us all laugh.
When the time came for Harley’s examination the Vet found his problem straight away, and Harley was truly screaming in pain. He had ruptured a disc in his spine near to his skull and needed an MRI and emergency operation to prevent paralysis or death. My poor big husband sobbed after having to hold him while they administered the unaesthetic for the MRI. After speaking to the vet we knew the best thing would be to leave him there but we were both relieved and terrified as we said our goodbyes to him, be was so vulnerable, like Bambi with his front legs buckling because of the amount of drugs he was on. The vet explained that despite all the drugs he was still in an incredible amount of pain and we had no choice, surgery was the only option with a ten per cent risk of death or paralysis.
The next day was so hard and boy did we hit the wine when at 6pm we finally found out the operation had been a success and we could pick him up the next day. I spent over two hours calling and messaging all of the people that were so worried about him.
He is now home with mummy,daddy and Wiglet, has just had his morphine patch removed and is now a frustrated Welshie who wants to chase the cats and doesn’t want to be an invalid any more. Mummy is providing drugs and physio and daddy is carrying him up and down the stairs, much to his disgust.
I always say that I try to live each day and enjoy each day, and that my dogs remind me of this because their lives are so short. Yet I think I had started to forget this and this was a wake up call for us both.
Now people tell us we have been unlucky with what has happened to us since moving here, but have we? I don’t focus on the negatives because here are the good:
We have a love for each other that some people search for all their lives, and for that we are blessed.
We have friends who will help us in our hour of need without question, because our dog would not be here today if it were not for them.
We have the love of good friends, our mini bus has come around and these people have got back on at a time when they need support also.
We have our beautiful animals and never least our beautiful Harley survived.
We are surrounded by beauty all around us.
Money cannot buy any of that.
We are not worrying about money or work any more, it will come good; and our little fledgling business is starting to expand, and work has come our way. Life has given us a slap around the head and told us to buck up because life can ALWAYS get worse!!!
But if you let it, it can get better too. Life taught us to remember what is important.
I love all my animals but there is nothing like a dog’s love, and boy have I been reminded of that over the last few weeks.
I am back now, sorry for my absence, I know you will understand….