Saturday, June 21, 2014

Jakey- Another dog Tale

(Lawrence Pretended Not to Notice- a painting by James C. Christensen,)
*When the artist asked a group of children what they thought the picture meant, one girl raised her hand and said it meant you have to ask your mom first before you bring a pet home! He told her she was right on!- From the book of his works entitled:
 'The Passage of Faith.
Well, when you happen to enjoy talking with people and learning about their lives, you find out really good dog stories.

It just happens. Originally it was due to kids bringing a stray home before asking but I am seeing a trend that has shifted and that people are getting their pets in different ways these days; buying them.
(How would we have asked first? The dog would have strayed into the next neighborhood and we'd have had to put up lost dog signs before we'd even met and learned about its likes and dislikes.)

So, people have dogs greater numbers these days and they love their dogs; their life story is intertwined with their pet(s). They even breed their dogs so that others, who like their dog so much, can have one of the brood.

 Padre had let us have dogs like an adult would let a baby have a sip or taste of something from the dinner table before they were weaned; it just whetted our pet palette. So I don't have a lot of continuity of dog stories.

So I got to know another dog- and much like my favorite author, who worked the English country side as a veterinarian, I found myself thinking of  the dog, Tricky Woo. The famous dog who would send James letters and even party invitations instead of the owner's name to the events, and James would attend them.

He also had a slew of pictures of Tricky Woo  put up on his fridge. Actually, I don't know where he put the pictures but Tricky signed all of them on the bottom corner like a famous star would autograph their picture. Or a baseball.

Friends of mine lived in England and every day they walked they encountered people with their dogs. Because they were serving a mission, they weren't able to get a dog. And they often would have the dogs bark at them. She felt it wasn't because they were strangers, but that the dogs were yelling at them for not having their own pet to walk. A sort of pro pet stance you could say.

So, across the pond, it seems that they have pets on a larger scale than we do. Or it's just that you notice more dogs when you actually exercise.  We could actually have pets on the same scale but they get to walk them around in a lush country side and we let ours tear up backyards and fore-go the walks so we can watch soccer.

 Unlike Tricky-Woo, Jakey did not have flopbotting going on but he did have some major medical problems and had to see a Vet. My new friend is quite smart and got second and a third opinion on Jakey's medical diagnosis.

As Jakey's story unraveled, I could  tell that we had a lot in common. From many doctor appts. to  being anemic and even prednisone! This is quite common as I am finding out- pet owners spending a lot of time finding the right doctor for their loved one. Oh, and prednisone. Great inflammatory band aid.

However, and I share this with you Readers with my friend's permission- Jakey had to have a blood transfusion. Yes, a blood transfusion. At this point in the conversation I had to pause.

ME: A Blood Transfusion?

She apologized and confirmed: "Yes, a blood transfusion."

 I pictured in my mind the infusion rooms of the many hospitals and infusion centers I have been in. I pictured Jakey there , laying back in a hospital bed with his arm up connected to an IV, a blood pressure cuff wrapped around his arm and his paw limply open, as they delivered the life saving blood.

Which makes me wonder for the first time,
do dog's have blood banks?

Do dogs go into the Red Cross and give blood on a regular basis like Padre? And if so, do they get patches, pins, and the ultimate- a T-shirt- telling the Pet World:

"I gave blood."


Do dogs trial meds like we do in order to advance medicine? Do they have shampoo that isn't tested on people?  And that made me wonder if they have to sign up for medical and dental insurance and how expensive that could run a dog.

The picture of a dog navigating the medical world  made me laugh and I had to apologize to Jakey's owner. She, of course, said it was okay and had even apologetically told me about the efforts she went to in order to prolong her dog's life and felt bad for the fact that it might diminish the importance of my own plight.

(on the contrary.)

Unfortunately, despite the top notch medical treatment, Jakey died.

 (Well, Jakey was actually put to sleep.)
 I inquired how long the medical treaments had extended Jakey's life. Sadly it was only a month. However, Jakey's owner felt it was worth every penny.

The other day, J. hollered to me: "Mom, I am facing my fears and gonna put in Marley and Me!"
Thinking that his fear must have been about death I went in there and asked him if this was why he never wanted to watch the movie with me.

J: "Nah, it actually is the fact that Marley's owners are both writers and had to live in a bad part of town until their careers took off."

ME: "Oh."

Now I can't watch the movie.

(Disclaimer- all names have been unchanged. Jakey is a real dog. However, J. did have another reason for not enjoying Marley and Me.... can you guess what it is? It isn't what one would think! Which goes to show that you never know what goes on in a kid's head. )

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