I have this amazing dog. #1 of 6 right now, but he's always been my #1 dog. His name is Freckles and he's a beautiful Brittany Spaniel. I have a special name for him that I whisper in his ear and we have funny words and gestures that only me and him understand. Silly right? Not for us. Freckles was a rescue that I got in 2004. He was dumped at the end of the cul de sac where he just showed up one day. But oddly enough, so did the neighbor's brother who got kicked out of his house along with his dog. But yet the guy said it wasn't his dog. Hmmmmm....The whole thing was fishy. "Freckles" spent the night on the neighbor's porch. They told me he wouldn't go away and decided to camp there. The people said that they would try and find his home the following day and gave him some food. Me being me, brought him out a blanket and more food and couldn't sleep worrying about him.
So the next day when I was at work, I learned that no, in fact they hadn't found him his home, but rather called animal control to take him away! Something inside me said I needed to have that dog, I needed to find him. I scoured every website looking for him and finally found his picture at the Tacoma shelter. He had one day left before he'd be put down. Put down why? Because he was dumped off somewhere? For that you deserve death? I'll never understand this system....
Right away I called the shelter and told them I would be down to adopt Freckles. After work I rushed over and got him and brought him home. He was MY DOG from the very beginning. We just had this connection and I knew he was meant to be mine.
Through the years, Freckles was my constant. I had some really rough times here and there, yet my boy was always with me to lend comfort, a warm neck to nuzzle in and those amber eyes to assure me things would be fine. I cried so many times in the scruff of his neck and he'd be soaking wet from my tears, but he never got up and walked away. He was truly my rock. He slept with me everynight too, like a stuffed animal and I couldn't sleep without him.
I know dogs will eat most anything, but this dog made me laugh cause he loves tomatoes! Everytime I make a salad, he's right there in the kitchen waiting for his tomatoes and cucumbers, he loves those too. A couple years ago when we still lived in Auburn, WA and had our wonderful Lakeland house, around our outdoor patio area, I put a grape tomatoe plant in a big pot. As soon as I let him outside, he'd make a beeline right for that pot and he'd sniff it and then snatch those tomatoes right off their stems! I didn't mind, it was really fun to watch and I knew he was enjoying them.
Well now, years later, Freckles is sick. I know he's older, about 14 now I guess. That doesn't make it easier or give me any comfort. He's my boy. The vet is saying he has something called "Protein-Loss Enteropathy" which I don't fully understand. All I know is that he has "pitting edema" in his hind legs and so they're swollen with fluid build-up. That was the first sign I noticed. Then his weight has dropped. His backbone is more pronounced now and it's as if everything sort of fell down. I learned that an emaciated look is another sign. Thankfully he still has his appetite. The vet said he has fluid in his abdominal area as well which is causing discomfort. How much, I don't know, but I'm very watchful. Blood tests also showed anemia. He's on 3 meds right now, 2 for his gut and 1 antibiotic. He's perked up since taking them so I'm hoping that maybe he'll recover fully. The reality though? He probably won't. With this fluid build-up, he could throw a bloodclot. The fluid could also fill his lungs or heart. I don't know what is next, but I'm focusing on the now because that's all we have, that's all anyone has. We tend to forget that at times, either looking forward or back. The one for sure I do know is that I won't allow him to suffer because of my own needs. I need him here forever but I know that's not to be.
I can't create and just go on with my everyday normal life when things like this are going on. It affects me. My dog is dying, right here, now. It's hard to feel the inspiration to create when a life is ending and you're powerless to stop it. The best I can do is to offer him comfort and unending love. My art will always be there, he won't.
Thanks for listening.....Jeannine