I am sorry for the delay in posting an update. Last night took a turn for the worse, but this time not for Pumba.
So I left off with my last blog that Pumba was in an Oxygen cage at the vet. Let me just tell you how awesome our vet is. They don’t keep dogs overnight. She told us that when we got there so basically Pumba had about 8 hours to figure himself out and heal. Well, after the respiratory distress episode leading to intubation and sedation for him, Pumba wasn’t really following the 8 hours time frame. This meant when the vet clinic closed at 6, Pumba would need to ago back to the emergency overnight vet for Oxygen and we simply just couldn’t do that again. We were upfront and honest with both Abbie and Dr.McCormick that by the end of the day we’d need to make a decision which would likely have resulted in putting Pumba down. So because Dr. M and her team were really fighting hard to save this dog that apparently has 9 lives, they got creative in his care. Dr. M went home and brought her baby monitor in. She put it in front of Pumba’s Oxygen cage and monitored him from home…I mean this dog is one lucky dog. He received better care there than I ever had when giving birth! (No one spoon-feed me hand-rolled meatballs or constantly patted my head telling me I was a “good girl.”). Dr. M texted us a few updates that evening and had a vet tech stop by to give him an evening dose of medicine.
And then we had to wait…
The plan was in the morning to start weaning Pumba off of the oxygen and see how his lungs would handle to breathing. According to Dr. M, a miracle took place that night! In true Pumba fashion, a glitch in the oxygen occurred around 3 in the morning. It sounds like the oxygen might have stopped pumping into the cage which led for the oxygen levels to slowly go down and by the time they came in the next morning, Pumba has weaned himself off of oxygen. I mean are you kidding me? We thought it would take him all day to figure out how to breathe on his own again (if it was even possible) and here the little booger showed us up once again. Pumba spent the day at the vet on Wednesday living his best life. He had an office suite at the clinic where I am sure he received a lot of love and attention. They called us during the day to let us know that he was ready to come home. What the what???
As soon as we could leave school, Abbie and I rushed to get Pumba. I just don’t think either one of them could be happier to be reunited. Now, to me he looked so sad and sick and I am still waiting for something to happen because I think there is just no way this dog can still be alive. The way home was filled with sheer panic and fear. They told us that if he’s mouth breathing that means he’s not getting enough oxygen. Well, about 5 minutes into the ride home, he starts mouth breathing. Abbie is in near tears. I am blasting the cold air. We put up window shields to block the sun. Abbie was begging me to turn around and take him back. Finally, he closed his mouth, rested his head and got back into a normal breathing pattern.
Pumba and Abbie arrived home and he got the royal treatment. We put them in our bedroom with the air conditioning blasting, the lights dimmed and the ocean calming sounds playing. Our house can be, well um, chaos and we really wanted him to rest. After a few hours we transitioned him into Abbie’s room where he continued his royal treatment. We (and by we I mean I) hand rolled wet dog food meatballs for him so he’d take his pills…Can you imagine the smell of wet canned dog food pair with hand rolling them? This is how I know I am now a dog person 100%. No one should have to smell that smell or feel that in their hands. And barf.
This is when the night took a turn for the worse. Abbie had been mentioning that she wasn’t feeling the best since we brought Pumba home. She seemed tired and lethargic but we associated that with her lying on the floor at the vet clinic for 8 hours the day before with the dog. She kept saying her heart felt weird and her chest hurt. After just taking a CPR certification class at school, I knew chest pain and tightness is nothing to mess around with…even if you are only 16. We were in the car and off to the Urgent Care Center in no time. Abbie was really weak, white as a ghost, shaking and trembling.
After almost fainting, again, at the IV placing and being hooked up to an EKG for an hour, we are still unsure what happened. (sounds familiar doesn’t it?!?! cough cough…Pumba). Her blood levels were a little out of whack, but her heart looked steady and good on the EKG. Honestly we think the stress and trauma of the past few days took a toll on her sweet little body and it just wigged out. Of course we had to FaceTime with Molly from the hospital to check on Pumba and make sure he was ok. We got the all clear to go home with a couple of days of rest. Abbie “sadly” has to miss 2 days of school to rest at home which is exactly what her dog needs to be doing. Funny isn’t it? Or convenient?
The week has been filled with so much more, some good, some bad. Some I can share in a later blog and some I can’t. It’s been a really hard week. Tomorrow we will probably say goodbye to Baby J officially so that will cap off this horrible week with more tears and mixed emotions. While we will still have the joy of seeing her on a regular basis, she no longer will be our sweet little baby girl to love and spoil in our home. I think we will enjoy the peace of not having a 1 1/2 year old, but I know the house will feel empty and quiet. (well maybe not quiet…but quieter than it has been for sure).
Pumba is doing far better than what I had expected. Seeing him at almost the end of his life and struggling so much to seeing him back in Abbie’s room resting and sleeping is sort of surreal. I still don’t think he will make a full recovery (cause I’m a glass half empty kind of person most times), but I won’t doubt or question God’s hand in this from the very beginning. I don’t know why He thought we needed this week, but here we are coming to the end of it and I am so grateful for a fresh start to a new week on Sunday!
On a happier, well maybe this isn’t happy now as I’m thinking about it, school started on Wednesday for 6 of the 7. I couldn’t bare to take a first day of school pic without our college freshman so we made her get up at 6:45a.m. to take a family picture. She was “thrilled.” I’ll save the rest of the pics for a different day, but we made it to the start of another year somehow and I don’t know where the time has gone.
I am sure the Pumba saga is not going to end here because that would make things too boring around here! A special thank you to those of you who donated to my daughter’s gofundme account they set up in an attempt to help us keep Pumba alive. The generosity, love and support we received through the account as well as the numerous prayers, texts, calls and messages are what kept us pressing on this week. We could feel the love from all over for our sweet Pumba and precious Abbie. God worked a miracle in more ways than one this week! Even if Pumba’s time here is limited, he’ll sure have one heck of a story to tell all the dogs in Heaven one day!
With love and gratitude,
Susan and the Fam! (and Pumba too)