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Monday, May 25, 2015

And How Was Your Holiday Weekend?

So! My holiday weekend started bright and early -- er, um, I should say: dark and early, at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning when I woke to a strange scrabbling noise coming from the living room. And I laid there a moment, thinking, what the heck is that noise? Then, finally got up to investigate only to find Boomer, our geriatric dog, had somehow slid behind his orthopedic doggie bed and was now caught between wall/bed/Bob's wheelchair and scrambling (fruitlessly) to get to his feet.

I turned on the light to offer him some assistance.  These days, Boomer wears a "lift assist" harness which makes it easy for me to help this big dog to his feet (and also makes him popular with the neighborhood children).  It looks like this:


And basically with this harness, I can grab the handle on his back and pull him easily and nearly effortlessly to his feet in one forward sweeping motion. Boomer, as most of you know, is 13 1/2 years old now and suffers from arthritis which is pretty typical in dogs his breed (Shepard/Great Dane mix) and size (100 lbs).  He occasionally has trouble getting up, those back legs are weak, and that's when the harness comes in handy. Our vet has him on two different pain killers plus prednisone (the latter helps immensely).

Anyway, back to Saturday morning. So I turn on the light to offer Boomer a lift assist, only to discover, to my horror, that not only had Boomer fallen, but he lost control of his bowels at the same time.

It looked like a crime scene (think blood splatter --but this is brown) on the walls, floor, bed, wheelchair and dog. I mean, the stuff was sprayed everywhere. And poor Boomer, slipping and sliding in it.

So I manage to pull the dog up and (I think) out of his predicament, but when I get him clear of the mess, Boomer just can't stand up.  I mean, his legs are splaying out, he's got no strength or balance and he keeps sliding down to the floor and I keep pulling him up and he keeps sliding down and after two or three times, I am in tears because I'm thinking, oh shit, this is it, it's Boomer's time, and I'm thinking I'm going to have to call the vet, and I'm thinking, man, I can't do this, I can't bear to do this, and I am just bawling, tears streaming down my face and I am covered with tears and dog poop, and Boomer is covered in dog poop and there's poop on the floor and the walls and Bob is hanging over the side of his hospital bed, reaching his hand out to me, trying his best to comfort me and oh my god...

Then, Boomer manages to stand up. Shakily. But he stands. Then he walks. His old dog, loping, shaky walk. But he walks and I take him outside to wash him off and he pees outside and it's now, like 2:30 a.m., and I go back in the house to clean up the walls and floor and throw the dog bed blankets into the washing machine and by the time I have everything cleaned up it's 3:30 a.m. and I get Boomer settled in his bed but he's still wobbly and I climb into bed and lay there until nearly 5:00 a.m. unable to sleep because I'm thinking that if Boomer isn't better in the morning, I will have to call the vet. And this just breaks my heart.

I do have it "pre-arranged" so to speak. One call, and our vet will come to our house to put him to sleep when the time comes....

Boomer, resting on his bed, rug underneath to keep him from sliding...
But later that morning, Boomer rebounds. And he's back to his old dog self. Though I have to give him another bath, as I didn't do so well in the dark.

And I tell you, I am physically and emotionally exhausted on Saturday.

And then I get an idea, to put a rug under Boomer's orthopedic doggie bed to keep it from slipping out from under him and, you know what, it works.  I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before -- it's not the first time his bed has slid out from under him on the slippery wood floors.

Mornings, these days, I am caregiver x3, as my morning routine now consists of first, crushing and syringing Bob's medications down his tube, then Boomer's medications (prying open a large dog's mouth and cramming 5 pills down -- no small feat -- but only got my thumb crunched once so far!) then Zenith's medication (liquid in a syringe popped in her mouth).  The latter involves a chase!
Zenith: Don't even try!!

So Saturday begins like normal, with meds all around, but then Bob announces that he's constipated and I have to give him a laxative so pretty much Saturday is "poop day" and I am hauling bags of you-know-what to the dumpster about 5 or 6 times.

Then Sunday rolls around and Bob wants another laxative because he still feels like "poop" is on it's way. So more laxative, more bags of you-know-what out to the dumpster...

And now it's the official holiday.  I gave Bob a bath. Did some cleaning. Ordered some medical supplies online. Wrote this.

And how was your holiday weekend?

1 comment:

Barb Polan said...

How can you make me laugh at such horrifying circumstances?

My dog is small (25 pounds) and young (5), but we got him to keep me company shortly after I had the stroke, so his end (eventually) will be the worst one yet. I've had a dog or two my entire adult life. After our last dog died following two years of deterioration, my husband and I decided "no more pets," because we'd had enough heart-ache re end-of-life issues. The stroke, however, changed all that, and we decided both of us would feel better if I had company all day while my husband was at work.