When I think back to a year ago, we had just brought Polar to the neurologist. We piled him into a rented cargo van, and I watched in horror as he slipped into the splits on the tile floor of the vet's office as everyone else wondered what was wrong.
In my heart, I knew. Taiga, my other Dane baby, had been put down a year earlier after developing Wobbler's as a younger dog. When Polar came up lame after his accident, I recognized his paw dragging and slipping. I hated that this had happened to him, I hated myself even more for letting this happen.
Taiga had responded to gold bead therapy, which is basically like constant acupuncture that tries to get the body to reduce spinal inflammation and relieves pain. In fact she lived about three years after the onset of Wobbler's, which is pretty successful for noninvasive therapy.
After the MRI confirmed my worst fears for Polar, we weighed our options. Surgery, which is not very successful for very large dogs like him as the bones surrounding the fixed site often break from the strain, was not a humane option for him. Though I am very much a Western medicine type of gal, I scanned everything I could read, and decided to try acupuncture, and eventually gold bead therapy.
Every week, our holistic vet came and stuck MANY wires in him, then attached electrodes to the wires, and he just chilled and looked around and seemed to enjoy the attention. And the doggie cookies. Then the vet would massage him, and adjust his hips and other joints to relieve some stress within them. Then eventually we had gold beads placed in him. All the while he was on steroids as well...
Honestly, I hoped with all my heart that this would work, that we would have him for many more years. He still had a zeal for life and happiness and curiosity in his eyes, even if he couldn't move very well. He had his good days and bad, but the upswing that we were all hoping for never came.
I scoured the internet, and talked with vets all over the country trying to find other treatment options for him. You see, I pride myself on being a great researcher, on exhausting all options when trying to make decisions, on educating myself.
I scoured the internet for hundreds of hours, I tried to find anything. I tried so hard to fix him. He was relying on me, I was his only hope, and I failed him.
I couldn't fix him. Though I am not ready for another dog, I often find myself searching for dogs to adopt. And I only look for those unadoptable dogs, those with issues, blind or deaf like my boy, injured, etc.
Yesterday I found a site to adopt retired Iditarod dogs, and I found this one girl, Pippin. Seeing her picture spoke to me somehow-I connected with this dog I will probably never meet. Weird, I know. Ever since then I have been obsessed with trying to find a way to adopt her. I don't even know if she is still available, and I know I cannot get another dog right now, but the need to adopt this unwanted girl persists.
I know this all stems from trying to help her the way I couldn't help Polar-to make her life better-to fix her.
This holiday is killing me, I am crying alot, and the guilt is worse than ever-I miss my boy so much. I wish you all a fulfilling season with your loved ones, and yet I envy you to every fiber of my being.