Polar Bear

Polar Bear
My Boy

Monday, December 20, 2010

I will try to fix you

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.


Blubeari said...

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my Kicho. I've really identified with you in this blog because I think I understand. I try not to talk to other people about how I feel about Kicho too much. They don't seem to understand. I guess some people have never been able to truly love a pet. They can't understand why it's a year later and I still cry when I talk about my Kicho. I would give anything to spend this Christmas with Kicho.

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

I'm so sorry... That sounds like a really hard heartache to have and to feel guilty on top must be painful to deal with. I hope you feel better and find peace. Have a happy Christmas!


fatgirlwearingthin said...

I teared up just reading this post. The loss of a part of our family is so gutwrenching at times it can be staggering. Everything you've written my husband and I have felt and continue to feel. Mandy was a senior rescue dog and we acquired her at 9. A bold move since my beloved girl Abby died of lymphoma at 6 and we've had other goldens that never made it that long. Abby was put on chemo and I hoped to God it would help. It didn't.
Guilt, second-guesses, sadness, and the ultimate urge to fill that void in any way possible is what we experience on any given day in this household. We don't have children so our dogs are truly our family. The loss of a loved one especially around Christmas is so hard (my husband lost his mother this year as well) but I just make a point at counting the days until life can get back to normal.
If you are being led to Pippin, follow through on that regardless of the outcome. I think it's all part of the healing process. Sending a big hug your way :)

Jennifer said...

I know I have written to you before about how it was so awful when we had to put our Boo down. I still think about it to this day and cry. He was the best pet anyone could ever have. To me, he was more than a pet but a very real part of our family. When he passed I said how I would never have another dog. It didnt even seem like a possibility. No other dog could ever compare and I wouldnt even try. Yet, like you I found myself on the internet looking for a rescue dog to adopt. I went to a few shelters even and left with a heart of stone. I am an animal lover so this shocked me at the time. Normally, given the opportunity I would want them all!! One day I spoke with a man who told me that I should not let my sorrow and sadness from losing one pet stop me from loving another. There are so many animals out there that need a good home and love that I am capable of giving. I thought about this for a while. And he was right. When we adopted our new dog (Sugar Marie-I did a post about her a few months back if you want to search it on my blog and see lots of pics)....it wasnt easy at first as I found myself comparing her to my Boo. Maybe I even resented her a big at first. But with time I realized I can be sad about my Boo and give her the love she deserved and so badly wants at the same time. She is so eager to please. She sucks up the love! Now, she is a part of our family and I cant imagine our family without her. You may be surprised what your heart is capable of. I went into the rescue place with three rules: no female dog, no pitbull, and no dog over a year old. I left with a two year old female pitbull mix. As soon as they brought her out(we walked every freakin dog in the place I think) I knew she was the one. My heart got warm. My heart goes out to you because I know how the loss of pet feels. Hang in there.


Ginger aka Gidget said...

Oh sweetie you are breaking my heart. I'm sending you all sorts of hugs. When I put down my lab (Sicily was her name) two days before Christmas, I was distraught. The poor people at the Vet's office in the waiting room were stunned to watch this sizable girl bawling her eyes out while waiting to pay the bill. (Let's just add insult to injury, right?) I still miss her. :(

You did everything for Polar and that, my friend, Polar knows.