Background Switcher (Hidden)

About A Dog

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happier times, when Chet was chasing his new friend Cookie. Not even a week ago. I'm keeping this image in my head. I want to see Chet in a flying gallop again.

This is one of the times when living gets in the way of blogging about it. You've just got to live through things and though you feel and deeply appreciate your unseen friends' exasperation and worry and care, you just can't be pecking away at your keyboard.

It was a day. When I hadn't heard from Chet's veterinarian by 2:30 PM, I headed into town--I had a meeting, but I fidgeted through it and raced over there. Dr. Lutz was waiting for me. There's a thing that happens in medicine where the doctor tries to prepare you for the worst, I guess as a way of making any lesser diagnosis seem like a gift. It's sort of the inverse of stereo shopping, where the salesman lets you listen to the crappy speakers and then gradually leads you deeper into the store's inner sanctum, and then turns on the really sweet Cambridge speakers, and that's when you know what you'll be buying. This is the opposite--the doctor hits you with the big stuff right off the bat, and you hope you can step down to the less serious stuff. I still haven't figured out if that's an apt (inverse) analogy, but I'm very tired, having been up and thinking about my doggie since 4 AM.

When I arrived they had taken blood from Chet and were "spinning it down" in the centrifuge to try to get a picture of what's happening. Mainly, they wanted to see his platelets. Dr. Lutz suspected an autoimmune disease in which Chet's body would destroy its own platelets, and thus the oxygen-carrying capacity of his blood, which would help explain why he's been bleeding from his gums, and lying around like a rag doll. Dr. Lutz told me just enough about the disease to send me home ashen-faced and straight to Google, where I learned that, if that's what Chet has, we were in real trouble. The only good sign was that his fever was down, so maybe the antibiotic was having an effect. Maybe it wasn't the blood disease.

An attendant brought Chet out and he almost knocked me down with his joy, crying and telling me he thought he'd never see me again. And just as quickly, they took him back to rest in his cage. The little moan he gave as they dragged him away tore my heart. I drove home in shock, did some ill-advised Googling, and waited for the call about his blood test.

At 6:30 on the dot, Dr. Lutz called to say that his blood looks NORMAL. His platelet count is 450K. Thank the Lord. I can't tell you how good that sounded to me. I was having all kinds of insane thoughts about life without Chet, thoughts I couldn't even stand to have crowding into my brain. We still don't know what's going on, but Dr. Lutz said she intends to keep him at the hospital "until we see the real Chet again." Everyone at the practice knows what a live wire he is, and can't believe this little mopey dishrag is the same dog.

Dr. Lutz is beginning to wonder if he ate something that is just sitting in his digestive tract, releasing toxins. Since he's not eating, he's not moving anything out, either, and she'd like to move whatever it might be along--at the very least to get a sample.
I'm going to have to go back tomorrow to hold him for awhile. I don't know who this is harder for--us or Chet Baker. I just know I need my dog, and he needs me. He's not even two yet, and he has a lot of work to do.
Baker was so gentle with Cooper, a 5-month-old Peke-a-poo. Thank you for all your thoughts and good wishes. It's mighty quiet around here tonight.


[Back to Top]