Sunday, November 29, 2009

What to do, what to do...

I am calling my vet tomorrow morning...Lucy needs a dental, but it seems even more important now that I discovered a "hole" underneath one of her gray teeth. It seems you can look in and see the root of the tooth, right through the gum? My poor girl! It must be so painful.I am kicking myself that I didn't notice it before now. I've been keeping my eye on her front gray teeth... I haven't noticed that side one. Arg!! Hindsight... no wonder her smelly mouth has gotten even smellier than usual, and that she's gotten even more picky with her food. Oh, my poor Lucy! I am such a bad person not to have noticed this!!!

I'm getting a lot of family pressure to "put her down"--that she's old, it's not worth the $800 (high estimate of the range I got), that it's unfair to put her through surgery at 13 1/2. I realize that she might not survive surgery, but my God... how can I put her down?? She's pretty healthy for her age, knock on wood! My parents are concerned about my finances... the college I work at is doing very badly, and there's a huge chance I might not have a job next year. Hell, I might not have a job next week. I barely have the $$ in the bank to cover the surgery. If I get her surgery, then I have no savings account left and what the hell happens if I lose my job? How am I going to afford Lucy's and Clifford's care?? (Thank God Jack is young and healthy, knock on wood!). How do I pay my mortgage?

There is really no debate in my mind. Lucy is going in for dental surgery. Putting her to sleep is NOT an option. If she survives the surgery, I am so worried my parents will be disappointed in me for spending that money (although jeez, I'm 33, why am I so concerned about their approval? Why that anxiety?). But if I do the surgery, and she passes away during the teeth extraction, I will never be able to live with myself for putting her through it. It makes me sick to my stomach, even thinking about it. She was having some breathing issues this summer in the heat, what if she has a stroke under anesthesia? Or sufficates??

The pressure of doing the right thing for Lucy, coupled with Clifford's worsening lameness (is it the corn? Arthritis? Cancer?) pressured with the realization that I should probably begin job searching and interviewing seriously now (that alone makes me feel sick), that there are few jobs in my town so I may have to sell my home and move (or do a long commute), that I have barely any money saved in the bank... wow. Stress. It has been difficult feeling thankful this Thanksgiving holiday. I AM thankful for Xanax, though. LOL. It seems the only thing that is getting me through the past few weeks.

I did get 4 pet portrait commissions within the last few weeks! Yay! That $$ will go straight into the Lucy Dental Fund. I was so upset and desperate yesterday that I even went to Walmart to apply to work over the holidays, but they were done with holiday hiring- that's out- I hope I can sell more work via my Etsy store. It has been slow this season. :o(

This has been a depressing post. I'll end with a cute photo. Lucy was sleeping on the couch, and Jack snuck up next to her. He has the most guilty look on his kisser, lol. While Lucy enjoys getting up on the couch with Jack if he's there first, she usually won't let him up if she is up there first (she's not into sharing!). Jack REALLY likes the couch though, and as soon as Lu dozed off, he snuck up lol.

Some other happy photos:

My happy boy Clifford. Cliff doesn't let ANYTHING bother him. He loves to talk...but as you can see, he is carefully watching me to make sure I'm paying attention! :o) I wish I had Cliff's joie de vivre. He really thinks he has the world by the b-lls. :o)

Jack has started cockroaching!! I guess that means he is settling in and liking us. And I do love him, he's a great pup. He does drive me insane at times.... sigh... I guess I should expect nothing less from a teenager. :oP

Lucy's mouth situation has really driven home how important it is to keep the pups' teeth as clean as possible so we won't have to do any more dentals. Raw turkey necks (NOT cooked) have a reputation for really cleaning up dogs' teeth. The bones are edible because in raw form they are very spongy and not brittle at all. Sooo... Jack and Cliff have begun getting weekly necks. They are disturbingly phallic and disgustingly slimy, but the boys love them (Lucy, even in her younger days, wouldn't touch raw meat with a 10 foot pole. I don't blame her!).

Last but not least, my suet feeder finally had a visitor... a Black Capped Chickadee! I got some fun pictures with the telephoto lense on my camera. I was a surprised a chickadee would eat suet (I thought only woodpeckers did) but it's all good. As long as those glutonous, pesky squirrels don't eat it... any kind of bird is good for me!

Back to work tomorrow. I am nervous about it. :o(



gryphonkessira said...

Why don't you speak to your vet about it, Jen? Ask his/her opinion (assuming you trust them to give you the advice best for your dog and not just their wallet). Talk about all your concerns and see what they say. Nothing is without risk, but you can only do what you think is best at the moment..deciding to do the surgery, and having something go wrong is nothing you can control. Did you do the best you could at the time? No one is omniscient, we just do what we can. As for finances, you may be able to work out a payment plan with the vet..I know I'd eat ramen noodles for a year if Ladybird needed something!

Jen said...

Thanks for the advice, Mel! I did talk with the vet (actually 2 different vets at my practice). They said that most dogs they do dentals on are older and that Lucy will have an extra IV line, catheter, etc since she is a senior. I'm not 100% pleased with this place, but I'm not sure if that is because of ME (in that, I try to play doctor and pre-diagnose and when they don't agree with me, it ticks me off lol). Of course my vet doesn't have payment plans either, sigh. Beans and rice for the next few months, lol!


Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Hang in there! That tooth definitely looks like it needs to be pulled.

I do think turkey necks are best, but nothing beats brushing especially if they don't eat raw food everyday. Spending 30 seconds with each dog and a toothbrush is the best thing you can do in my opinion.... especially if you already have clean teeth to start with.

Life at Star's Rest said...

Please email me about dog portraits! I would love to have one done of my husband's dog as a gift for him and to help with the Lucy fund.

Jen said...

Thanks NSN- I do brush, but am bad at it. Only 1-2x a week. I need to get better. :o(

Carmon... emailed you! Thanks! :o)