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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A One Week Love Affair

It was love at first sight.

During an official visit to one of our offices, we unintentionally set eyes with her. It was the first time we saw her, and she really captured our hearts. The black and white little furball wags her tail as I carried her out from her cage. As much as we want to have her, it is not possible. As of what I heard, the furball is already reserved for someone else.

Trying to have a female Siberian Husky for our Stewie, a male Siberian Husky, we tried to ask again if any is available for release or for sale. And yes, the cute little furball that once we set eyes with was then available! She was the only one left from her batch, her other littermates didn't make through the critical stage of its early lives, while the other one was already released to its new owner. The furball was then available, but for a price that we could not afford.  But God made a way, and we got a good offer to have her, and we definitely grabbed the chance. The then named Chamber, and then Heidi is now named Lois as we already had her by then.

Lois, a black and white female Siberian Husky, almost 3 months of age happily wagged her tail as she officially started her first day in her new home with us. The sweet little furball really knew how to make us smile. She followed us whenever we walk around, ran around her place, played her squeaky toy, and teased Stewie most of the time. But one thing we noticed, she was coughing and had runny nose.

Before her first step on her new home, we brought her to a veterinarian to have her cough and colds checked, the doctor wants her injected with antibiotic, vitamin B complex, and a medicine to lower her temperature since based on her initial check-up, she had a fever. But the vet and us decided to return the next day instead when we already have her medical records to have a more accurate medication based on her vaccinations.

During her stay in her new home, and while waiting for her next schedule of vet visit, she did her usual stuff. She was not a bark-y type of dog, we only heard her a few times, and howled during her first few nights. She howled inside her cage as if she wanted to sleep with us. We planned to let her sleep in the room once her cough and colds subside, but not that time, not yet.

Lois’ appetite was really good, knowing that Siberian Huskies are natural picky eaters; we wished that she would remain as is until the rest of her time. She couldn't wait whenever she heard us preparing her food; she walked around excitedly until her food was in front of her. She was as excited as ever, and as if she was not fed the whole day - but not until her 5th day with us. Since her 4th day and 2nd visit with the vet (the time that we already had her medical records), she started to slowed down from her usual routine. After her medication by injection, she ate a little and slept most of the time. She was suspected to have been infected by Canine Distemper Virus, but with no screening done. On her 6th day with us, she stopped eating and drinking, though she still wagged her tail and walked around her place, her energy declined so much, and started vomiting – which made us worry even more. As a registered nurse, I know for a fact that I should not show much worry or let her hear that I am worrying so much about her situation, because I still believe that the care’s recipient will be affected by anything she/he hears from the care provider. I should say encouraging words and release positive signals for her. But naturally, it is acceptable that one would show much worry for such situation just like what we sometimes did. And honestly, there will be no person who will not show much worry and depression for such situation, even I had a hard time hiding such emotions.

She was accompanied the whole day on her 6th day, missing Saturday work of her guardian just to keep an eye on her. By that time, she must already be dehydrated, that’s why we were just forcing her to eat, drink, and take her medicines. We called her veterinarian and other knowledgeable friends as well to consult about her situation, we were then decided to have her confined, but was advised by some vets to further observe her. She slept in our room that night. I had her on my chest, and she seemed to be comfortable and relaxed in that situation. The little furball remained sweet until this hard moment, she placed her head near mine, and seemed to like when my arms were around her.

Together with our boss, we decided to have her confined the next day. We have her confined with IV dextrose line to replenish fluids and prevent further dehydration, had her tested for distemper virus, and had her undergo complete blood test. During the mid-afternoon of her 8th day with us, the vet informed us that our dear baby Lois was negative of distemper virus, and this gave us new hope that she might be just sick because of something, something that we assumed that was treatable. But her vet recommended us to have Lois undergo Parvo Virus test, another fatal canine disease together with the previously suspected distemper virus. We had our hopes and faith; we were looking forward to a negative result and wished to pull her out of confinement as soon as possible.

But the mood changed after a few hours. Baby Lois was positive of Canine Parvo Virus. Trying to convince myself that she would get better sooner or later, even though we knew that the virus that infested her body was fatal, I even shared internet researches to her vet that Parvo cases have better chances of survival when hospitalized rather than staying at home, and opposing the vet’s initial report that chances of survival is 5-20% only. Still in the stage of denial, I was trying to convince the vet and myself as well that the rate of survival is 70%. But being in line in the medical field, I know for a fact that doctors often do not lie of the real situation, they do not give false reassurance just to keep sake of the client or patient’s relatives to hope for nothing. Instead, they tell the truth to prepare ourselves for whatever may happen.

That’s life. That’s reality. And we must accept it. We bid goodbye to baby Lois, promised to return the next day to visit her. We left her with encouraging words. We tried to boost her energy by telling her that Stewie and the gang was already waiting for her to come home. But just like what I did to one of our beloved furkid Light who already passed away few years ago due to distemper, even though we were encouraging her to stay alive, to fight for her life, I whispered to her almost the same words I whispered to Light several years ago – ‘Fight for your life, but if you are already suffering too much, if you are already hurting too much, let go and surrender and take a good sleep.’ Unlike what I asked Light before, to wait for my graduation before he surrender, I just told Lois to take a good sleep if she can’t bare the pain anymore. I do not want to feel guilty again by asking her to stay longer; that I know will also prolong her suffering. I do not want to feel selfish. I want her to just have good memories of us and nothing more.

By 10 in the evening, the vet texted us that our baby Lois was crying, probably because of too much pain - pain that she endured for quite a time already. The night passed, and by morning, we received painful news from the vet, that after Lois’ mourning for agony, she slept well already, a very good night sleep.

Parvo virus seemed to be stronger than our faith and hopes, Parvo virus seemed to be stronger than our baby Lois and us. But Lois’ faith to her masters is stronger than the death caused by Parvo virus itself. Lois’ faith and loyalty to us, to her masters’ words to take a good night sleep after a fight well fought to overcome the pain and suffering defeated the infestation of the virus and concluded her short journey on earth.

A week of love affair has been concluded in a tragic way. A tragic ending that will make us remember her loyalty and faith forever. By now, baby Lois, the black and white furball rests in her grave in her own home.

This time, we never felt any guilt because we fought with her in her battle and we tried all possible ways to treat her, all possible ways to save her from the ultimate defeat. We know that she is not regretful for having us as her new masters as well. Wherever happy place Lois might be right now, she’ll surely meet Kuya Light and Sushi. To Lois, kindly tell your story to them and send our love for them.

We love Lois, and she’ll always be our baby girl. 

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