Posted by Tania Kindersley.
This was not supposed to turn into a veterinary bulletin board, but that is the purpose it seems to be serving today. Am rather overwhelmed by the instant flood of amazingly kind comments that came in almost the moment I posted the poor Pigeon news. I can’t tell you how touched I am.
The vet has just called. It is pancreatitis. It is quite a common condition in older dogs, and he says it is serious. He says: fingers crossed, which I take as a good sign, because he is never a man to offer false hope. If there was acute danger, he would not have said that. He says also that he has her on drips and drugs and she is looking brighter. He is going to keep her in overnight, and monitor her closely, and tomorrow we shall see.
I look it up on the internet, trying to avoid the more hysterical sites which always say DEATH. It is rather a mystery ailment, and has many causes and many outcomes. She is not overweight and has a strict diet, so it seems it is not that. But one of the causes, bizarrely, is trauma and shock. I find this on a very official, dry vet website, so believe it must be true, and not mad interweb scare-mongering. I try to veer away from anthropomorphic sentimentality, but I cannot help wondering if the loss of her sister might have had something to do with it.
As always, my underlying default mode is optimism, so I count the hopeful things. These are:
We caught it early. I thought I was being a bit paranoid when I rushed her to the vet for a bout of sickness, and wondered if he might smile and send me away. It is the paranoia that comes from just having lost a dog: I’m not taking any chances. Catching it early is, apparently, a vital factor, so we can thank the dear old Duchess for that.
Her underlying health and fitness are very good. I think that must help.
My vet is bloody brilliant. I am slightly in awe of him, he is such a forceful alpha male. He has that sort of gleam of knowledge and capability that surgeons carry. But he is also very kind, and has known the Pidge since she was a tiny puppy. She could not be in better hands.
I’m not sure if I believe in fate. My child of the enlightenment rationalism militates against the idea. But there is a part of me that cannot quite resist a bit of magical thinking, every so often. I think: another blow cannot fall so soon. Surely it is time for the roulette wheel of life to spin and come down on a winning number? This of course is sheer folly and does not really count, but since I seem to be in the mode of giving you every single thought I have, at the moment I have it, I am putting this slightly nutty one down for the record.
And one more thing: if blog love could keep a dog alive, then the Pigeon really would live forever. What readers you are.