Good Dog News (For a Change!)


I should rename this blog My Crate or Yours — lately it seems to be as much
about dogs as food, and God knows I’m nuts about them both.

Thursday night I thought I’d have another sad dog post to write. It was late in the evening when I called the
vet because Ginger, gorgeous golden dog of my heart, had what seemed to be a
very bad, sudden onset urinary tract infection. She was pacing the floor, crying, trying to pee, just miserable. I wondered about bladder stones, but both vets
I spoke to on the phone thought not. When
Ginger started to throw up at about midnight, the second vet agreed with me
that maybe I should take her up to the Indianapolis Veterinary Emergency Clinic
(IVEC, a really wonderful 24-hour animal hospital about an hour north of us.)

doctor who admitted Ginger just before 2 a.m. wasn’t optimistic. She said the dog’s bladder was completely
blocked, with urine backing up into her kidneys, and given that Ginger is 11
she was unlikely to be getting bladder stones, a malady which usually strikes dogs
when they are younger. She thought the
blockage would probably turn out to be a mass, a neutral-sounding word which I
knew really meant something terribly, unbelievably wrong with my sweet

the look on my face, which must have reflected all the pain of losing
three beloved dogs in the last 17 months, the vet tried to backpedal. It could still be a stone, she said, and even
if it wasn’t (because she didn’t want to get our hopes up) there might be
surgical options and we shouldn’t think we’d necessarily have to put her to
sleep right away.

away. Shit.

blood was icy and my throat thick with sorrow. I could hardly get the words out to tell Jerry, who
was waiting in the car with our other dog Bandon. We’ve had so much bad dog news in our house
lately that there wasn’t a shred of optimism left in my bag of tricks. We left Ginger getting a catheter inserted to
relieve the pressure while they ran some tests and checked into a hotel across the
street to try to get some sleep until 4:30, when they thought they’d have a diagnosis. 

just lay there, of course, trying to get my head around a world without Ginger
in it. This girl is a part of my fiber,
a happy, gutsy, bossy dog full of confidence and chutzpah, funny and fearless (except
when confronted by a thunderstorm or a clothes drier.) I love her and
I need her and I didn’t want to say good bye. Not ever; certainly not now.

sometimes luck smiles. My cell phone rang
at 4:00 and it was the vet although I barely recognized her surprised and
laughing voice. “Good news,” she
said. “She’s full of stones.” “Define full,”
I said, already crying. “Full” she repeated,
“as in twenty plus,” an open ended number that eventually turned out to be a
little bigger.

freaking bladder
stones – apparently Ginger’s been stockpiling them for
years. Her bladder looked like a sack
of marbles in the x-ray. And she did, indeed,
have the mother of all urinary tract infections. So they flooded her with
antibiotics and fluids and got her stabilized and yesterday they operated and
got out every one of those pesky stones and tonight or tomorrow we bring her

and happy day! And thank you everyone at IVEC for saving our girl!

10 Comments Add yours

  1. I am so happy to hear the news! So happy for you! Like you said, we have to hope for good nice news like this.


  2. Kevin Makice says:

    That is a top-notch facility. Our beagle made two trips there, the first for a blood transfusion to fight some strange disease, and the second that wound up being our little family saying goodbye. Although our encounter with IVEC wasn’t as happy, it wasn’t a fault of the great team there.


  3. Alanna says:

    What a pretty girl! Pets and kibbles to you both!


  4. Cynthia says:

    Christine honey, I am so happy that this turned out alright. I can only imagine the pain and fright you felt. Sending you lots of hugs.


  5. Hallelujah and happy day indeed! She’s gorgeous and with such a sweet face–I’m so pleased that this dog story has a happy ending.


  6. Kevin says:

    Thank God! No more orange juice or milkshakes for Ginger! Your next post should be for a low calcium dog cookie recipe. Cheers to Ginger and her loving family! xo xo xo


  7. Oh, I am so happy there was a happy ending to this story! What a touching post this is, Christine.


  8. Christine says:

    Oh my goodness, what a scare! I’m so glad Ginger is coming home!


  9. Zane says:

    I love a dog story with a happy ending!


  10. the cat's chef... says:

    Oh, that is so wonderful, I would take stones over a mass any day. Get well soon, Ginger.


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