Six weeks ago, Ferguson was diagnosed with heart worms. This was the latest in a long line of ailments
The skin-related frustrations were to be put on hold, however, as a much more critically sinister, life-threatening condition now waged war against my pup. Heart worms, contracted by the bite of an infected mosquito, lead to certain death in a dog when left untreated. Ferg had been receiving preventative meds since he'd been in our home, though, so this new diagnosis completely threw me (us) for a loop. The skinny of it all-- from the time of infection, it takes 6 months for a blood test to give a positive result. Clearly, Ferg was infected before we adopted him, which truly comes as no surprise given the litany of struggles that poor pup has had to face due to the neglect and cruelty of his previous owner. Now, a year later, the fight was on.
When Ferg started treatment one month ago, Mosby-- the gray ghost/my other constant companion-- went to live, temporarily, at the Ritz Carlton for pups (a.k.a. Camp Grandmom). He's been abiding in the lap of luxury with Mom's & Dad's dogs for 4 weeks now, but boy oh boy do I miss that boy! Fergie, on the other hand, has been at home... quiet and lonely, bored (I think) and restrained. He misses his pal. He misses his walks. He misses his rough and tumble playtime in the backyard. Because while undergoing treatment, he can't wrestle or romp or exert himself in any strenuous manner.... in any way that might raise his heart rate beyond a resting level. And let me just state for the record-- with a two and a half year old pup, that's no easy task.
Enter last night. At 7: 30 I drove to the vet's office to pick him up after his second round of treatment. This dose had been twice as strong as the first one a month ago, and let me tell you... I was NOT prepared for what I saw. When the technician brought him out on his leash, I hardly recognized him. He didn't drag her across the waiting room-- as he normally would. He didn't wag his tail until it nearly wagged off-- as he normally would. He didn't kiss me all over and hop in my lap-- as he normally would. Instead, he simply collapsed at my feet. I noticed the slightest bit of a tail-wag, but that was it. He just collapsed. And rolled over. And emitted the most pathetic little whimper of recognition and delight.
Freakishly mindful of the time four years ago when, Jack, my best furry friend of 11 years, dropped at my feet (after a diagnosis of brain cancer), I struggled to retain my composure. Jack only lived for 3 more days. I wasn't ready to lose another one.
I carried Ferg to the car and laid him gently on the seat, and all the way home he cried. He cried when we pulled into the drive way, and he cried as Noh-man led him through the grass-- tears stinging Noh's eyes just as they were stinging mine. Thankfully, a spot on the sofa with his family gathered round did the trick, and within minutes, Ferg was sleeping soundly for the rest of the night.
Today, he'll surely be much better, and tomorrow even more so I'm sure. The toxins which are coursing through his body will acheive their desired aim, and thankfully, since the doctor caught the heart worms early, Ferg should recover fully. It's just a dicey and frightening ride en route.
In the meantime, I can't help but thank the Lord for this furry ball of tan and white... for the whimpers of delight amidst terrible pain... for the wag of the tail upon seeing his momma... for the hearts of his kiddos, gathered round to love... for the unconditional love he demonstrates every single day... for the lessons learned in the dark, when the way seems long and the way seems hard, and nothing-- absolutely nothing-- is a guarantee.
Because in those moments of frustration and fear and sorrow and pain, I can rejoice... because I DO have a guarantee after all... nothing-- absolutely nothing-- will ever separate me from the love of God in Christ, and while this life is filled with struggles and battles and conflicts I'd rather not wage, the Lord is working in all things, through all things, with all things for His glory and for His purposes. And if the hurdles I face in caring for this 44-pound bundle of energy and fluff get me closer to the finish line, well then amen... bring. them. on.
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all."
2 Corinthians 4:17
Edit: At 8:30 this morning, Fergie bounded from his crate... full of enthusiasm, excitement, and strength. God's mercies truly are new every morning!