Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Six weeks ago, Ferguson was diagnosed with heart worms. This was the latest in a long line of ailments since we adopted him a little over a year ago. In fact, the very day we learned of his infection the doctor had suggested that we start visiting a dermatologist in Maryland for a skin condition we have yet to control. Funny, I thought-- I don't have a "relationship" with a dermatologist myself, and here I am... readying myself to embark on a journey with one... an entire state away... for my dog!

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!


The dB family said...

Awww, Fergie is adorable! Your post brought tears to my eyes. Our pup is curled up in the office chair while I sit on a hard stool. What we do for our pets! Praying for healing for your sweet friend. Glad to see you blogging again. I've been thinking of you!


Anonymous said...

By the time you get this, hopefully, Fergie will be feeling lots better than he was yesterday. He is such a sweet dog. It sure doesn't seem fair that he should have to go through this after all he has already overcome. He will certainly be in our prayers. Gramoggie

Kellie said...

I'm glad Fergie already seems to be doing better! I know how hard it is to watch a beloved pet suffer. Poor thing! But it's also good to know that he has such a caring family now. Our current dog was also neglected before he came to us, and it just warms my heart to see him so happy and content.

gretchen said...

Ferg the wonderpup... give him a squeeze from us. Prayers comin your way for a speedy recovery.Love you guys!

Anonymous said...

You have all been in my prayers. "The grey ghost" misses his buddy too! Love to all, and a speedy recovery so Ferg and come to camp too! love Gmom and Pops

Christine said...

I'm sorry to know your sweet doggie has gone through so much. I know he's feeling the love from you, from your sweet ones, and from his Maker. How good and amazing God is to use ALL things for good... to remind us of His love and our need for Him.
Hugs and prayers from us for Fergie!