This is a tale with a happy ending. Radar is one of our foundlings. He is a Highway 121 dog. A dump. Your fairly common typical lab mix. He initially was a rescue back in 2000, and we almost found a home for him several times. Each time, the placement home fell thru, and we grew a bit more attached to his lovable, doting, intensely loyal, intelligent, unwavering steadfast personality. He is typical, but he is not. We almost lost him on Febuary 7th.
Charlie called me at work on Friday. Radar was not feeling well. His symptoms: not eating, lethargic, and trembling. I advised him to drop whatever he was doing, and to take him to the vet immediately. I am not an alarmist, but I do know my animals, and I know when something is very wrong, even over the phone. Radar is stoic. He rarely shows discomfort, is never short on energy, and he NEVER turns away food. Trembling would mean either intense pain or some sort of muscle spasms.
Our vet, David, was very concerned. He admitted him, and started him on fluids, antibiotics, pain medication, an anti-emetic, and began the methodical process of eliminating what it was NOT, in an attempt to try to determine what exactly "it" was. Over the next 2 days, Radar was xrayed, sonogrammed, and tested for just about every possible malady known to dog-dom. Nothing matched his symptoms, and things were getting worse. Additionally, for some reason, he was producing no urine, indicating that his kidneys were ceasing to function properly. Our poor boy's cells were literally drowning in their excess fluid, and his electrolytes were starting to swing wildly. David told us all of this on a late Saturday evening phone call. David knows us well, and he knows how much we love our animal family. He also knows we are stable, logical, and educated in the ways of the animal health. Because of this, he is always honest and forthright,even when the news is not positive. This call was not a good one. He indicated that if there was not improvement by Sunday, we would be needing to think about ending Radar's trauma. We ended the call with the understanding that he would be in touch with us if any changes should occur, good or bad. Charlie and I were in shock. Literally, not 48hrs prior, Radar had been his normal happy self. We both spent a very restless night thinking about our sweet dog, and praying that he would make it thru the night.
Sunday morning, we had not heard yet from David, so we headed to church. It was my day to work in the nursery for the early service, but truthfully, I really wanted to be up at the vet clinic sitting with Radar. I didn't much feel like being where I was at that moment. One of my friends came by the nursery and very innocently asked how everything was going. I'm sure she meant on "the nursery level", and didn't expect the copious tears that came with my explanation of Radar's dire predicament. Cynda, my nursery partner and dear friend, immediately came to my side and said, "We are going to pray for Radar, right now." And she did. Aloud. .....I cannot remember the exact prayer, but it was beautiful, and it was heartfelt, and I knew that she was not just praying for me, but was also lifting Radar up for a healing of the heavenly variety. It was a prayer that calmed my heart.
It is sometimes lonely to be the "to the core of my being" animal lover that I am, because I know not everyone shares my closeness with the beasts of the world, and I don't expect people to really understand my feelings of grief when an animal is in danger or pain. I know and understand that people and animals are on a different plane of existence, but that doesn't mean that animals do not have feelings and true needs that deserve to be met. Basic needs such as food, shelter, water, and yes, love. Proverbs 12:10 says, "A wise man cares for the needs of his animals." Biblically, I believe that we are going to have to answer to God some day for all that we have been given stewardship. This includes how we treat creatures that belong to us, and also those that we see being treated inhumanely......but do nothing about. If the word of God states (more than once) that He cares for the sparrows, why would he not care for the dogs, cats, chickens, cows, horses, etc? Anyway, I digress...sorry about that! :). Back to my story............
Well, we wrapped up the morning in the nursery, and I headed out to go to the second service with Charlie. My cell phone rang. It was David. He said, "Well, I'm not quite sure what happened, but Radar is suddenly acting like he feels better. I did not expect him to make it thru the night last night, and when I came back this morning, he didn't look any better. However, he just peed. ALOT. I re-ran the tests, and already his BUN and creatinine levels are decreasing. I think he's going to make it." You can bet I hopped in the truck and headed up to the clinic to see our recovering boy. I missed church, but I think God understood.
As I write this, 3 weeks after the event, Radar is fine. We ran more precautionary tests on him, but everything came back normal. 2 days after he nearly died, he was completely back to his old self. David has no explanations as to what went wrong or why. I'm ok with that. He also has no explanation as to why Radar recovered so rapidly. I do. Prayer......it works. Even for a dog.