Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Just A Dog

We like to joke that when Steve got cancer he got the kind of cancer that came with a puppy. Steve had always wanted a French Bulldog and cancer makes you realize that life is short and if you want something you should go for it. During the weeks Steve was in the hospital I did my research and found him a dog.  We brought Gavin into our lives at a time when our family needed something positive to focus on together. Falling in love with Gavin was a very easy thing to do and I think he helped all of us heal.  Gavin is adored by the whole family but he is so obviously Steve's dog.  It's quite a love affair between the two of them.  There's no way that Gavin (or anyone else's beloved family pet) can be classified as "just a dog", he's a whole lot more than that.  

This week Gavin almost died.  Basically what happened was that in the middle of the night he threw up and something got stuck in his throat that he couldn't dislodge.  When I found him in the morning he was barely breathing.  He was making a very faint rasping noise but his chest was hardly moving.  His tongue was completely purple and lolling out and his eyes were glassy. It was one of the scariest things I have ever seen.  Within moments of finding him Steve had him in the car on the way to the vet.  I had to get the kids off to school so I couldn't go with them, and I really felt like I was never going to see Gavin again.  He looked so bad that I was convinced he wouldn't even make it to the vet. Somehow he hung on and when Steve rushed through the door with him the vets went right to work and they saved his life. His temperature was 108 (normal dog temp. is 101) and they didn't know how long it had been that high so even though they stabilized him they didn't know if he would make it through the day and even if he did it was too early to say what the long term complications could be.  This story has the happiest of endings, every hour Gavin improved and by the time he had been there for 24 hours the vet was certain that he was going to be just fine.  When we went to pick him up the techs told us that they had formed "Team Gavin" and that he had charmed them all.  Leave it to Gavin to make everyone love him.  

Gavin is home and back to being himself, you'd never know that anything had ever happened.  We feel like the luckiest people in the world. 

after 6 hours in the hospital

safe and sound back at home


  1. Oh my goodness! I can't even imagine. I'm glad he is doing so well!

  2. You know, since having a dog myself these past few months, the thought of loosing her, or finding her like that terrifies me! I am so glad you guys found him in time, and that the vets were able to attend to him right away. What a blessing that he is okay and doing well! We've never met Gavin, but the pictures and stories you've shared of him have made the girls and I very fond of him! We are so happy he is okay!

  3. Driving Gavin to the vet was the longest car ride of my life. Gavin is not just a pet, he's part of our family and my buddy. We were very fortunate that things worked out so that the very skilled vets were able to save him.

  4. I am so glad it had a happy ending and that all is well.