Coming Home... in time to say Goodbye
I've been home for a week.. back home, on my farm, where my heart never left. I'll be honest. There still much to be done. Relationships to work on. Love to mend. Being gone for 7 weeks was really good for me.. good for us, but being back on the farm has been a reminder that this is where my life is. Where I'm supposed to be. But it hasn't been easy...
I'll start from the beginning. Last Tuesday morning I was driving through the foggy Oregon terrain. It was beautiful. It was the first time in weeks that I started to get the feeling of being home. Something about fog, you know? As I drove the seven hours home, I made plans in my mind of how things would go when I arrived home. I made plans for the week. And then the phone call came. "She had a seizure"... It was Dylan, my husband, telling me that our wolf-dog, Koda, had suffered a seizure early that morning. We've dealt with animal seizures before (one of our cats has an episode every few months). But something about this one was different, he said. She was still groggy, still acting out of her norm. It had been hours, but the vet that was "normal". The vet said to wait twenty four hours. So we made an appointment for Wednesday at 8:00am. I got home Tuesday afternoon just after 2:30pm. I pulled in the driveway and I'll be honest, it felt weird. Weird because I remember pulling out of the driveway seven weeks ago, not knowing if I'd ever be coming back. That's a weird feeling.. feeling something so concrete and yet how quickly God can change your circumstances. How quickly He can change your heart. Change the direction of your plan.
I pulled up to the house, got out and immediately went to check on the dogs. Koda barely looked in my direction, and slowly got up. I greeted her with immense happiness, but an equal amount of worry.
Something about her was off... so very off. At one point, she grew too weak to stand and laid down in the mud, resting her head in a puddle. I should have known right then.. I should have rushed her to the vet right then. Instead I said a prayer.. "Lord please heal our baby girl, but Lord if it's your will, please take her quickly. Don't let her suffer. I'm not strong enough to know the time." I carried her inside and dried her off, hoping she'd perk up a bit.
We spoiled her that night. Treats, chicken, you name it, we tried it. She was slowly losing interest in the special snacks. On Wednesday morning, Dylan carried her weak body to the truck. I remember sitting in the back with her, giving her all the loves and pets I could. I'd missed the last seven weeks with her. I came home to a different dog. I came home to a dog I didn't recognize. The vet techs came out with a stretcher to get her and there we sat, in the truck, waiting for answers. They ran every test possible and "shocked" was an understatement to what we heard from the vet's mouth. "UTI... Blood in her urine... hypothermic... dehydrated... limited pain receptors... high white cell count... no platelets... fluid in her chest.." We were $900 deep with a load of lab results and no direction. We had two options.. rush her to an emergency vet hours away to hopefully save her and get some answers OR take the gamble that antibiotics, steroids, fluids and some old eastern medicine of at home care would heal her. We took the gamble. After all, I had no job and therefore, all the time in the world to care for her. I'd lose sleep for that baby girl in a heartbeat if it meant saving her. I brought her home just after noon, carrying her incredibly heavy eighty pound body into the house.
I moved her bed into the living room, made her nice and comfortable in front of the heater to keep her body temperature up, and gave her water. I ment