I have always believed when it comes to dog illnesses the more vowels in the disease’s name the worst it is. But this week I learned of the scariest dog illness ever: One with no vowels.
Our very close friend Smoochy was diagnosed with MRSA, an infection that is resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is common in humans but not in dogs. I did not know that the disease could be transmitted from human to dog, but in Smoochy’s case it was. And humans are worried about us giving them Ebola.
We dont’ know how Smoochy go it. We know that he has always liked to chew his paws. We tell him it’s a bad idea but when he’s bored his paw is right at the end of his foot and off he goes. Last week he chewed it so badly he had to go to the vet. Smoochy was given an antibiotic and was sent merrily on his way while the vet ran some simple blood tests.
The next morning Smoochy was stunned when he was taken to the kennel. When his Mom came to pick him up he knew she was scared and he wondered who was sick. Then his mother turned into the vet’s parking lot. Could he be the one who is sick? When his vet treated him while she wore gloves which she had never done before. Then his Mom was given more drugs for him, big horsie drugs, and he was brought home.
And then the most awful thing happened. Everything Smoochy owned, everything he accumulated through a long life, was being thrown out by his Mom, while she wore long rubber gloves. Toys, balls, sheets, his bed, even his beloved Monkey were gone, into a black bag and then into the barrel that would be left on the side off the road and taken away by the men in a truck.
Once all his possessions were gone Smoochy’s Mom sat next to him and gently stroked his fur with her rubber glove. She told him that he had contracted a terrible, life threatening disease called MRCR and if they were not careful he could give it to her. She didn’t know how he got it, maybe something to do with his chewed up paw, but he had it, and it was serious, for both of them.
Over the next couple of days the full effect of the bacterial infection took hold and poor Smoochy was miserable. He had to take the huge pills every morning (but did enjoy that they were wrapped in ham.) His foot was terribly swollen, he had no appetite, and he didn’t have the strength to stand causing him to pee his blanket. His friends gathered in prayer hoping our friend was strong enough to fight off this infection.
He has slowly improved. He ate some kibble. He managed to hold his pee until he got outside. His paw still looks like it belonged to an olyphant and he won’t stop chewing on it, perhaps to try to gnaw some of it away, but his eyes are clearer and he can stand long enough to get loving attention from his Mom’s gloved hand.
As of today Smoochy is waiting for a trip back to the vet mid-week to see if the pills worked. He needs a great deal of prayer before then to rid his perfect canine form of this hideous human disease that no one can understand how he got.
And they kill us because we may carry Ebola.
So say a prayer for Smoochy tonight. He’s the kind of dog who make all dogkind better, and we would be a poorer world without him.