Thursday, July 19, 2012

heavy heart

This is not going to be my usual post. It's not all smiles. Not this one. And it is very long, because I want to remember it just like it happened.

Yesterday we almost lost Solly. And I'm so thankful to be able to say that he is alright, and expected to be just fine.

I want to remember yesterday. It showed me how short our lives are. In an instant, everything can change and you can lose what is most special to you.

So yesterday started like most days recently. We got up, let the dogs out, got dressed and went to meet my mom. Bradley and I are working with her and my brother on a property that is for rent. Giving it a facelift, you might say. Fresh coat of paint, new countertop and other little things here and there.

We had been working for a few hours when we all got hungry. So Bradley went to pick up some food and a few things from my house. When he stopped by the house, he opened the door to find several of our blinds broken in half, scratches on the door, bite marks on the door handle, some blood here and there, and Solly shaking, waiting for us to come home.

Solly did this because a storm popped up out of nowhere. And he hates storms. He is terrified of them and has to find a human being to protect him. Yes he is an 100lb golden retriever and he is deathly afraid of storms.

So Bradley continued on to get food and decided to bring Solly to the apartment where we were so he could be around us. When he got back to the apartment, the storm had gotten worse. Lots of thunder and lightning and the power went out. This time, Bradley comes home to the door wide open, lots of blood and dirt everywhere and no Solly. After searching and calling, Bradley finds Solly in the corner of the garage, panting extremely hard, covered in blood and blood dripping from his mouth.

Hearing what Solly had done, I decide to come home. When my mom and I got there Solly was still bleeding. I got worried and asked mom to come look at him. She came over and just told us to take him to the vet. None of us knew how bad Solly was, and we almost didn't take him in. Usually, we just get him to calm down and clean him up. And we would have done that, but my mom is on a deadline with this apartment and she didn't want to stop.

So we load Solly up in the truck, on top of a tarp because he was wet, muddy and dripping blood. By the time we got to the vet, blood had pooled in the tarp and Solly looked like he was from a horror movie. Blood all over his paws, mouth and the door.

We went in and they took his temperature. 107. And I learned that is very high for a dog. They normally stay around 101. So everyone got into panic mode, but we didn't know how serious things were. They gave Solly a sedative to calm him down. His anxiousness was only making things worse. He was panting more, which made his blood pressure go up and make his mouth bleed faster.

Almost immediately the sedative kicked in. The vet, Dr. Harper, was holding his head, trying to locate where the bleeding was coming from and he let go. Solly couldn't hold his own head up. It just fell to the floor. This was when I started getting upset. That was my baby.

They brought in a stretcher and loaded him up to take him to the back. They started an iv with fluids and surrounded him with ice packs and cold, wet towels to lower his body temperature. It worked. They eventually got him down to 103. Dr. Harper also decided to completely knock Solly out because he had to suture his mouth. Solly had a large rip in his upper lip, most likely from biting the door handle. Dr. Harper had us come back to see his lip. There he was, out cold, snoring. That made me smile. Solly snores every night and it was so comforting to hear.

We let Dr. Harper finish up and then they woke Solly up so we could go home. In other circumstances, Solly would stay overnight, so they could check on him in the morning, but since he ended up here because he was left alone in a storm, we didn't want to take the chance of it storming again.

We were greeted by loopy Solly slowly walking into the exam room. Dr. Harper said he knew right where to go. Dr. Harper took his temp one last time, and it was down to 101.5! We were so happy to hear that. Dr. Harper explained everything that happened to us. And made it clear that it was a good thing that we brought him in. The last dog that he had this happen to had to be put down because he was at that high temp for too long. Woah. That could have so easily been Solly.  Then Dr. Harper wrapped his arm where his iv port was. He decided to leave it in just in case something happened that night and we had to take him to the emergency vet. That would be one less step they would have to do.

So we got Solly in the car and he slept the whole way home and the rest of the night. He loves the bathroom floor because of the cold tile, so he went straight for it when we got home. I checked on him so often, worried of what I would find. But each time, just my big snoring baby. Probably getting the best sleep he had had in a long time.

I will always remember one of the times I checked on him. I sat down beside him on the bathroom floor. His eyes never opened but his tail started wagging. It was like he knew I was there. It warmed my soul and I just lost it. There I was, bawling. I had managed to hold it in the whole time and then I lost it. I think it was finally hitting me how close we were to losing him. He is my first dog and he is 11 years old. I am terrified of losing him.

The next morning Bradley was a trooper and got up early to take Solly back to the vet. They wanted to check him out again, make sure they didn't miss anything and make sure he wasn't getting worse. And they wanted to give him a bath, because he smelled really bad. Ha! Rain, mud and blood don't exactly do wonders for a dog's coat!

Later that day, Bradley picked him up and brought him home. He looked so happy. That's our Solly. Now he will get a pill for anxiety whenever a storm is coming and hopefully this will never happen again.

Thank you for finishing my super long post, ahem, novel. Maybe this will enlighten you, as it has for me. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so live today.

xo, Lark


  1. My golden retriever Rootbeer is also very scared of the thunder mostly. He gets so worked up he throws up everywhere and is walking back and forth in the house. Just the other day we got a weird storm here in Corona CA and Rootbeer & I were in the back as I waited for him to pee. Thunder hit and Rootbeer ran and jumped into our pool. I was shocked. Then he wouldn't get out. I'm glad your GR is okay and Rootbeer being 10 y.o & my other golden Ally is 12. They are my heart & I too am afraid to lose them.

    1. Sounds like our boys could be brothers! Solly sure is a lot to handle these days, but I wouldn't trade him for anything! Thanks for your comment :)

  2. I could not imagine the pain you felt that night but I would have felt the same if this would have happened to my pooch. He is a ham and I would not change him for the world either!


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