September 26, 2014

Thoughts on life with dogs to head into the weekend.

This week had such a promising start - we had pretty flowers, brussels sprouts, chickpea salad sandwiches and melon smoothies planned for our meals and some craft projects lined up to get our home ready for fall. But then on late Monday afternoon we received a shocking phone call from our new vet, whom we had just seen last week for Piri's 6-month preventative care exam. She had results back from his blood profile and urine sample -- Piri has stage 3 kidney disease. 

That took a while for it to sink it. It was hard and confusing to accept. How in the world did Piri have stage 3 kidney disease? How did stages 1 and 2 bypass us? Our previous vet didn't suspect anything - two years ago they did hint at possible symptoms but said it was probably nothing, then the following year Piri was also given a clean bill of health, aside from a faint heart murmur, with excellent readings on his vitals. He hasn't been showing any symptoms of kidney disease although now I wonder if his steady weight loss is somehow connected. We did bring up to our previous vet because I was concerned that he kept losing weight, but was told that it was probably due to his old age. 

After I got off the phone with our new vet, I did what I probably shouldn't have -- went on the Internet to read up on kidney disease in dogs. In my frantic mind I got more nervous and anxious and my mind kept going to terrible places. The good supportive community on Instagram ensured me that kidney disease is manageable and there have been many cases of dogs living on a few more years in a healthy and happy state of being. And while those messages comforted me, it also didn't put my mind completely at ease. 

If you have a pet in your life, or you once did, you probably have done this as well, but Piri is always in our narrative - past, present and future. Yangkyu joked and said that he will turn into a zombie dog and stay with us until our {yet to be born} kids are teenagers, and when we are old and grey. 

I'm not superstitious. Just a littlestitious. And so I never wanted to think aloud these thoughts to anyone except Yangkyu, but for the past month or so I have had these panic attacks. I would go out of my mind thinking of the day when we would have to say good-bye to Piri and how I would not be able to do it. How there are so many more things we have to do with him.

I know. Sometimes I can be so dramatic. But when it comes to Piri, I sometimes can't help it. Perhaps that's just part of what life is like with dogs. It's all cute and happy and fun and joyful and a little dramatic too.  

On Thursday, we were back at the vet's office for a quick blood pressure check and when our doctor is back in the office on Monday we'll be getting a rundown on his results and next steps. If everything looks ok, Piri will be going on a specialized prescription diet and maybe medication as well. There is no cure to kidney disease, only management. Stage 3 is the final stage in kidney disease, in which the kidneys will start failing. That sounds so terrifying to me. 

The past few days my mind has been totally focused on how to keep Piri happy and comfortable. I spent all morning on Wednesday making a crochet rag rug for Piri using some of our old clothes because he likes sleeping on them so much. Yangkyu even gave me his favorite zip up, which he couldn't get rid of despite the zipper being broken, for the project. I remember he got it at Urban Outfitters before going to watch Ponyo in Chinatown during our 3-day getaway to DC after our wedding. I also used a dress I wore when the three of us went to Virginia Beach together for the first time. It had a stubborn kimchi stain I couldn't get out but I like that it's being upcycled this way for Piri. 

I know one day our hearts will break into a thousand little pieces, but I am positive that day is nowhere near us. Not yet.

PS -- On top of Piri's kidney news he has been having diarrhea for the past three days, asking to go outside multiple times at odd hours of the night. We just hope that we'll find some comfort and balance in our home again. Something feels definitely off. 

47 comments

  1. Awww... I'm so sorry. Such a cute pup! And amazing job with the rug!

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  2. Never easy pet or person when something like this comes along...am sending you all my best wishes and love xx

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  3. Hang in there my friend. Hang in there. Good things are coming your way.

    Hello Piri. You don't know me, but I am your friend waaaaaaaaaay over in England. I am not very good with dogs but since I met you, I think I try harder with dogs. Like my sister's dog for instance. His name is Hugo and he is a German Pointer. He has solo much energy and is slightly dopey which make me laugh a lot! Anyway Piri. I am thinking of you and willing you to get better soon xxx

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    1. aww thanks so much yasumi. hugo sounds like a character :)

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  4. i'm so sorry to hear that. i hope that he'll be ok sooner than later. oh, poor piri. look at those eyes..

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  5. My heart is breaking as I read this post. I really hope your new vet can provide proper guidance for Piri. xx

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  6. Oh I'm sorry to hear :( Hope things work out!

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  7. Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear about Piri! He's such a sweet little pup. Whenever his time does come, know he had the best time a dog could have on Earth because of his loving humans.

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  8. So sorry to hear about Piri..hoping he will be ok.

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  9. My heart sank as I read this so I can't imagine how you and Yangkyu must feel now. I hope that the management system can keep Piri well and happy for a long time. I'm really sorry about this prognosis but Piri is still blessed to have such caring parents.

    *hugs*
    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about sweet little Piri. Hope this vet is more effective than the last and will be able to find the best treatment method for Piri.

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  11. Sending lots of hugs to you, Yangkyu, and Piri. So sorry to hear this.

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  12. Poor sweet Piri.Hearing you talk about him in post after post has made me really come to love him so much, my heart breaks a bit too just thinking about it. Wishing him a life of comfort <3

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  13. That is so sad. I hope Piri feels comfortable and will always feel well and happy while undergoing diet and medication.

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  14. This is heartbreaking.... I know what you mean, being unable to prevent the thoughts of worst case scenarios, it's just dreadful..... Dear Piri I pray you'll be healthy and bright again, get well real soon, I love you.

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  15. Poor guy, I'm thinking of you guys. Keep us posted as to how he's doing

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  16. oh my gosh, what scary news to receive, I'm glad that it's manageable and I think that was such a lovely and comforting thing to make him that rug :) Ah I don't know what to say - definitely know you guys are in my thoughts and I'm sending many well wishes!

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  17. My heart sank when I read this post. I have a dog as well and I DREAD the day when my heart will also break into a thousand pieces. I can't even imagine what you are going through. I drive myself crazy googling stuff whenever I find something wrong with my dog. I was driving myself crazy when I had to put him in a plane's cargo to fly him from California to Hawai'i and googled statistics on how safe it was blah blah. Something that I probably shouldn't have done since I feared that he wouldn't make the trip (but thank goodness he did). I don't know much about kidney disease for dogs BUT I'm wishing you and Piri a lot of well wishes. What a beautiful rug you made for Piri especially since it was made with so much love. Sending you tons of love from me and my dog Curry! Get well Piri!

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    1. thanks so much xx my husband and i wanted to move to maui but opted not to because of piri. but so glad that your dog made it!

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  18. Jane, this breaks my heart! I'm just as surprised as you, because he's been getting regular checkups. How in the world? Well you and your family are in my prayers. I had a diabetic dog and it was a challenge. God bless Piri, poor thing.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  19. A big big big hug guys, just to let you know that Piri is in our thoughts and heart. I'm sure you all three will be able to manage the best, and Piri will be living happy for a long time because he can see how you guys cheerish every time spend at his side. I had to smile at Yangkyu's comment on the zombie dog :)

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  20. Poor sweet Piri. This post broke my heart. I hope he's not in any pain - he always looks so happy! One thing is for sure: he couldn't ask for better parents to love him more than you do. Feel better, Piri <3

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  21. Oh wow, my heart sunk a little after reading Piri's
    health condition :c I admire pet owners like you Jane
    and Yangkyu. You put so many things about Piri's
    life online, I think we are all part of Piri's life and that
    what makes us all caring and supporting.

    It sucks, but I'm glad that you think rational because
    'that' day will come and it sucks. Many many many
    big huggies and kisses from me to you and Piri!
    Btw, your crochet skills is growing and the works are
    looking lovely c: Xx

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  22. That is heart wrenching for sure. Piri is a huge part of your family and to hear news like that about any family member is extremely hard to take. No matter what anyone says, it is impossible to prepare for. Hope Piri gets better and his pain is managed and that ultimately, he goes on to live with you guys for a long time :)

    He is spending his time with his favorite people in the world. Not much more he could ask for I bet :)

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  23. I was really sad to read about Piri's condition on IG. I really hope that his medication is working well and his pain and any discomfort goes away.

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  24. Literally bawling. I'll be keeping you guys in my thoughts. Such a sweet present for you to make for Piri...seriously heart melting.

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