Our girl Sabrina was an amazing husky. She traveled with us all over the US. My husband was racing a BMX bike so in the summer, spring and fall, we were outdoors at races in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Massachusetts etc. We would set up our canopy, bring lots of water, ice and a battery operated fan for Sabrina to help her stay cool.
I also had a business selling Irish books and would set up shop at Irish festivals across the east coast. Sabrina would come along of course -she was quite a draw at the booth, with those blue eyes! And the Irish wolfhounds which invariably came to the festivals got along with her fine, even though she looked like a wolf as most huskies do!
We knew our girl very well. One thing she loved above all else was popcorn. When we drove long distances in the car, we would throw popcorn to her in the back seat to catch. At home we shared popcorn all the time. So when she turned up her nose at popcorn one night, we knew that something was seriously wrong.
Sabrina was lying in her crate and would not come out. We placed a trail of popcorn from within the crate, to the foot of the couch where we were sitting, worriedly watching her every move. Or lack of a move. She would not budge from her little cave.
I looked at Rob and he looked at me. He picked up the phone and called our vet – we’re coming in now! No desire for popcorn – something is definitely amiss. Luckily we have an excellent, twenty-four hour veterinary hospital only ten minutes away and we drove down there at 11 o’clock at night with Sabrina.
After a few hours with the emergency vet and techs, we discovered that Sabrina had a grapefruit-sized growth on her spleen. They scheduled surgery for the next morning to remove it. Once they removed it, we had to wait anxiously for several days for the test results to come back to see if the growth was cancerous. Thank God, it was not.
Had we waited, that growth on Sabrina’s spleen would have burst, and Sabrina would be dead. She was twelve at the time and lived to bless us with four more wonderful years of love and affection.
What saved Sabrina were a few things. First, our luck to have a good vet nearby. Second, the vet on duty (who became our doctor until this day – the dogs worship her!) had excellent diagnostic skills and pinpointed the problem immediately. We credited her with saving Sabrina’s life and rightly so.
Most of all what saved Sabrina was our being observant and noticing her change in behavior, recognizing it as significant, and acting on it. Dogs cannot speak. We need to hear what they are saying by what they do and what they don’t do, what they are doing or not doing that is different from the norm for them.
I know a trip to the vet can be scary for some dogs and expensive for humans. The only way to know if a change in behavior requires medical attention, is to have a of expert eyes take a look at your sweet canine.
Sabrina lived to happily continue traveling with us for four more years, and to be the flower dog at our wedding. I am still learning to speak my fur babies’ language. I am so very grateful that Sabrina taught me the valuable lesson that actions (or lack of) do indeed speak louder than words.
© Copyright 2015, Woofus | Janet McGrane Bennett. All Rights Reserved