Some of you already know how I feel about Noah, but I know you don’t understand how difficult it’s been to keep him alive. Noah has “canine Addison’s disease. We didn’t know what was wrong until we nearly lost him. I got a dog for my son and honestly, the little shit drove me nuts. He’d bark at everything, jump on everyone, hump legs (neutering doesn’t stop that FYI), and pee everywhere.
He was only a year and a half old when I came home from work one day to let my dogs out (there are two) and noticed that Noah would just walk out to the flower bed and lie down. He wouldn’t come when I called. It pissed me off. I’d walk out and pick him up and carry him inside. I did this for a few days.
After a week or so, Noah wouldn’t even go outside. He’d just lay on a rug and not move. Sometimes, I could get him outside with a treat, but after a few days, that didn’t work either. He would lie in one spot, shivering. I’d carry him out to go potty and carry him back in the house. When he went outside, I could see his hind quarters not balancing. He’d have trouble walking. I could tell he wanted to run and jump and bark, but he’d still just lie down and I’d have to carry him in.
I’d always thought of myself as a person who could just put an animal down if they had problems. I got the dog for my son. The dog was a huge pain in the ass. If he turned out to be sick, screw it. I just don’t have the time or money for that.
Eventually, Noah–this huge pain in my ass, ended up lying in one spot, on a rug, he would not eat, he would not go out. He urinated in the spot because he didn’t move, he slept in his urine. This was not like him. He’d pee everywhere else but where he might sleep. He didn’t bark, he didn’t eat, he didn’t jump or hump legs. It was extremely hard to watch.
I took him to his vet. They said he’d likely had an injury from jumping–little dogs shouldn’t jump, you know. They gave us pain medication and soft food. He didn’t get better. That little shit!
I called a few other vets and all they’d tell me was all the tests they’d have to run and how expensive it was. That pissed me off. He was my son’s dog! What was I gonna do? Say no? I had a vet get angry with me for getting angry at them about thinking all I cared about was how much it cost.
I took him to an emergency vet; this little pain in my ass that I thought I could just get rid of; the emergency vet gave us more pain pills and more soft food. Now, a little something about Noah–the shit: every time we went to a vet, he’d run around like there wasn’t a thing wrong. He’d be sweet and lick or bark depending on the vet. Finally, I got smart and video taped him at home: the trembling, the wobbly walk, the disinterest in food.
Finally, I called a new vet that a co-worker recommended. I was told they could get him in next week. I broke down in the phone. I told them I didn’t think he’d make it to next week and they got us in. Again, the dumbass walked, ran and barked like he was fine. I showed them the video and they kept him through the day for observation.
When I went back, that told me that yes! They’d seen the problems and yes! They’d run some tests. All the while, of course I was thinking I’d put him out of his misery of he had some huge problem. At the same time I’m thinking, that goddamn little shit. Now, I love him. I don’t want him to die but I don’t want him to suffer either. At the time, my son was 10. How do I explain suffering of an animal and why it was better that he die? These were things I’d never had to think about!
Eventually, the new vet called me back (I’m sure my using up an entire box of tissues in her office had something to do with it). She said he tested positive for Addison’s disease. It attacks the adrenal glands. She told me people get it too… Even President Kennedy had it. She said its manageable, but he’ll need a shot a month for the rest of his life. I asked if the shot would return him to the enormous pain in the ass? She laughed and said “yes”. He may have trouble, but they’d test his electrolytes a couple times a year.
I asked how much? He’s a dog, you know. I’m a single mom and I can’t just take care of sick animals too. It costs 60.00 per month to keep Noah ok. He also takes prednisone daily. It keeps his allergies in check.
Noah is not the most friendly dog to strangers. He will bite of he feels threatened. He’s also on steroids so we call it “roid rage”. But he loves us; Hunter and me. He’s very protective. He’s back to humping legs and being happy. He’s loyal. He’s loving. I know most people would have probably put him down, but the little turd is a member of my family. His love for us is unconditional. There are no humans I feel I can say that about. So, we’ve nearly lost him twice. Addosonian dogs can just stop responding any time. But I’ve kept h here. And I’ll continue to as long as I can.
So, that’s Noah. He’s the most loving, loyal pet I’ve ever had. And I’d hate to think that anyone might put me down because of some minor health issues. I need a lot more medication than Noah. I’m sure I’m far more expensive to keep alive, but I hope people think it’s worth it as I do him. He loves me. I love him. People find this weird. But he’s a part of our lives.