Pumpkins and enemas: We all experience grief in our own ways

October 20, 2009 at 8:38 pm Leave a comment

pumpkinJust before the weekend, I noticed McKenzie was a little quiet.  And then she became even more quiet — depressed, in fact. She picked at her breakfast Saturday, ate dinner Saturday night. Sunday, when Dr. Becker was in town, she ate neither breakfast nor dinner.

She wasn’t vomiting, no temp, no enlargement of the lymp nodes, everything was checking out except the appetite and the lethargy. Yesterday she ate a breakfast of canned pumpkin and cottage cheese, and then a normal dinner. She was acting completely normal again, even roughhousing with her daughter Faith,  so I decided to wait to until my regular veterinarian, Dr. Bill Porte, came back to work this morning.

McKenzie passed the physical exam with flying colors, and we won’t see the blood tests until tomorrow.

But the X-ray … well … there’s a problem.

Fortunately, it’s not one that flat-coated retrievers are known for, even at the relatively young age of 4, that being deadly cancer. But the problem is certainly is one retrievers have a propensity for:

McKenzie has eaten something she shouldn’t.

She will get another x-ray in the morning, at which time we hope to see that what appears to be an impaction has worked its way through, with the help of fiber (canned pumpkin) on the front end and an enema on the back.

Now, here’s the strange thing: McKenzie wasn’t even much of a chewer even as a puppy.  So why would she get herself in such a state now?

It could be the puppy, that she’s sharing chewing up things with her daughter. But I wonder: Could it be grief? Could she be missing Heather or reacting to the change of dynamics with Heather gone? (Bossy Ms. Faith already seems destined to become top dog over her easy-going mother.) Or could McKenzie be reacting to my grief, which has been fairly intense?

All of the above? None of the above?

Really, we’ll never know what changed McKenzie’s behavior. Now, I just gotta hope whatever she got into her gets out again without surgery.

We’ll know more tomorrow.


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