Gracie Presenting with New Symptoms

From the moment self walked in the door, yesterday afternoon, (after 23 days spent visiting beloved homeland), self knew there was something wrong with Gracie.  At self’s entrance, she lifted her head lethargically from her sleep cushion and presented self with eyes that were dull and marbled.

Then, the poor li’l crit kept self up all last night, whining piteously.  Self must have risen ten times during the night, each time presenting Gracie with bowls of water which she lapped up voraciously.

This morning, self watched the li’l crit as she dragged herself to the backyard to do her business.  She was listing sideways.

Finally, self couldn’t stand it anymore.  She called desperately around to friends, the Peninsula Humane Society, Beagle Rescue, Pets in Need —  in fact, any organization which might have a friendly local vet who would provide diagnostic services free of charge (since she dreads the $500 bills she gets from her regular vet, sometimes just for basic exams and shots).  The Peninsula Humane Society said they could treat Gracie, but only if self agreed to surrender her first.

No one could help.  Her friends said they knew of no vets who would provide services on a “humanitarian” basis (Self had somehow been under the mistaken impression that there existed the doggie equivalent of Doctors Without Borders.)

Finally, self broke down and called Gracie’s regular vet.  When told that an exam would cost only $52, she made an appointment to bring Gracie in.

The vet took one look at Gracie and said that she certainly looked like she would need hospitalization, “and that can run you anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000.”


Self called hubby, she called son.  Hubby said not to spend anything, but son was of the mind that we should at least request tests, “so we’ll know what’s wrong.”

So self opted for $159 blood tests (plus $52 office visit, bill for Gracie would come out to $211)

After a long wait, during which self crouched down on the floor beside Gracie and stroked the poor, weak li’l crit’s head, the vet returned with the blood test results:  Gracie apparently suffers from high cholesterol and advanced diabetes (much like self’s own Dear Departed Dad).


Self has to adminiter insulin shots to Gracie, twice a day, for the rest of Gracie’s life (The li’l crit is 9 years old.)

Self inquired as to the cost of such treatment:  $100/ month.

Again she felt like blurting out, NOOOO!!

She took the poor li’l crit home, after telling the vet she needed time to think.

Hubby was already home, and self instructed him to prepare Gracie’s dinner, supplementing her regular dry dog food with ladles of broth.

Gracie ate approximately half her dinner, and then fell asleep.  Her breathing is somewhat laboured, but at least she is sleeping.

It is now 8:33 pm in Redwood City.  Self thinks it is about time to call it a night.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. artseblis said,

    December 23, 2010 at 5:52 am

    I heard said, beloved animals pine when their human companions are away. Maybe Gracie just needs time to recover from having missed you for three weeks.

    I have six dogs myself. My Japenese Spitz, Happy, came down with Heartworms early this year. I spent thousands for treatment. In the Philippines, where majority of the population is below the poverty line, spending so much on a dog is practically a mortal sin.

    But I feel better about loving my dog so much when I read stories like this:

  2. December 23, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Thank you, Michelle. I think we will just have to get that insulin.

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