I am a horrible procrastinator. I feel like such a hypocrite when I tell my students chirpily to just “get started thinking about that paper now!” or some such crap. I put things off like crazy.

I haven’t wanted to write much recently (ok, let me rephrase) I actually HAVE wanted to write, and had lots to say, and am excited that I’m still hearing from Doc and Charly, even after a long hiatus, but I have to catch things up, I feel like, in order for this to really be complete, and to do that, I have to write about Straxi getting sick.

She’s ok now, but it’s thousands of dollars later, many, many pills later, and even a blood transfusion later. Straxi had Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia, and she was in the hospital for almost a week.

Thank god for credit cards, because I cannot imagine trying to make a decision like this based on whether or not I could afford it.

One of the causes of the disorder is criminal stupidity on the part of the pet parent in not keeping up with the flea and tick medication, which is what I did. I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think that that was actually the cause of the infection that made her immune system attack her own blood cells (WTF immune system, really?), and honestly, I’m not sure if they even know what did cause it. That’s just one thing that can cause it, along with traumas, other illnesses, and cancer.

And tick bites.

Anyway, she has/had it, and she’s ok now, but there for a while, life was really, really bad. She’s such an enormous part of our family and our lives and for her to be gone – even to the hospital for a few nights, where I knew they were making her better – was devastating. She’s not just my running buddy, she’s also my best friend, and the way that I can look at the world with a more simplified, happier lens. She’s a walking, barking memory of a time when we first got here to NC from Texas, when my son lived with us, when we lost Jak to old age and infirmity after 15 years together and the terrible sadness that brought down on all of us together.

She spent a couple of days being listless, then got disinterested in her food, then stopped eating, then stopped drinking, at which point I took her to the doctor. Of course, it was over the weekend, so we had to go to the Emergency Vet which is likely where we would have wound up anyway, because she’s now seeing a specialist.

My dog has better health care than me.

I took her out to pee at one point and her urine was brown, which is when I went into panic mode (justified, obviously) and whisked her off to the vet. That was a very bad day. A very bad day of epic proportions.

I visited her every day she was in the hospital, and that first day I came to see her she jumped onto the sofa to sit next to me, but just turned away and sat there like a very sad lump. It was terrible. But one day I was able to come in and see her frolic (just a little bit, it was a very light frolicking, but it was definitely there) and that made me feel all sorts of better.

I knew that things like this could happen, but I didn’t realize how fast, and how scary, it can be. She was fine, until she wasn’t. I was driving us to the vet and glanced at her in my rear view mirror, and she was leaned back against the back seat and couldn’t even hold her head up. It was a real shock to my system to see her like that.

We went from healthy puppy to fat dog, then from fat dog to skinnier dog but who has a thyroid condition, and in the course of getting her started on the meds for the thyroid stuff, it hit home just how much her demeanor had changed over a longer period – the thyroid stuff took a while for us to catch on to, and once the vet put her on her meds, I started seeing little things I hadn’t seen in a very long time…like the perk up on the sofa when I would ask her something. It was even in how she held her ears – I’m not kidding.

This had been missing from her repertoire for some time.

She had just a very few months – the summer, essentially – where she really felt like herself, and then she got hit with this. My personal thinking is that the thyroid stuff put her body under enough stress that it kicked off the AHA.

She is still seeing the internist, and she goes back for another checkup on Monday, but she’s so incredibly much better, and even though we are still seeing some behavior changes (she is not a fan of lying on the sofa anymore – I’m thinking that she associates it with that weekend when she got so sick and didn’t move off the thing for what felt like days) we are seeing her perky and happy again, which makes me beyond relieved and thrilled.

She’s still my best friend, even if she won’t lay on my lap any more, and even if she demands a bathroom break at 2am.