Almost lost the Fluff…

Fluff had seemed to be getting worse and worse while we were gone in the US. H messaged me something was wrong with her while we were in quarantine. B was out, so he went to check on her. She seemed to have improved, but still didn’t seem right.

Thursday, 1st September 2022

I was finally able to get her into see the vet a couple of weeks after we got out of quarantine.

I didn’t even try to walk or carry her there. I knew she wasn’t going to walk. I was able to get an Uber Pet to take her to the vet in Ma On Shan. Fluff actually got to ride in a Tesla! The driver was super nice and had dogs himself.

He ended up dropping us off around the corner from where the vet was, so we still had to walk a bit.

Yeah, she refused to walk, so I had to carry her the rest of the way. She’s a stubborn little fluff.

Things just weren’t right with her. I could feel it.

I had such a bad feeling that they were going to tell me some really bad news. I asked B if he could come along. He ended up taking an Uber to get there right before we were called back to the exam room.

I am really glad he did come.

It was bad news.

Fluff was going to need emergency surgery. She had an infection. A really bad one. There was no waiting it out or seeing if meds could help. For now, the infection was sort of contained. Her body was going haywire with really high WBC counts and really low RBC counts. Her blood sugar was all messed up.

The way it was explained to by the first vet was this was just the start of her issues. She was going to need more surgeries, a cardiologist, and all kinds of treatment.

My head was spinning. Not only was I worried about what we were going to put her through, I was worried about how the costs were going to add up.

As much as I would love to do whatever I could to keep my Fluff around, I also have a finite amount of resources. It’s not like I can just reach in some magic pocket and pull out another $20K HKD.

My main concern though was her quality of life. If we were going to go through with this surgery just to have her go through 2 or 3 more didn’t seem right or fair for a dog so old.

I sat in the waiting room holding Fluff in my arms crying as B tried to make it better. He tried really hard, but he was also very upset. Fluff had been our family dog for the last 12 years. While he didn’t like her in the beginning, he’s grown to love her since moving to Hong Kong.

The vet there called around to other hospitals to see if there was one that would take her case. Finally, an animal hospital in Sai Ying Pun agreed to take her case. We had to be there at 10:10 PM for her consultation. They would decide about the surgery then.

We brought Fluff home to spend time with the kids because we weren’t sure what the outcome was going to be. There was that possibility that we were going to have to put Fluff down. I really didn’t want it to come to that, but I knew we had to prepare for that possibility.

From where we lived to where the vet was wasn’t a long way, but we couldn’t take public transport because we had the Fluff. We ended up having to take an Uber Pet again. That wasn’t cheap to get to the island because of the tunnels.

This vet did a bit of a better job explaining her odds. He said that if this surgery were done, she would go back to where she was before the issue presented.

I could live with that.

The issue I had with this doctor was he couldn’t tell me how much it was going to cost. He said maybe 15K or maybe 25K or maybe 35K. He didn’t know. I had a bit of back and forth with him because you can’t not tell someone what it’s going to be. It should be a little closer estimate.

He was dead set she was going to stay in the hospital for at least 4 days (if not more) and each day was going to cost $3500 HKD. I told him we would take her home as soon as we could.

Oh the shaming I got from this guy….

It didn’t matter. While I love my dog, I know I am supporting all 3 of my kids on my own. They have to be my priority (as distasteful as that seemed to be to this guy…).

Friday, 2nd September 2022

She ended up receiving the surgery that night. I received a call from the vet in the morning that she was out of surgery and out of the anesthesia. They were worried because she wasn’t eating. B went to see her in the hospital the next day on his way home from work. We video called to be able to see her for a few minutes. He said they were still talking about keeping her for at least 4 more days.

Saturday, 3rd September 2022

We took E and R to the vet on Saturday to see the Fluff. When we got there, they would only let the two kids back. There was a strict only 2 visitors a day policy due to COVID (don’t ask me how that makes any sense…). So R was able to video chat while they were in there so I could see the Fluff.

While we were waiting for them to come out though, we were looking at all of these signs. It felt really gross. They were all over the waiting room telling you to thank your vet.

Not long after another vet came out. They wanted to keep Fluff for another 3 days. I agreed to let her stay one more day. They told me, well you might as well take her home because that’s not even worth it. I was floored by this. I was actually planning to bring her home today until I talked to the vet that morning. I told him I would give her one more overnight in the hospital.

I really thought she had to be scared because she is deaf and going blind. She only knows us, and I was worried she thought we abandoned her.

I really believed she would recover better at home with us than in that little cage in the hospital.

After that vet left, I’m looking at these posters and thinking, yeah I’d love to thank you for shaming me and pressuring me and just not being very nice people. I left it though.

The kids came out and we headed back home with the plan to pick the Fluff up at 10AM the next morning. I had to pay a $15K HKD deposit.

On our way home, B helped me look for a dog stroller for Fluff. She would have trouble walking for a while, and we also wanted a way to bring her more places with us.

This is what we ended up with. I couldn’t wait to use it with the Fluff. We were going to pick her up in the morning!!!

Sunday, 4th September 2022

B and I went to get the Fluff. We ended up having to take another Uber to get there on time. Ugh. At least it wasn’t the pet one. The guy who took us though was interesting. Retired and talked the WHOLE TIME. At first I figured he was just telling us stories, but he swore what he was telling us was true. The stories this guy could tell. He is friends with Bruce Lee’s sister(?) I think he said. He had been all over the world. It was interesting to listen to this guy. The only issue was he drove so slow.

When we got there, we had to wait for a long time to get her. Another vet came out to talk to us. Again, I was shamed for taking her out before they wanted me to. I didn’t care. I wanted to bring my dog home. I missed her so much. She always slept in my room, so it’s been lonely without her.

The nurse came out and went over the medication for her with us. They also said I had to take her a few days to the other vet to have her blood checked.

Finally, we got her…

She was so subdued, but she still wagged her tail at us. We thought about bringing the stroller with us, but it would have been too much in and out for her because we were going to take another Uber to get home.

B decided to go get a security camera so we could keep an eye on Fluff while we’re at work. I got in the Uber with Fluff to go home.

The poor dog was so out of it. She seemed so confused by all of it. She was making this noise we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her.

The first thing we did was feed her because they said she wasn’t eating. They had to force feed her with a syringe.

Not what we saw. She scarfed down her food in like two seconds. We were a little annoyed that they were making us feel like she was so much worse off because she wasn’t eating.

After we were able to give her some of her medication, we took her outside using her new stroller (well, new to us. Bought it used).

I’m going to say she really enjoyed it. It was really good for her not to have to walk all the way out of the compound and down the stairs.

This whole thing has been so difficult for all of us. I think we are realizing that Fluff’s time in this world is coming closer to the end. While I hate to think that, we are also just spoiling the crap out of her. She has been the best dog anyone could ever ask for. She doesn’t bark. She doesn’t have accidents. She doesn’t require a ton of exercise. She’s always trying to be around us. She is the best dog ever.

I think I’ve decided I don’t want another dog for a very long time. This all was just too much. Facing her mortality was devastating. I can’t see going through this again any time soon.

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