With four boys in tow we moved into our assigned housing in the Netherlands and were shocked by two things. One, the place was larger than anything I ever expected in Europe–especially Holland. Two, there were three floors of wall-to-wall pale cream carpet. First thought…wonder how much carpet costs in Europe, since there’s no way we’re getting out of here without paying for at least part of that stuff.
The kitchen has large squares of tile pretty much the same color except for the occasional blood splatter. See, it’s not my sons who have had the worst spills. They are only allowed water upstairs. It’s not the random marker bleed or crushed ink pen that has me sleeping in the kitchen. It’s the blood our family dog is coughing up.
The vet thinks the smoke dispersed across his lungs on the xray is cancer, and since Argos is 12 years old the recommendation is not to open our pet up to confirm. Instead we apply treatment for the other ailments our dog might have. If one of those works, then we confirm he has pneumonia complicated by an infection or a fungus.
The antibiotics give mixed results. Nothing happened at first, then he had a few good days which turned to not so good as the medication was about to run out. We bought more. The fungal medicine comes in a day, and we hope, pray and focus on the possibility a few days of the treatment will bear remarkable improvement.
Meanwhile I am ever so glad I splurged to get the peroxide with the spray top. Between that, the Resolve, and the Scotch Guard I put down when we moved in, you won’t find any spots so far.
A few days ago our dog barely coughed all day and slept on a big blanket spread out for him by our bed. Tonight though his breathing sounds like he’s running hard even when laying still. And the bloody spittle on the edge of his muzzle is the brightest red substance ever–oxygenated hemoglobin straight from the lungs beats grade-school acrylic paints hands down.
No matter what happens in the night, our dog has me within arm’s reach.
UPDATE: Argos died at 6am the morning after I wrote this. RIP Beloved Pet. You are missed.
Kristin King is an animal lover, author, publisher and co-founder of the nonprofit Future Hope Africa which is based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is from Kentucky (USA) and lives as an expat in Holland.