Friday, January 13, 2006
Our Beagle, Beck, almost died last night.
He is almost 7 years old & has been suffering from Canine Ideopathic Epilepsy since he was about 3. It's common to the breed & there's nothing that can treat this kind of epilepsy. Medications are available, but they don't really stop or prevent seizures very well & the side affects aren't that wonderful either. His seizures are occasional & random & range from mild to moderate in intensity. We've noticed that they happen more often when he eats though. Mostly because he eats really fast without chewing (like he's never seen food before) & that probably creates the short circut in his brain to trip.
Well, last night he ate his food & started to eat what Buddha (our Pug) had left over. The next thing I know, I hear Bill in the kitchen coaxing Beck to get up. He was layed out on his side mid-seizure. We were used to this (as horrific as it is to witness) & did the usual routine of sitting next to him to wait it out & prepared to clean up after him (as he looses all control of bodily functions). Then Bill noticed that he wasn't really breathing. He also looked different. There was a distant look of death in his eyes. This wasn't the usual intensity of his seizures. This was a grand-mal (or generalized tonic-clonic) seizure & the worst one he's ever experienced. He was also choking on the food he had just eatten. Bill swept his mouth clear & did chest compressions, modified doggie CPR. His seizure seemed to last forever & I swore he died. Trying to stay calm as to not go into labor, I left the kitchen whining "Billy, this is not good".
He eventually came to & Bill cleaned up the kitchen. We agreed that Bill probably just saved Beck's life. It was very scary & I'm an adult. Later I thought about how scary that would be to Logan. I hope he never has to witness something like that. But the reality is that we are going to teach him about illness & death at some point in time.
I don't remember having a conversation like that with my family, even though we lived on what I call a "mini-farm". We've had rabbits, ducks, geese, various other birds, tarantulas, turtles, dogs & cats (all at one time). I never remember my parents talking to me about when they passed (naturally or for dinner), however I'm sure my Grandma Nancy & the church taught me something about heaven. Hopefully Logan doesn't witness tradgic death & we can teach him about it in a peacefull, quiet way. I'm not looking forward to it at all. Yet, this is another thing that nobody tells you about parenting.