It happened that fast.
I went to bed on Monday night just like any other night. I settled in to watch a bit of TV, with both of my dogs in their beds just a few feet away. I might have had on The Daily Show or perhaps Chelsea Lately; I don’t remember. Soon after, when my eyes started to close, I found the remote under a pillow and hit the off button.
I awoke at 3:45 a.m. to what I thought were the sounds of Calvin’s tags clinking against each other on his collar and some serious scratching. I shushed him and told him to go to sleep before realizing what was really happening. I switched on the lamp beside my bed to find him in the midst of a grand mal seizure. Unprepared, alone and scared; I didn’t know what to do. I comforted him until he seemed okay and then I headed straight for Google. I was reassured that the way he was acting afterward was to be expected. I got him back in his bed and whispered sweet nothings in his ear until he fell asleep. I went back to bed myself, but it wasn’t for long.
He had another seizure at about 5:00 a.m. This time he foamed at the mouth and once it was over he was extremely disoriented. So much so that I had to put him outside because I wasn’t sure what he was going to do.
I brought him to the animal hospital, where he spent the next day and a half. During that time he had another seizure and they started him on Phenobarbital, with a side of Valium whenever it looked like he might have another episode. I picked him up on Wednesday evening and was given his pills and two syringes of valium; syringes without a needle. Basically they were to be administered anally if it looked like he was on the verge of a seizure or in the middle of one. It ended up that I did have to use one. The thought of sticking something up my dog’s ass was not appealing, but when it comes down to it, you do what you gotta do.
I ended up boarding him at the animal hospital while I was at work yesterday and am doing so again today because I just can’t imagine leaving him alone at this point. The drugs seem to be helping, but it’s still not clear if they will prevent further seizures. I also can’t leave him alone because he is not the same dog he used to be. I don’t know if it is because of the drugs or if he suffered some damage during one of the seizures.
He doesn’t seem to remember anything.
He paces the house like he’s never been here before.
He sniffs Levi, my other dog, like he’s just met him.
Once the alpha dog, now it doesn’t matter who goes in or out the door first.
He doesn’t remember which food dish is his or where he used to sleep.
His toys are left untouched.
Where ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘release’ were once communicated through my hand signals; he stares dumbly at just the word ‘sit’…
…and ‘Calvin’. He doesn’t even respond to his name. It gets me teary-eyed when I think of how my four year old granddaughter calls him ‘Calvy’ (she says it all drawn out like, ‘Caaaal-vee), and now he may not recognize her the next time she visits.
It’s like he’s a different dog.
Again, I don’t know if it's his medication or if it’s something more. I’m hoping it’s just the meds and he’ll get back to being his old self. Only time will tell.
As much as I want my old friend back, I’d settle for us getting to know each other again…just as long as he’s okay.