Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Levi - Day 7 - Sunrises and Appetites

What a beautiful sunrise I saw this morning! God's painting is never the same from day to day and sometimes it is so exquisite that I just have to stare in amazement! Thank you Lord for this morning!

I am still not sleeping through the night - I have the urge to check on Levi several times - just to make sure he is resting comfortably. He had a difficult night last night - when he tries to sleep the tremors or shakes seem to wake him up once they start. I have discussed with the doctor and he says this is another sign of the renal failure - prescribing us something in the am to help him rest.

Amazingly though, he does not fight getting his meds - he gets quite a few each morning and each night now....he is such a good patient! We are seeing a sudden bit of violent behavior (fighting with Ben) that has not been an issue before...Could be side effects of the meds or he could just be acting out his frustrations - we are monitoring the situation and addressing with the doctor - cant have that happening! Prayer are needed as we try to regulate all that is going on in that little body!

Doctors have told us that we will know when the end is near - the appetite will fade, the excessive drinking of water will stop, the seizures will increase and his eyes will say LET ME GO..... However today is NOT that day!

Thank you Lord for Levi's starving appetite -what a refreshing sight to see today!!! We could not fill him up! Now he is sleeping soundly and all is well! Happy, full and resting - tonight we are not worried about tomorrow - we are just loving the moment and we could not ask for more. Thank you Jesus!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Levi - Day 6 - The Specialist - Sad Day

Before I begin my rant on how I feel tonight - let me first thank ALL the professionals that have ministered to Levi the last few days! Thank you to the doctors, the techs, the receptionists, and the cashiers - you all handled us with compassion and care - I saw the look in your eyes when you delivered the news that was not the news you wanted to deliver! Thank you Lord for blessing us with these folks - we saw your work through them...They loved us and they cared for us and they showed us compassion on the good days and on the bad ones!

The internal medicine confirmed the diagnosis of our vets. Levi's kidney issue is nothing that we could have prevented - it is congential - he was born this way! Bless his heart - all his life his kidneys have been functioning abnormally and all the other organs in his tiny body have been overcompensating for it. If only we had known, perhaps we could have started to control it medication earlier but the obvious signs (drinking too much water) were not anything that we knew to be on the lookout for - he always drank a lot of water.

Let me take a moment to say this also - our breeder who is also our friend - did not intentionally sale or breed a dog that was not 100% - She had no way of knowing either! Levi had a 100% clean bill of health when we got him - she is in NO WAY to blame for any of this! We love her and will continue to thank her for the blessings of Arthur, Lil Ben, Annabelle and precious Levi!

So now to how I feel tonight....SAD SAD SAD and SAD.... My heart is broken and my game face is gone....tears flow abundantly. We have the answers we were searching for and over the course of the next few days we will have a hospice plan in place to make the most of the next few days, weeks and perhaps (Lord willing) months.

No more words tonight! Just hugs and tears - the two seem to go hand in hand now

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Levi - Day 5 Sunday Night! Praise the Lord for the little things!

WOW!!! We stand in amazement that we were allowed to bring Levi home tonight!!! Here is what happened - Levi's veins are blown and will not support an IV - they tried twice today to get it going again....Levi was restless in the cage - obviously bored with being caged up! When we got the call that we could come visit tonight - we were told that he had been given all his meds for the night and we could take him home if we promised to bring him back in the am!!!!

I dont know who was happier - Levi or us!!! What an unexpected blessing - we were bringing our baby home (if only for a little while)!!! Tomorrow will bring all the things that we talked about earlier today but for tonight - LEVI IS HOME!!!!

Thank you Lord for unexpected mercies!! Thank you for one more night of a little heaven here on earth! You must have know how bad we needed it....Thank you!

Levi has his ball and is sleeping soundly - Coach Burns is smiling and me - well tonight it is tears of joy and I could not ask for more....

Levi - Day 5 Sunday morning

It is Sunday - a beautiful day in Alabama - a day of rest and worship - a day to enjoy the Lord and all he has blessed us with! Yet among all that - something is missing - Levi is not home! He is in a cage recieving fluids and antibiotics and seizure controlling meds - alone and alone. I am sure that he wonders what he did to be left there! Yet he did nothing wrong and neither did we...

We are good responsible dog owners - we feed them, we vaccinate them, we bathe them, we play with them, we talk to them - WE LOVE THEM - somehow - we do deserve this and neither does he....but LIFE down here is NOT FAIR.

Oh how we long to bring him home - to see him run chasing his ball, to see him snuggle as he gets ready to slumber the night away. Tomorrow will be another day of blood tests and level checking but no matter the results we are bringing him home - he needs to be with us and we need to be with him. We have made the decision - we know that 75% of his kidneys are not working and that is not changing keeping him in a cage so we are bringing him home.

Dont misunderstand me - we are going to continue to fight for his long term well being but we also believe that this little fellow needs to be loved by us in his home surroundings.

What will the next few days brings? A referral for an ultrasound to start with? A specialist? Maybe then we will have some answers - are his kidneys deformed? Does he have two kidneys? Do they look normal? Can we take one of them out? So many questions - praying for some answers!

This is new territory for us - never before have we had the need for a dog specialist and expensive treatment but now we open the door in order to gain answers and prolong his life!

We take the challenge backed with the love and support of our family, our friends, our facebook supporters and bulldog lovers everywhere! Thank you all for your prayers and your concerns and your encouragement! We are praying that each step of the way that the Lord will guide us because we cannot do it without him!

Show the way Lord to bring our Levi home- this we humbly pray in Jesus name! Amen!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Levi - the beginning of the end

Oh I dont know where to begin....Let me introduce you to our precious Levi, aka Little Bit, aka Ball Boy, aka Crazy. He is our 1 1/2 year old English Bulldog that is the full brother to Lil Ben (who is not so little) and he is the funniest bulldog we have ever owned! He loves to play with balls - he does not do the traditional catch and give back but he does everything with his ball. All you have to do is say - where's your ball and he knows exactly where he left it....

He is clumsy, he eats too fast, he steals toys, he loves attention, he hangs out on the stairs, he has stolen our hearts, he chases squirrels, he is so full of life and now...he is dying of kidney failure. How? Why? What? When?

Questions, questions and more questions - tests, tests and more tests. IV fluids, antibiotics, vets, vet techs, cages and nights away from home....waiting, waiting, waiting!

You heard me when I said he was 1 1/2 years old - not 10 or 8....He is just a baby and he should not be having these issues! Our hearts are broken and it is so very hard to think straight right now. Tears, tears, tears and more tears - we cant even talk out loud about him without sobbing!

According to our vets (who we think are the best and who have handled all our dogs since 2004) Levi is in acute renal failure. The blood work shows that approximately 75% of his kidney function is gone and will not recover. Imagine the shock on our faces before the tears started to fall. Just a few weeks earlier, he had gotten a clean bill of health on his yearly checkup.

So after days of fluids and antibiotics, he is not better. The numbers have not improved enough. What do we do now? How do enter this chapter of our lives? How long can he live? What about the quality of life? Why does this hurt so bad? Why do we feel so helpless?

The next few days will be full research and consultations and additional doctors and ultrasounds. We will document it all on this blog so if you are not an animal lover - you might not want to read my post going forward.

We are better people because we have been loved by a dog! Their love is unconditional and ever present! Their loyalty is like no persons. Even when sick, all they want to do is please their master. No one on this earth cares for us like the dog does - this love is the way God loves us - unconditionally always and forever. If you have never loved and been loved by a dog, I urge you to try it. You will be so blessed! You might even see the handiwork of God - we sure did!

Sweet dreams my little Levi - we are going to do everything we can to make the remainder of your life here on earth full of love and happiness with as little pain as possible! Thank you Lord for blessing us so and if it is your will, please heal our little buddy!
Lead the way Lord - our eyes are leaking and it is SO hard to see! You alone are God and we worship you in the good times and in the bad!