So around September, we noticed one of my dogs was not doing okay. She was peeing a lot, drinking insane amounts of water (and throwing it up), kinda falling out, and not being herself. We had lost her brother in June of 2019, so we chalked up the changing personality to grieving her brother of almost 10 years. I, in turn, ended my employment in China and came home.
I arrived on the 11th of September, and she started to get worse. She eventually stopped eating. We couldn’t take the lost of another dog so we rushed her to a vet in a different county. There, the doctor said, she wasn’t dying but that he had a hunch she might be diabetic. After about 4 days in the vet. hospital, numerous drawings of blood, they reached the conclusion that she did in fact had diabetes and would have to take insulin the rest of her life. They warned that it could get expensive and a lot of people chose not to go through with it for that reason.
We didn’t. We paid out thousands of dollars to get her the best care, and to pay for her monthly insulin and needles. This was an adjustment for us! I had to learn how to pull and fill syringes, meet the CC’s she needed, and administer a shot (which I mean, that is amazing and I know I can do it later too).
She eventually picked herself back up and kinda became the dog she was before. But after losing your lifelong friend AND becoming diabetic, she was changed. She can get VERY lethargic now. She spends a lot of her days sleeping (and sometimes deeply too, the other day, she barked in her sleep. She’d never done it since we got her).
But…then we noticed that she was running into things like the gate of her crate. She would miss steps coming in and going out of the house. We would look somewhere completely different if you called her name. And we realized…she was going blind. Her normally red eyes were grayed out. It was sad because…well it’s just sad. But….we prevailed. We started being extra careful with her when going in and out. If she ran into something we let her know it was okay and we started using SOUND.
So, when she was a puppy, I would always tap my foot at treats I laid down for her and now? That’s how she gets around if I want her to do something. I’ll also clap if I want her attention directly on me and I warn people not to get close because she can’t see you so…she might bite because WHO WOULDN’T?
We also encouraged her to find the world in her own way. We’d say “Slow down” or let her run into some things. She’s actually doing good and knows her way around. She knows her favorite spot and she can smell food a mile a way so her sniffer is working.
We also just…let her be. We try to make it as peaceful as possible and if she has accidents we don’t make a big deal about it. Luckily, her younger brother and sister (mostly sister) are there for her. Maddie was the dog the breeder used to socialize the puppy’s with so she’s good at…slowing down and also emotional comforting.
Maddie has kinda stepped up as little sister and will make sure she’s taken care of. But, when I do move out, I have to take her with me. She’s going to have a whole new world and I know she’s going to be scared but when looking for houses, I’m making sure that they are blind dog friendly. I want there to be an ease of access for her going outside. And when I do move, I’ll tether Maddie and Ginger together.
Has it been hard? Yes, you watch your family dogs life start to leave but you know, it’s aging. Also, a little before Ginger was diagnosed with diabetes, so was my mom. It’s very interesting to see the parallels.
But I signed up to be her mom until the end, whether that means taking on a PT job to help with her medical bills or working more hours teaching English. It’s what I signed up for. I promised I’d be there for them all no matter what and a mamas gotta do what a mamas gotta do.