On Saturday morning I got up like normal, Hudson's furry face right next to mine letting me know it was time to take him to the restroom. So out we went, and there I noticed there was a little blood in his stool. Nothing major, but enough for me to mentally note to stay on watch for the day. When we got back inside I put some food and fresh water in his bowl and he gave it a sniff and walked away. Again, nothing major, but since he hadn't eaten since around 8 the night before, I made another note. He went to lay on the cool bathroom floor and I went to brush my teeth. When I walked in I heard his stomach growl so loud I was shocked. I hadn't ever heard that before so I thought for sure he would be at his food bowl in no time, but he wasn't. I didn't think too much about it and just told myself he would eat when he felt like it.
I got ready to leave for a few hours. Justin has been working a ton of overtime so Saturdays are usually just Hudson and I for the time being. I was planning to do a little shopping and then come back to get him and take him to his favorite trail. He didn't run to the door like he usually does to beg to go for a car ride. I just told myself he was being a little lazy and it was nothing. I shopped, grabbed something to eat and headed home. I came through the door and Hudson greeted me with a wagging tail and lots of sloppy kisses. This made me feel better about the morning worries, so I leashed him up and out the door we went. I decided to take him to PetSmart first to get him enrolled in some training classes. He has had a hard time adjusting to apartment life and some behavioral walking issues have come up because of it. Nothing a little structure and help couldn't fix. The entire time we were at Petsmart he made me out to be a liar though, because he was so good. TOO good. He walked right next to me, didn't pee on anything, didn't jerk away from me and never ran from any people. I looked at him and thought, who IS this dog?!
I took him home instead of going to the trail because we ran out of time before Justin got home and I didn't want to wait too late to have dinner. So we got home and Hudson walked right passed his food again. During dinner I filled Justin in on how he had been acting all day. I remember exactly what I said too. "I have no clue what's going on with Hudson. He won't eat anything, but I know he's hungry. He's been sleeping all day and walking around here acting like his best friend died." Justin got on the floor with him and called him over to sit in his lap. When he touched him, Hudson cried out. I immediately gasped because that's just one of the most horrible sounds ever. Justin picked up a toy and tried to throw it to see if he would fetch. He did, he walked to it and brought it back. (another weird thing he never does. The dog is a psycho path, constantly running around our apartment) When he brought it back I thought I saw something under his belly so I pulled him over to me. Justin helped me lay him down and I started looking over his body. All in about three seconds I saw a lump the size of a softball close to the middle of his belly (no exaggeration whatsoever)threw my hands to my mouth and started sobbing. Justin saw it at the same time I did and lunged for me. He grabbed me and told me whatever it was it was going to be OK and then he started to cry too. (Was that supposed to make me feel better honey???) I was screaming out things like Oh god it's Cancer. How could I not have seen this? We have to take him in. He's going to need chemotherapy. He's going to die. How could this happen to us? WE NEED HIM! It was the most awful five minutes of our life. (spoiler alert. It was not cancer, he did not die, and everything is OK) Obviously tumors don't blow up overnight and we know that, but when something like that happens to you, you are not in your right mind.
We rushed him to the animal hospital, trying to catch our breath along the way. We were praying and trying to stay positive. Justin called his mom who said a prayer for him, too. The twenty minute drive felt like an hour. It was torture. When we got there everyone was so calm I was started to get a little nervous. Why are you taking your sweet little time? My dog could be DYING here! Don't you know he could have cancer?! COME TALK TO US! What? A lot can go through a pet mommy's mind in times of trouble. I think it's normal to just automatically think the worst. The doctor finally did come get us and we heard what we had been waiting for- "Hudson is a young healthy guy who seems to have gotten some sort of infection by a bite or puncture wound. We're going to remove the infection and he is going to be just fine" What happened next? You guessed it. More sobs. Happy sobs, this time of course. Hudson had a fever which they were a little worried about, but thought it should go away pretty quickly after his surgery. I begged to go back with him, but they said no so off to the waiting room we went. 40 looonnggg minutes later out came our very groggy, glazed eyes, fluids on his back making him look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, limping, crying puppy. My heart shattered into a million pieces. Wasn't I supposed to feel better at this point?
The doctor explained that this was normal, his medication would be wearing off soon so he would become more alert. He was on pain medication that would help him sleep for the rest of the night and we were given a whole list of medicine to give him until further notice. Basically they sedated him, shaved him, cut him open to try to remove the infection (we still don't know what it was from because the lump literally blew up overnight.) and stitched him up. They didn't get to remove as much of the infection as they wanted to because the skin surrounding the incision was so aggravated it was causing blockages. They had to insert a drain which he has to wear for the week. We got to take him home that same night! This week we are just following him around, watching him like a hawk and making sure he doesn't lay on the carpet. We have blankets all over the apartment for him to lay on because his drainage is pretty gross we can't really stop it from happening and we aren't going to lock him in the bathroom. We take him back on Wednesday to have his drain removed so he can start his healing process. $500 later I'm starting to wonder if Pet Insurance is a good idea.
It has been a really long, emotional weekend and we are ready for Wednesday to be here already. Hudson keeps trying to lick at his drain and that is really grossing me out so I might have to bust out the cone again. I just feel awful when he wears that. Like the worst pet owner of the year.
Maybe it sounds silly, but this dog is so much more than a dog to us. He's our third amigo, furry son, best bud. We love him! We adopted this guy just two short months after we were married. I felt like Justin was my only friend at the time. I was done wedding planning, I was stuck in Florida while all my friends and family were in Indiana and I was SAD. Of course I had Justin and he is always enough, but he had a big job at the time and was out of town for weeks on end. It was HARD. We finally agreed it would be time to get a dog now that the wedding stress was over. We found Hudson and seriously, he was a perfect fit for us. We found him online and I told Justin, this is the one! He's going to be our dog! We went to the rescue farm that weekend and walked up to a kennel with at least 10 puppies in it. I knelt down and all the puppies were fighting over who could get their faces closest to me through the cage, barking and jumping up and down. And there was Hudson. (Actually Herby at the time. The rescue chick thought that was a great name. LOL) He was standing there so politely, just waiting for his turn to be noticed. I picked him up right away and he started licking my face. It was love at first sight. We took him home twenty minutes later. He followed me all over the house, I took him on every errand I ever went on, I snuck him in bed with me when Justin was out of town, I took him to training classes, and I just loved him more than I love myself. That silly little dog became my best friend. When Justin was away on business he kept me sane. He's so much more than a dog to us. He's that missing puzzle piece out of our life we never really knew we were missing.
So yes. This weekend Hudson broke our heart. We thought we were going to lose him and we didn't know how we were supposed to get through a loss so huge. We are so glad he's back at home with us and everything is okay. We are taking everything day to day now, slowly watching Hudson become more like his old self. I have never been more excited to see my dog turn back into his naughty, crazy self! :P