Heal, Rosie, Heal!

Published 2:48 pm Friday, June 19, 2009

Our lives, these past two weeks, have revolved around our rescue terrier, Rosie. The same Rosie who shredded a sofa, soaked various carpets and barks incessantly when I am trying to quietly lead a horse from stable to field. Because she had an abusive early life and because all naughtiness is immediately forgiven when she approaches with a full-body wiggle and rapid blinking which I refer to as &dquo;eye kisses,&dquo; our hearts have been invaded and gladly held hostage.Two weeks ago, after dragging the sandy footing of my riding arena, I noticed Rosie squinting her right eye. Believing it to be full of grit and the dust that was in the air, I took her inside, Paul helped me flush the eye and we applied a bit of ophthalmologic ointment. When the condition persisted, off to our local vet she went where, to our disbelief, she was diagnosed with what appeared to be a detached retina and hemorrhaging behind the eye. The pressure that had built up, causing glaucoma, must have been excruciating, and we immediately rushed her to a trauma hospital in Charlotte, applying pain-killing eye drops every ten minutes during a torrential downpour in snarling traffic.To make a long story short, after extensive lab work, which, at this writing is still not complete, she tested positive for the tick-borne disease, Erlichia, and showed exposure to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and, because she was so anemic with very low counts of Calcium, even cancer was being suspected. At this point, cancer is now low on the list, she is responding well to antibiotics but continues to be anemic and will more than likely lose the eye. It has been a jarring lesson to learn that neither vaccinations or topical tick or flea products are 100% effective in preventing such an illness.Being a part of my radio show (because both dogs like to sleep in the studio during the broadcast and explode into yodels of barking whenever they even think they hear a squirrel) both Bonnie and Rosie have developed quite a fan base and it was immensely comforting to read the reams of e-mails that came in through the day and night, requesting updates on her condition and offering prayers for healing. The most touching came from the mother of a worried, 5-year-old little girl and her brother, who &dquo;included Rosie in their prayers last night and before breakfast this morning.&dquo; From a couple of people, I have received expressions of disbelief when asked how much we have spent on the care of our dog. I know what they were thinking. But how do you look at your dog or cat, whose essence is one of loyalty and love and say, &dquo;OK, I love you $500.00 worth, but not if it goes over that?&dquo; And yes, the costs have been staggering but we are tremendously grateful to have received the supportive and competent care from our local clinic, Twin Oaks, as well as Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Charlotte. Both of these practices, without question, have saved her life.I&squo;ve learned an awful lot in the last two weeks. I&squo;ve learned that Erlichia can invade both the red blood cells and bone marrow and causes internal hemorrhaging. I&squo;ve learned that a tiny bottle of eye drops from the pharmacy costs $85.00. I&squo;ve learned that Rosie will begrudgingly swallow her pills if she knows a treat is to follow. But most of all, I learned that God listens very carefully to the prayers of children.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox