learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

Forward and Back

The past two months or so have been chaotic, to say the least.

First, Brooklyn came down with a bad bladder infection in April. We got her in to see her vet and all was well, so we thought.

Mid-May, she got nasty sick one morning. Just boom, all over the floor. Several times in a row. It’s my nature to think the worst and vomiting or diarrhea in dogs can go from zero to emergency fast, so we went to see her vet. Her vet is amazing. He is a friendly South African gentleman with a warm demeanor and genuine love of his job. He has never made me feel crazy for my worrying, that’s for sure, and took our girl’s care quite seriously. She had a low fever and some other symptoms, so he did blood work and got her started on some meds to soothe her belly. The blood work showed mild elevations on her liver function tests plus slightly low platelet count. She wasn’t bouncing back as she should have.

Off to the veterinary emergency hospital we went!

The care we found there was as warm and loving for her as at her regular vet, so we are blessed. They thought they noted something odd in her belly the first visit we were there but it turned out to have just been food, thank God. She still wasn’t herself, even after her repeat blood work came back relatively normal*. They believed she had leptospirosis. This is an infection that is generally vaccinated against but some strains are not covered. This potential diagnosis terrified me. Lepto had almost killed a 4 Paws dog just last year. Whatever it was that brought us in to the vet so early is our biggest blessing right now. They began treating Brookie as though she were positive for the illness that day so that she and her boy would be safe. They also discovered her bladder infection had either recurred or not gone away, so she was treated for that as well.

We are getting her back to perfect health a little more every day. Her diet is currently a challenge due to the strong antibiotics, but that strain shall lessen in a couple of days when she is finished one of the two she is on. The one thing that none of this health scare has managed to either find the cause of or remedy entirely are her accidents. These accidents have occurred since we arrived home. We cannot fully find a rhyme or reason to them. The moment we think we have a functioning theory and a probable solution, one happens outside the bounds of what we’d theorized and we’re back to square one.

So now, we face our girl returning to Ohio for evaluation by her trainers. It is hoped that the remedy is a quick, simple and easy one. It all depends on whether or not the behavior is replicated while she is there. This is like J-Bear and the neurological symptoms he’s had over the years, though. We can describe everything surrounding when they happen but we certainly cannot trigger them to happen ourselves. I am scared of what the future holds if they cannot see what we’re experiencing or worse, there is no quick fix. Brooklyn is as one of us now as J. She is a very important part of our lives. She will not be left behind, no matter what. I promised her that the first day she came back to the hotel with us, and I feel I am letting her down taking her back. My only comfort is that it will be temporary, no matter how things shake out. We are her family. 


J, through all of this, has tried to be a very grown up boy all things considered. He shows deep concern for Brooklyn and like we always know, he’s always watching and listening. He knows she takes medicine. “Brooklyn medicine, not Jacob!” he emphatically reminds me. He knows she doesn’t feel good sometimes and he offers to kiss her boo-boos, even though he can’t quite tell what they might be. It is very tender and very sweet. She checks on him regularly and in return, he does the same.

The loss of his biggest support has been expectedly hard. Changes like this show their repercussions slowly with him. He builds up pressure inside until one day, or across several days, it all explodes in an ugly mess. His vocabulary is growing but it has not yet grown to include an easy array of words with which to express how he feels, so we struggle. He tries, though. He tries to describe everything he possibly can now.

It is a stark, remarkable change from where we were just two years ago as he entered preschool.

Now we wait and face the challenge of a summer without his Brooklyn. It will be hard and painful, going through his birthday, through doctor appointments, through activities and school without her. It will feel like a limb is missing in a lot of ways. Let’s hope we can return her to her place by his side very, very soon.


*= I say “relatively” because some of the counts were just on the cusp of unusual but not truly anything remarkable. 

1 Comment

  1. Nicole

    I’m thinking of you, J and Brookie every single day. I’m here to support you any way I can – even if it’s just to vent. 🙂

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