Things are still a bit hazy coming out of the swirl, but we are back home and we are all bushed. We picked up Aldo at our vet's in Albany Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. I didn't expect him to be so, well, lively. From the way the vet talked, we both were surprised. "It doesn't look good" was what we heard the night before. That and pancreatitis. Aldo was pumped and wanted out, period. He didn't "know" or "care" where we were taking him. He slept quite a bit on the way to Angell Medical Animal Center. He was on his momma's ("Aldo-will-be-the-death-of-me-yet.") lap. We both hadn't slept well the night before, but you do what you have to do. I felt better just seeing his joy at getting out. That made the drive easier.
The staff at Angell are the best. Everyone, and I mean every person whom we met, was congenial and helpful. Try finding that at most hospitals. Before we met Dr. Brom, an assistant greated us and looked at Aldo's charts that we had brought with us. She aptly remarked that French bull dogs are so stoic. So true, they are that and valiant to boot. Dr. Brom, who is a brother to our vet, Dr. DeVries in Albany at Parkside, was very clear and personable. After more tests and an ultrasound, an incipient ulcer or tumor was found in his stomach. We still don't know, neither do they. When we were at our hotel or the coffee shop, we received several phone calls from Dr. Brom telling us what Aldo had ate and his test results. Do you think that you would have received calls from your mother or father's doctor updating you on whether or not they had eaten that night? It's cliche, but true. Animal care is much better than human health care with or without health care bill HR 3200.
Angell is an enormous facility and, since our last visit in 2005, has added a new admission/discharge/exam room wing. To sit in that large light filled space and watch and listen, Kathy and I cried and laughed and wondered. They all sort of run one into the other after a while. The dogs and cats limping bravely in. The confident terriers prancing proudly to the check in line. One small dog grabbed its leash in its mouth and started to drag a woman out of the check in line out toward the exit! Everyone in the place laughed. Heartbreaking and thankfully humorous too.
Aldo is now on an appetite stimulant, an anti-pancreatitis pill and a stomach palliative for what they are treating as an ulcer. He is also on a special dry-canned food diet. He's not wild about the Hill's canned food, but he does like the dry. He can eat low fat prepared food like roasted chicken thighs marengo or court bouillon de poisson. Pasta is ok too and last night he downed more than a few penne, but it was the shrimp that he fancied.
The affinity between animals and their loving caregivers is much more complex and rich than we could ever imagine. Animals help us to connect with nature and our humanity. They don't proselytize. Their being is their way of speaking to our souls.