I think I’ve just experienced a miracle, which answers my theological question of the week. Was it reasonable to get my church group to pray my 11 1/2-year-old dog didn’t have cancer?
Regular readers of this blog may remember she eats everything she can lay her paws on. A month ago, this included most of my daughter’s birthday cake, complete with four-inch sugarcraft figure and wooden skewer to hold it up.
Pepper (the dog) loves chewing on wood, so the damage that could be done with a skewer didn’t occur to me. Four days later, however, she became so poorly, I bundled her in the car and phoned the vet (in that order). They couldn’t see any foreign object on her X-rays, but they did find she was losing weight, had a partial blockage in her bowel, and a worrying shadow on her lung. Her bowel symptoms drastically improved with steroids and antibiotics, but she developed a hacking cough and a few days ago the changes in her lung were still there. The vet and I were talking about the ethics of giving chemo to an animal who couldn’t give proper consent. And yesterday, she went for a CT scan to confirm our suspicions.
Just after lunch, I received a frantic call from the place she was having the CT. The skewer was in her lungs and she needed urgent surgery. Could I come immediately and take her to the animal hospital? I tried to sound sober and convince the vet I grasped the urgency of the situation, but all I could think was It’s not cancer. She might live, and then, whether my husband would cope if insurance didn’t fully cover major surgery.
We got to the hospital. (I was receiving looks of deep betrayal from Pepper. After all, this was her third lot of vets in three days.) The specialist went away to look at the images.
He came back, saying, “Incredible.”
The skewer had gone through the stomach, pierced the diaphragm, just missed the heart and some major blood vessels, and worked its way through the lungs, so it was lying near the skin. Instead of opening up the whole chest, they could get it out with a much smaller cut between the ribs.
There were a couple of things on her spleen and adrenals that need to be explained at a later date, but I hope to collect her later today.
I woke up at 2.30 this morning. My theological questioning, lack of sleep and Pepper’s involvement reminded me of a very old joke:
Q; What does the dyslexic, agnostic insomniac do at night?
A: Lie awake, wondering if there’s a dog.