our furry family members {day nine}

Today’s post might seem a little silly to some.  But it’s an area where I feel that I need to be more intentional, so that makes it important to me.  Strangely enough, I had this post scheduled for a later date, but last night’s events prompted me to go ahead with this one.

Almost 2 years ago, on a chilly February afternoon, my oldest little and I set out to choose the newest member of our family, a sweet little Cocker Spaniel puppy.  We picked him out, brought him home, and named him Bristol.  And our lives have never been the same since.

There have been many days that I’ve literally felt like I was on the verge of giving away this animal.  But Husband always talks me out of it and reminds me that Bristol is our son’s playmate and it would break his heart if we got rid of his “B”.  So, Bristol has stayed…..much to my chagrin.

Bubby likes to pretend his “B” is a horse…

But late last night, as I took another of our dogs outside for the last potty break of the night, I saw Bristol sitting on the porch looking very forlorn.  He was shaking almost violently and wouldn’t respond to my attempts to get him to come to me.  I walked over to him and tried to pull him toward me….and he collapsed.  Immediately I knew that something was very wrong.

I called Husband outside to help me bring Bristol into the house, not knowing what we were going to do once we got there.  We were both starting to become a little frantic while trying to decide if we should call a vet, or just let him rest.  I then turned to the most invaluable tool we have at our disposal….the internet.  I googled phrases like “shaking dog can’t walk” trying to find an answer for what might be causing our B to be sick.  Finally I came upon a website that described his symptoms almost perfectly and identified his condition as Vestibular Disease (basically severe vertigo in dogs or cats).  Having suffered from vertigo on numerous occasions myself, I was instantly very empathetic for Bristol.  We decided that he would be okay to sleep out the night in his bed and that we would check on his progress in the morning.

Luckily for us, Bristol is doing somewhat better today.  He’s still extremely lethargic and definitely not himself….but he’s no longer shaking and he’s able to walk around with only a small amount of falling down now.  We are watching him closely to make sure that his condition doesn’t worsen.

What all of this made me realize is that I don’t give nearly enough attention to our animals.  We currently have 3 furry family members, Bristol, Bella, and Charli.  And most days I look upon them as more of a chore than a blessing.  They need to be fed, and bathed, and cared for just like my kiddos.  But the one thing that I usually forget is that they also need to be loved….just like my kiddos.

Nearly losing Bristol last night (or thinking that we were anyway) made me remember why we have our pets and made me appreciate them a little bit more.  Now I just need to be more intentional about loving them on a daily basis…..and not seeing them just as a chore that needs to be checked off of my daily to-do list.

*** UPDATE ***   Just wanted to post a quick update about our precious Bristol…..he’s doing much better and is almost completely back to his spaz-like lovable self!!  😀

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