This is how he sleeps--butt on the squishion, head on the floor. I'm not sure if he's trying to provoke a stroke, or if it does something good for his spinal alignment, but he's been this way since he was a pup in arms. Fluffy goofball. Awww, but it's so cuuuute!
Anyway, the tests (as previously mentioned) were inconclusive. The way this past test works is this: he goes in, they draw blood. They give him a drug that will stimulate his adrenal glands, they draw more blood. They note the ranges and differences, and have a diagnosis. His results came back mixed. His original test showed his adrenal levels were normal (which is good), but his second batch was elevated (which is bad--did we have the talk about Addison's versus Cushing's and how we wanted it to be Addison's because of tumors with Cushing's? Yeah, high adrenal activity = Cushing's.)
Now, the vet noted, this by no means proves he's got Cushing's, it just makes us wonder a little more. I am encouraged by the initial normal reading--this means that when he's just being Dog, laying around the house, mack pimpin', his adrenals aren't hyperactive. This is good. And she even noted that it could mean that he was just really stressed (which, she said, was possible--he was in and out of cages all day, and he's got issues with the whole cage thing; my bad). It could also mean he's heading into Cushing's, which is always better caught early rather than late (which makes no sense; he's had the symptom all summer, he's not going into anything at this point, he's done been in).
After I had myself a good blubber, I caught myself looking in the mirror and realizing--Dog's problem is ME. It might be Cushing's, yes, but honestly? I'd think his initial reading would be high if he had an organic problem. His problem, the cause or the exacerbation thereof, is ME. I think, in my gut, that he's picking up on the increasing stress levels around the house and around me, I've pulled back lately to deal with my own stress, and the whole thing has left him feeling even worse. Holy carp, y'all, if I'm not careful, I'm going to kill my dog. And not on purpose, oh, God, no, he's the only completely honest critter in my life (seriously, think about it: I can understand dogs and cats because they're completely honest, both with me and themselves. Humans are the only animals I know that can lie not only to me, but to themselves, and not even realize they're lying, which just leaves me a whole lot of confused, because it's really pretty obvious if you study human behavior when they're lying--no wonder I doubt my ability with people!) I would do anything for him, anything within my power.
And so, I believe, I must do in this case. He's signed up for more blood work on Thursday and a sonogram on Monday, and I will let these tests run their course even if I don't seriously believe they'll find anything because, hey, I've been wrong before and it's in everyone's best interest to know the truth. And then I will throw myself headlong into the breach for both our sakes, because I have to. Because he is my mirror self--what I see in him is the thing I am most avoiding seeing in myself (see bit about humans lying to themselves and not knowing)--and I know however tense he is, I am ten times so, and I must change my life to make us both better. We can't go on like this any longer. Even if he does have Cushing's, the situation must be improved so that his condition is not made worse. I have been negligent, and the worst part of it is that I make the change, not because of my misery, but for his. I'm not sure what that says about me, but it's not anything I'm proud of, I will tell you.
I know the first step I need to take, and I am terrified. But a part of me is willing to put up with the fear, because I made a promise. I made a promise to a little five pound puppy, sitting in a puddle of his own pee on a newspaper in a cheap pen (oh, how prophetic!) that I would do whatever I had to to keep him happy and healthy for however long I was lucky enough to have him, and that if he would give me his best, I would give him mine. And I know I can't put it off any longer. Regardless of what the tests show this week, I must move out on my own. The situation is rapidly becoming untenable, I'm more and more aware of the strain I'm under and not just because I can feel it--I look at my dog, and I see it. It's slowly killing us both, and I can't let that happen.
I put it off and I put it off and I put it off, and there are a million reasons why I should put it off again, but I think that allowing myself to do so until the time is, somehow, magically perfect is not the way to go. We need peace, we need calm, we need space and quiet and time to ourselves, and those are things we just don't get in our present living quarters. Neither of us is happy, both of us are stressed, and frankly--I'm tired of playing this game.
Christ Almighty, get me through this and I will know miracles happen!
Anyway. Speaking of miracles.
Here's my yarn balls for the Connor Caps:
These are beautiful school colors! I got totally gypped; maroon, pink and gold my ass. I've got tons of easy hat patterns, too, which is necessary, since I really do need idiot-proof patterns in the hat department--I seem constitutionally incapable of making a coherent hat. Which makes my decision to get involved with this project a little baffling, but I consider it a step toward personal redemption, and a learning experience. Blech. I tend to dislike learning experiences, but what are you going to do? Stop learning and you generally get old and die. That's not really a good option, either.
Anyway, for your moment of Zen:
A little, furry, $6,000+ knee replacement surgery angel who's bitten (in his defense, stupid) people, destroyed a couch and several yards of carpet in situ, loves cats and keeps bringing them home and now wants a possum for a pet (not kidding), but still. He's my little angel.