Bark for Peace!
musings & ramblings, mostly about dogs, from a three being, three species family

Bark for Peace!

Sunday with Elsa

March 28th, 2011 . by lisa knaggs

Our sweet girl is holding on and sometimes holding on is the best you can do, isn’t it?

I had hoped to report that Elsa seemed to be getting stronger, almost by the hour!  (too many movies, maybe?)  But the truth is, she was near death when she arrived at the Vet clinic a week ago tomorrow morning and she’s still not out of the woods.  Yesterday she enjoyed an outdoor sponge bath, well “enjoyed” is probably employing some poetic license!  But she seemed to relish being outside as she attended to the sights, smells, and sounds of the ranch along the Rio Grande as well as anyone with limited mobility could.

"Elsa slurps up some H2O as she basks in the Spring sunshine on Saturday"

Being off her feet certainly improved the swelling in her legs yesterday, but seems to make breathing more difficult and thus Elsa would rather stand than lie down.  Dr. Green suspects this is from the fluid in her lungs and abdominal cavity which make breathing laborious.  Her wounds are continuing to improve, but clearly painful as she turns to look when her leg is moved a fraction of what we were moving it a couple of days ago.  Her heart rate is rapid, but not alarmingly so.  And her lungs sound pretty good, all things considered.

The hard news to report today is that Elsa is not eating.  She’s drinking just fine, even drank a little homemade marrow broth tonight.  She’s demonstrated mild interest in food, but Dr. Green suspects the combination of pain, labored breathing, and upset tummy from the high dose antibiotics combined to cause her to decide that food just doesn’t sound very good right now.  Because she is alert and interested in her environment, in control of her bladder and bowels, and still coming to us and putting her head into our hands for touch (and I believe comfort), we are not discouraged overall, but taking note.

Tonight Elsa is propped up with pillows and an old quilt- kind of like a princess in recline with her “prince to be” (squeaky frog toy) nearby to remind her of the good things we hope for her future.  I’m going to sleep next to her on the floor again tonight- hoping this reminds her of the solidarity of so many loving hearts supporting her internationally. Please join us in our hope that her pain meds ease her discomfort, the diuretic relieves her swelling, and that her appetite returns.  She must know that we are all rooting for her!

"Elsa prepares for sweet dreams of frogs turning to princes in her future!"

I keep whispering to her as I touch her softly, “It’s ok, Elsa, it’s alright, you’re safe and we’re here to take care of you. If you want to get through this, we’ll do everything we can to help you.  You’ve got an international care team of people supporting you in more ways than you can imagine!  But if it’s too much to bear and you’re ready to let go, that’s ok too.  We love you Elsa, we’re here for you.”

"Elsa gets come passive touch massage and gentle sternum circles"

Thank you all for the comfort your care, concern, and love on behalf of Elsa brings.  We’ll try and have an online donation option set-up tomorrow for those who would like to support her care financially.  If there are any funds above what’s needed for Elsa, Dr. Green and I pledge to use them to assist the next vulnerable being that graces our path.  In the poorest area of Colorado, there is always more need than there are resources…

5 Responses to “Sunday with Elsa”

  1. comment number 1 by: Cindy R

    She looks so peaceful knowing that she is loved and that, if it’s too hard, she can choose to join the pool of animal spirits beyond. Cool Hand Luke awoke at midnight and squeezed his “now I lay be down to sleep …” teddy bear five times. We know Elsa knows that she’s loved beyond measure far and wide. Bless you Lisa and Dr. Green and Sam and all for care … it goes so far beyond Elsa. She is indeed a gift and a teacher to all.

  2. comment number 2 by: LYNN COX

    sometimes when food is to much, I give Romeo cream cheese with his antibiotics. He loves the regular or fat free, doesn’t care.

    Bless you all for all you are doing.

  3. comment number 3 by: Christina

    Lisa, try some ginger capsules or Nux Vomica 30x or 30 C, could be that the meds are making her nauseous and both will help with that.

  4. comment number 4 by: blogadmin

    Thanks, Lynn- we tried all the usual suspects: yogurt, pumpkin, duck, salmon, tripe, beef marrow broth, canned food, etc., Elsa decided to stop eating.

  5. comment number 5 by: blogadmin

    Thanks for these suggestions, Christina! I have been consulting with a homeopathic Vet (& dear family friend) in Scotland, over the past days. Since I had Nux Vomica, I suggested that and she (whom I trust explicitly) felt it was not appropriate for Elsa. Although we were not able to secure any of the remedies Dr. O’Connor suggested over the weekend (the joys of rural living), she assured me we were providing Elsa with excellent care and reminded me that rest and love were the most important tangibles we could offer her. I am so sad that is was not enough for her bodily life to continue…

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