Monday, August 30, 2010


while we were away in the outer banks earlier this month, piper was suddenly in major, agonizing pain. out of nowhere, she yelped loudly and then proceeded to sit/lay very gingerly at my feet with her head in my lap. she started to shake on and off and would whine and cry when we tried to touch her tail/bottom.

we were completely freaked out and tried to examine what was wrong. she'd let us get near her, but would stagger away when we got close to her tail. we ended up having tom and peter hold her down and restrain her while i looked around, butt hole and...ah, lady parts to see if anything was cut or inflamed. i didn't see anything, but could clearly tell that she was terrible pain because she was shaking really hard.

we called our local vet, which has a 24-hour emergency line, and they told us that it could be a few things. they asked me, smell around her bum to see if her...uh, anal, exploded. (i am so sorry if your breakfast just came up.) after checking, it turned out not to be exploding anal sacs, which was good because had it been that, we would have had to rush her to the (pet) emergency room.

the nurse told me that as long as she wasn't bleeding or swollen everywhere, she should be fine through the night and we could check her again in the morning.

we were so sad that there was nothing we could do to make her feel better and even sadder that piper couldn't tell us or show us what was wrong. we felt so helpless seeing our little girl in so much pain and that we had to put her in even more pain to check her out.

peter was, surprisingly, quite a mess about this and really worried about piper.

surprising because peter didn't grow up with pets, so it took a while to convince him that having a dog is just about the awesomest thing ever. (read: lots of begging and pleading and emailing him pictures of adorable puppies on and even after piper came home as an early christmas present pour moi (read: we went to an adoption fair to "JUST look," saw piper, ran to the ATM to get cash in order pay the adoption fee and took her home), he was very clear that he liked her a lot and liked her more than any other dog, but that love was reserved for humans.

however, this incident at the beach resulted in peter's second declaration of love for piper. (the first came after this ridiculous moment of love between piper and molly.) and that second declaration was followed by many more.

he was (rather adorably) shaken up and had a hard time going to sleep. so instead we spent some time consulting dr. google and dr. wikipedia and found that piper probably had a case of limber tail (also known as cold water tail or limp tail), which happens in some bigger dogs after swimming in cold water or excessive exercise. seeing her move about more the next day and watching the way her tail slowly started to come up again confirmed that this was the likely cause of her pain. we were relieved to find that this would go away on its own, that the pain would subside, and that there would be no lasting effects.

but, in the moment, it was so hard to see piper suffer and so difficult to stand there and just watch, not being able to do anything.

and as we tried to fall asleep, we lay there talking and thinking about how much harder it will be with choi boy.

i can only imagine what a mess we'll be there the first time choi boy has a cough or a runny nose or, *gasp* a fever.

as silly and crazy as it might sound to compare our furbaby with choi boy, i felt like this experience gave us a little practice in terms of handling emergency illness situations as parents.

i have to say, i think i'm going to have to be the one that keeps my head on straight during any such situations we might have with choi boy. because, really, my hubs was a way bigger mess than i was.

and, babe, if you're reading this, the fact that you were a serious mess made love you even more. in other words, don't get mad that i blogged about it. ;)


  1. I'm glad Piper is okay! That definitely sounds scary. And yes, it will be hard when Choi boy gets sick. Especially when you can't do anything to make it better. It sounds like you guys handled the situation so well, though, and you will with Choi boy, too!

  2. Funny you write about us because we are dealing with the same thing right now...actually our little guy is at the vet as we speak & it's his bum too!! Glad Piper was's funny how they give you practice like that, huh?!

  3. It is so hard when one of your babies is sick - even when its a furry baby. Dr. Google will be your best friend.

    Glad Piper is okay! We had an anal sac situation w/one of our cats and it wasn't pretty.

  4. Oh, sick pups are the *worst*! Poor Piper! I hope she's feeling much, much better already.

    As for Choi Boy, you'll be a mess... it's a given... but that's what makes you guys great parents! :-)

  5. I'm gonna have to offer an edit to C's comment and say ANY sick pet is the worst! It tears my heart out, to this day, when one of my furry children aren't feeling well. I have spent many a sleepless night worrying about my kitties.
    As for feeling worse when it's a human baby... I don't know. It's just different. It definitely is a hardcore ACHE. Oh boy. Let's just all pray for a 100% healthy-all-the-time baby! ;)

  6. poor thing. i've never heard of limber tail. but i don't have a dog at the mo so can't i say i know much either way. hope piper feels ok soon.
    but yeah... i can imagine it will be worrying when we are dealing with our kids.
    i try not to think about it too much because i am one of those who will pre-analyse and pre-think things haha. one step at a time huh.
    loving your posts.

  7. I'm not sure what is more frightening....the thought of Choi boy being sick or the fact that you had to check out Piper's anal glads up close and personal! Who knew they could explode?!!! Ok, sorry to kid. I'm so glad that she is ok. I've never heard of limber tail. It's just awful when our furry babies aren't well. And of course with Noah, I'm a total freak too.

  8. i don't think it's weird at all that you compare your dog with your son! we do it all the time. i'm still a mess when our dog gets sick. just over the weekend she got her nose stuck in the car window as it was going up and yelped. i was so upset and nearly in tears trying to make sure she was ok. i'm the same with C. it's hard to watch him be sick and get hurt. the first time he got hurt we called the emergency pediatrician. i realize now how silly we were, but they humored us and of course he was fine :).

    so glad Piper is ok!!!

  9. I am glad Piper is okay! I agree with all the comments - our dogs are our babies so it was good "practice". You will be wonderful parents!


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