I have been riding and training, and I have even ridden in a clinic, but my heart has just not been in it. My little "smellybelly" JingleBelle has been sick, and I truly worried that I was going to have to make the dreaded decision.......
She has had some different health issues since late fall, and this summer we found that she had intestinal ulcers. With lots of meds that cleared up, as did her skin issue, so it was heart breaking when she came up lame two weeks ago. I realize that is more of a horse term, but that is what happened. Back to the Vet we went, and had a full check up with X-Rays. No break, but elbow on front right was severely inflamed. She had a shot, and for a day or two she seemed better. Started her on a joint supplement, and made sure she had to all that she needed close at hand. She was sort of lingering, and it was neither better or worse. Vet said it would take time. So we gave it time.
JingleBelle meanwhile became depressed. And who wouldn't? She has been feeling yucky in one way or another for a long time. The light went out, and she laid around looking much like she does in the picture. Just no will to live.
With her leg not improving, we started her on a steroid. And knowing that they kick in fairly quickly I was hopeful, and tried hard to infuse JingleBelle with positive spirit. To no avail.....
On Friday afternoon my husband came home early from work, and contacted me to let me know that she was laying in the litter box. She looked at him, but made no move to get up. I panicked and rushed home. She was lethargic, and limp, with no energy in her eyes at all. I held her and begged her to try to fight to feel better. She just looked at me. I carried her to the back door, and we stood for about half an hour watching the back yard. A butterfly came by, and she perked up. Then a squirrel, and she sat up in my arms. Some birds flew and landed near the door, and she looked at me with her "they have some nerve" face. We stood watching, and she finally squirmed a little to get down. I put her gently on the carpet, and she took a step or two. Paused and took a few more.
I sat down and hand fed her some food, and she ate it gazing intently at me. She then walked over to the water bowl, and drank for a long time. And then instead of dropping right there she walked and awkwardly lowered herself into her bed. (my old winter jacket)
Since then I have spent most of my time with her. Moving her with me from room to room, and feeding her and talking to her. Forcing her to be with us. Forcing her to want to live.
This morning she jumped up on the back of the chaise chair in the living room. Like she owns the place.
Her leg has been steadily feeling better since Saturday, although the steroid is upsetting her stomach some. I have to make sure she eats good when she gets it.
But mostly she is just emotionally better. She makes eye contact and even walked over to husbands hand to be petted.
She is BACK Baby! Still a ways to go, but I feel like we have turned a corner and will continue to improve now.
Never underestimate the power of love and support. If you have a sick friend, be there, sometimes it makes all the difference.