Today's incentive sketch over at buzzComix hold special significance. If you've ever owned a pet, I think you an empathize with its sentiment. Once you read today's blog, it'll take on deeper significance.Click here to see it.
You'll pardon me today if I don't talk much about movies, celebrities or pop culture. I want to talk about something a little closer to home instead.
It's not coincidence that Truman is featured so prominently in today's strip. Monday night, Cami and I got quite a scare. We came home from work and Truman wasn't quite himself. He wasn't eating, he was very lethargic and was trembling while he tried to sleep on the couch. We were very concerned. This wasn't normal behavior for our normally spry and inquisitive 2 year old beagle.
Around 10 P.M. Monday night, we took Truman to an emergency veterinary clinic. They noted his general lack of energy and took his temperature. He was running a fever of 105 degrees when 100 is about normal.
They ran a battery of tests, x-rays and blood work trying to figure out what was wrong with him. We worried that he might have had some obstruction in his small intestine as we noted he had gotten a hold of a leather purse strap the Friday before. Truman also did not have a bowel movement since Sunday night prior, despite great strain Monday evening to do so.
Standard x-rays didn't turn up anything, so the doctor on duty recommended barium tests to more clearly identify any issues in Truman's intestinal tract. Basically, they feed the animal barium and take x-rays every couple of hours as it works through his system. Barium shows up extremely well on x-ray, so if there was any issue, it would come through loud and clear.
The only problem is that to perform the test, we would have to leave them there overnight. Needless to say, Cami and I didn't get much sleep Monday night as we worried about Truman's condition in some far away animal hospital.
Tuesday morning we picked him up at 7:00 A.M. to transfer him to our regular vet for further treatment. So while trying to juggle a particularly heavy workload on no sleep Tuesday, I was fielding calls from our vet every 2 hours with status reports.
At first Truman seemed to get a little of his energy back. He was able to eat breakfast and seemed okay. But our vet pointed out that his abdomen seemed very tender. Truman winced whenever he tried to touch it.
As the continued to monitor him through the morning hours, his condition became worse and he lost energy. Although the x-rays continued to show no obstruction, our vet soon suggested that Truman may need exploratory surgery to identify the problem. By this he meant, cutting an incision into his belly and feeling around his intestines for any foreign objects.
Cami and I weren't too thrilled about the idea of surgery. Not only for the expense, but for the risk involved. Ultimately we consented to the surgery because would have rather known FOR SURE the was no obstruction, rather than take him home unwise to any further problems and have his intestines get knotted up and turn toxic. Sepsis has the potential of developing very quickly, and even if caught, it's difficult to reverse.
We faced the option of losing our dog entirely. So we opted for surgery.
The good news is the vet didn't find any obstructions. The bad news was his intestines were inflamed and very red. Our vet felt this could have been brought on by his fever, which he was still experiencing Tuesday afternoon, although now at a more manageable 103 degrees.
Our vet came to the conclusion that Truman was suffering from some kind of extreme infection. It could be viral. It could be bacteria. We don't know. We're not even sure where he might have picked this up. All I know is right now I have an extremely exhausted puppy with a 6 inch cut in his stomach that's been stapled together. We're taking him back to the vet tomorrow morning for observation. After that, he'll be home with us for bed rest as we just keep an eye out for any more unwelcome symptoms.
Needless to say, right now I'm a wreck. Honestly, I wasn't sure if I could even do today's comic. But this idea hit me while we were sitting around the house feeling sorry for ourselves so I decided to act on it. I'll admit it was therapeutic to draw Truman in such a fun context.
Y'know, when Truman got sick, I thought it was lousy timing because his treatment completely devoured the $681 you guys had given me through donations, advertising and merchandise sales. This was the money I was going to use to go to Wizard World Chicago.
But then I realized how selfish that was and how much worse off we could have been. If I didn't have this site and I didn't have the kind of wonderful fans that I do, we wouldn't had that $681 in the FIRST place - and we would have really been up the creek.
So to those of you I thanked on Monday, I want to thank with extra sincerity today. You helped ensure the health and well-being of my dog, my pet, my friend - Truman. You may have helped save his life. The least I could do in return is give you a comic.
As a side note, I don't mean to burden you guys with our problems. But since the comic is based off our life to a degree and because I know there are some of you out there who are fans of Truman's, I thought it in his best interest to share.
I may be difficult to get a hold of in the next few days. In addition to monitoring Truman, I have a huge meeting at work this Thursday that our department is hosting and then after that is Memorial Day weekend. I'm directing this message more toward the people in the forums than anywhere else. I've come to know them as a very caring and supporting group and I didn't want to leave them in the lurch.
Once again, thanks to you for supporting this site. I thank you and I know Truman thanks you. I can put it more plainly than that. You are all wonderful people.
Pray for mercy, tiny beagle from...
PUSS! (...in boots!)