Wednesday, November 30, 2011

For Elwood

We haven't had our puppy for even a week yet. We brought him home from Indiana on Sunday and I immediately learned that my entire daily routine and way of life was going to change. I happily woke up an hour early to take Elwood outside and spend time with him before work, I watched tv on the couch with him nestled up against me, and we even let him sleep in our room at our bedside because we couldn't bear to hear him cry in the other room at night.

For the past couple of days Elwood has been regurgitating his food. I say regurgitating, and not vomiting, because the food was pretty much intact when it came back up. We initially wrote it off as overeating or eating too quickly and just patiently cleaned up every time he regurgitated. Last night, however, he was getting sick every few minutes. We worried that he was dehydrated and didn't want to wait until morning to take him to a veterinarian, so we drove to the nearby pet emergency clinic.

Matt and I figured Elwood had probably gotten some lawn pesticide in his system, the vet said that he could just have worms, but after some x-rays we found out that things were much worse. I found myself wishing he had worms. 

Elwood has a congenital condition called Megaesophagus which causes the muscles in the esophagus to fail to function as they should. As a result, food can't make it to Elwood's stomach, instead it sits in his esophagus until he spits it back up. There are feeding techniques that can be used, and other dog owners have had success with this condition, but because the dog runs a very high risk of developing pneumonia from inhaling bits of food or even water, his condition requires very high maintenance and the life expectancy still isn't very good.

I am at a loss of words to explain just how angry, sad, confused and frustrated I am. I feel so horrible for Elwood. At six weeks old, he's still just a baby, and surely can't understand that he is laying next to me hungry because I don't even know whether it is safe to feed him! I think he knows that I am upset because he gave me puppy kisses when he saw me cry, which naturally made me cry even more. 

I almost feel guilty for being so upset, I realize that every day there are human beings that are someone's mother, father, daughter, son, etc. that are diagnosed with horrible diseases or pass away unexpectedly. What right do I have to be so beside myself over a dog?

I am not a religious person, I believe in actively trying to solve problems rather than passively leaving them up to a higher power. I do, however, believe in positive thinking and good vibes. So if you've stuck with me this long through this post, could you just send some positive thoughts our way? We're trying to remain optimistic, we've read that surgery could correct the condition or that the puppy could grow out of it, so we are looking toward those options in an attempt to defy the life expectancy these dogs are given.

Thanks (as always) for reading.

xo, Elwood, Kellie & Matt


  1. I'm so sorry, Kellie! I've heard of this and, while it's difficult for the owners in terms of feedings and watering, it's possible to give Elwood all the nutrition he needs. Let me know if you need anything! <3

  2. Thanks dear. I think I've finally come to terms with everything and am now looking toward the future and how we can help him cope with his condition. I can't imagine giving the pup away, even if life with him will be a little tougher!