Life Is A Crap Shoot…….But Take The Chance Anyway

Life Is A Crap Shoot…….But Take the Chance Anyway

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

This is a story that is infinitely easier to tell today than it would have been a week ago, or even 2 weeks ago. I realize that my stories don’t always have “nice” endings, and we Daisies seem to be in a sort of life-holding pattern, so I will jump ahead and tell you that this particular tale ends on somewhat of a high note.

We came home with our sweet Stella as a foster dog with the possibility of adoption in the future.   We picked her up on a Wednesday afternoon, drove back home Thursday, and on Friday, May Day, our sweet little girl was on death’s doorstep. She woke up lethargic, refusing to eat, and with gums almost white in color. She was unable to walk to the car, so we carried her, on her dog bed, to the car and immediately drove to our beloved vet, Aumsville Animal.

In the beginning, it was a puzzle as to what was going on. She had been spayed about a week prior, and as she was at the end of a heat cycle, it was a more complicated spay. Dobermans are one of the breeds that are pre-disposed to VonWillebrands Disease, which is actually a type of Hemophilia. Dogs affected by this vary in the inability of their blood to clot, and, unfortunately, this is usually discovered at the time of a surgery when it presents in an unfortunate way……such as what we seemed to be experiencing.

The vet clinic was incredibly busy on this day, and they wanted to start Stella on an IV and observe her for a while. Her blood work was not too alarming, and although it was suspected that there might be internal bleeding, she wasn’t showing a lot of signs of this. I asked if I could stay with her, as they were planning to tether her near the lab room. They agreed, and so I sat on the floor next to Stella who laid her head on my lap. I have found there are several things in life that are never difficult to do. One is hold a baby for hours on end, and the other is to pet a dog for the same length of time.   As our total time together had been a mere 36 hours, it was the least I could do for my newest friend and family member.

A few hours later, she had an ultrasound, which catapulted life into the next category. She was bleeding internally. I looked at Mike, the vet who had discovered the heart murmur in Wiley, and was now caring for Stella, and asked if we needed to let her go. His face drained of color, and he looked at me and said, “I think we need to give her a chance.”

The plan was to open her up, find where the bleeding was coming from and try to stop it. I had contacted Dana, at the Rescue, and she encouraged me to do what needed to be done. As Stella was still one of her dogs, she would put out a plea to Special Needs Dobermans, for financial assistance. There were not a lot of options at this point, and it was not clear to any of us if this would actually save our girl.

It is a gross understatement to say that I have a long history with Aumsville Animal. They have cared for our dogs for maybe the last 30 years. That would be all of the dogs Craig and I have owned. Dear Susie, whom I have known for YEARS, walked through the door to go to work that morning, and seeing me sitting in the break room with Stella, asked me what was going on. I retold the story, and she looked at me and said, “Shit happens.” Yes, it does. Susie is also the one who gave me the best advice I have possibly ever received. Many years ago we were discussing difficult situations in our lives. She mentioned that during one of her darkest times, a client of hers had said to her, “Susie, no storm lasts forever.” And again, she was right.

It was Susie who offered to stay and operate on Stella. I know she had planned to go to her son’s baseball game, but instead, she took care of us – and took a chance on saving Stella.   And to her son, Scotty, who most likely will never read this, and to all the children born to parents who live to serve the greater good, THANK YOU. Know that you stand in the shadow of a giant. Your task is to grow to be that giant yourself. It is your legacy. Be it a small gesture that brightens the life of a single soul, or an action that changes the lives of all of us, it makes no difference. Do good in your life, for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.

Stella survived the surgery but lost a lot of blood and fluids. It was suggested that we take her to Albany to a 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic that was able to do transfusions. As she was carried out to our car, Andrea, the tech who assisted Susie with the surgery, looked at me and said, “Don’t let her rest her head in your lap and go to sleep. You will loose her if she goes to sleep.” It was a dicey 35-minute drive to Albany, with Craig driving and me in the back seat attempting to keep Stella awake and alive. She was in and out of consciousness, and there were several times that I thought we had lost her. Once at the 24-hour clinic, they gave her plasma, and eventually blood from a donor dog. She developed an infection, a possible autoimmune reaction to the donor blood, and an appetite. She stayed there 4 days, during which we visited her every day.

Outside for a potty break with Stella at the vet.

Outside for a potty break with Stella at the vet.


A snuggle with Stella at the vet.

A snuggle with Stella at the vet.









Miss Stella at the vet.

Miss Stella at the vet.


Last Tuesday, a week ago more-or-less, we brought our girl dog home to the farm with her bundle of SIX medications to be given 2-3 times per day. I made an Excel spread sheet, because that’s what you do when life overwhelms you with medication dosing.

Stella sporting her "cone of shame."

Stella sporting her “cone of shame.”


Out for a stroll in the orchard.

Out for a stroll in the orchard.










She is alive. She is doing well. And, this will come as NO SURPRISE to anyone: We. Love. Her.

So……how did this happen, and why? To everything there is a reason. You might say we happened to be at the right place at the right time for Stella. Did we expect this? NO. Did we want this to happen? NO. Are we (maybe just me) the only people (person) in the world this would happen to? Probably. Are we happy to have her in our lives, regardless of the trauma/$$. Yes. Are there greater things to come? Most certainly.

Nap time

Nap time

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6 Responses to Life Is A Crap Shoot…….But Take The Chance Anyway

  1. winky colm says:

    jan, that made me cry. that is what happened to me with garbie, my siamese, 2 days after I got her. but she survived for 7 more years and I would do it again. God bless you. winky

    • msdaisie says:

      You need to believe that I thought of you throughout all of this. I know how much you have gone through with all the “kids,” and it was comforting to know we weren’t alone. Stella is ever grateful; I can see it in her eyes. I hope we get many, many more years together! Love you, dear Winky!

  2. My goodness, life has certainly had some twists and turns for you recently. Let’s hope everything calms down and you can enjoy Stella’s company as she looks a lovely dog.

    • msdaisie says:

      Whew! We have been up and down the road a few times! All of us hope for calmer days ahead!…….Wait, isn’t it time for you to head this way?

  3. Linda says:

    We hope to meet the beautiful Stella at FOY next winter. She is one VERY lucky dog to have you as her family. Thanks so much for sharing her story. Linda

  4. msdaisie says:

    Linda, she will be with us!! You will recognize her by her floral, girly dog collar! I can’t wait to start making them for her. Presently, she is still wearing the “cone of shame,” so no collar is needed. I’m not sure who is the luckiest, Stella or us. She’s a dear little soul!

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