Island Souvenirs

lessons learned from

Sitting at my desk on a workday on the mainland, late in the afternoon, my tired mind beginning to wander a bit, I notice that my right foot feels like there’s something in my shoe.  A quick check reveals no gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe, nothing obvious inside the shoe.

Most island folk can probably already guess what was wrong.  When I lifted the insole out of the shoe, I found a lot of sand trapped inside my shoe, all bunched up under where my toes were meant to go.  As I poured it into my office trash bin, I smiled…

It’s metaphoric.  I go to and from the island, but keep a bit of it with me wherever I am.  When we’re there, we “soak up” the peace and try to bring it back with us to our “normal” life.

And then there are the things we bring back from the island that we do not actively try to soak up.  For the past three weeks, we’ve been trying to find out what is wrong with our 13 and a half year old field spaniel, Zoe.  Now she’s not a puppy anymore, and she has arthritis, and has over the past year and a half become less and less limber.  But three weeks ago, she stopped walking completely.

A visit to the vet focused on a likely break of an arthritic bone as she jumped off a chair, but her x-rays did not support that.  So we treated a neurological problem symptomatically, and saw some improvement, but she started regressing again after a few days.  Our vet then sent her to a veterinary neurologist, who suggested an expensive battery of tests that could only result in recommending a surgery she was probably not strong enough for.

As an afterthought, he ran a screening test for tick borne diseases.  She came up positive for anaplasma, so they ran another test to determine if it was an active infection.  The next day the results were in – she had a very active anaplasmosa infection, apparently off the scale of the test.

A few days of doxycycline later, and Zoe is bouncing back.  She’s walking again, and seems to be feeling much better.  She’s not quite ready for a walk to Sengy, but I think in a little more time she will be.

It’s so easy to think an old dog is failing because of her age, but I want to share what we’ve learned here – never underestimate the power of the evil tick!!

For island souvenirs, I think I did better with the sand in my shoe.

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