We spent the next days observing her relax, sleep, and move as if she were a new-born child. Our minds too were racing with permutations about possible conditions as we waited for the blood test analysis. Worries ranged from epilepsy (quite common in dogs, particularly those of collie breed – which she shares some lineage), to cancer stemming from a possible brain tumour. You try to tell yourself not to worry and fear for the worst, but try telling that to a brain now going at over 120 miles per hour.
Luckily for me, work arranged for cover that afternoon. Catt, our HR manager and fellow dog owner, is one of those who would always try her best given any situation. It meant taking a personal unpaid day due to the last minute nature of it all, but as if that was on my mind that day.
You read stories of workplaces completely disregarding pet illnesses and even reprimanding or sacking those who are unable to get to work due to a poorly dog or cat, expecting them to report for work the day after their beloved pet passed away, or to even leave them to suffer alone without medical intervention and potentially slip away for the sake of the nine to five. Sadly, I fail to see attitudes towards pet illness or bereavement changing. You may be lucky, and work for a company whose management shows empathy, or you could find yourself in completely the opposite who see pets as things, not family members.
The test results soon came back, and I couldn’t believe how less at ease I felt at the news that she was her blood sample indicated Aneira was a perfectly healthy dog. All Cristina could offer was that perhaps it was just a once off, and to record and inform should it happen again so they could enter it in to her profile on their system.
We revisited the day of the episode. It was a particularly warm morning, even by Sevilliano standards for Spring. Aneira had her usual morning walk of just over an hour around the barrio (neighbourhood), and had her breakfast, but as per our little oddballs way failed to have a significant drink if any. For a dog living in a warm climate, she does occasionally worry us with her reluctance to have a drink once coming home, tongue hanging low from a walk on a warm morning or evening. Research of reputable pet and vet websites informed us that dehydration and heatstroke sometimes lead to convulsions, leading me to think she was in fact suffering from the latter that morning.
A month of so later, Aneira found herself struggling on the floor again. Thankfully this time, we were that little calmer due to our minds ruling our that this wasn’t anything cardiovascular. As our poor dog looked up at us with confused, scared eyes, our hearts were breaking. For those three excruciatingly long minutes, she had a face of pure fear. If she could speak, she would probably have asked us what on earth was going on, much like a human would ask themselves if they suddenly began to feel different in the early stages of any ailment.
We found ourselves once again in Cristina’s company. Luckily, Siobhan brilliantly thought of asking me to record the episode in the moment to show her, which she greatly appreciated. Sadly for Aneira, the fact that both episodes happened quite far apart, her vet found no reason to begin a course a treatment as she deemed it would have been too strong on Aneira’s body, especially on her liver. Had it been two seizures within the same week, different story.
So now we find ourselves sitting her, some three months after the incident reported in part one. A box of prescribed diazepam sits on the top shelf of the fridge, to be used as a relaxant if and when the next episode decides crop up again. As each week passes without incident the level of worry subsides. Said worry will never go away, but it is comforting that until now it hasn’t altered or changed her behaviour.