This is the most recent photo we have taken of Julie. She is scarfing down her dogfood as fast as she can before Little Sprout "steals" it out of her bowl and strews it all over the floor. It is a daily ritual they've developed and play out together.
I had intended to blog today about Little Sprout and all the new things he's learning and discovering (TRUCKS!), like scooping food onto his spoon all by himself and maneuvering the spoon (TRUCKS!) to his mouth without all the food falling off. Some even makes it into his mouth.
Instead I must share some painful and disheartening news. Julie's gums and tongue get a bit more pale each day. She is weakening.
What makes this seemingly sudden relapse more painful is that her last blood test showed her red blood cell count at 33 (35 is the beginning point for "normal" RBC count).
The vet took her off the last of the Immuno-type drugs last Friday and reduced her Predisone down a quarter tablet more. She had shown stability for several weeks and it was the next step in her weaning process. It is such a tragic turn of events.
I want to celebrate Julie and celebrate the place she has held in our lives. Each of us has shared a special relationship with her and she has left an idelible mark of love on our hearts. But all I feel right now is a swelling, desperate grief.
I try to take heart in the following three things. One, that A's Mom assembled an awesome 12x12 scrapbook for Julie that we all will be able to go through to remember her. Two, that we did everything we could do to help her recover. The drugs were stabilizing her but she wasn't really getting better. And finally, that when her time comes she won't be in any pain (just feel fatigued, go to sleep and not wake up).
Even so, our house is going to feel lonely and empty without our little Julie Bumpus.
Watching her slowly weaken casts a bleak and pallid pall over my heart and our house. Nobody but God knows how long we have left with her, so please, send your thoughts and prayers for Julie (for hers to be an easy, restful passing). Or even better, a miraculous and medically baffling recovery.