We've had our dog, Jose, for over eight years now. We got him before we were married and we absolutely adored him. He dropped down on the totem pole once we started having kids, obviously, but we still liked him and he's always been a good family dog. He eats every single speck of food as soon as it touches the floor, and considering the amount of food that falls on the floor around here, this is my favorite quality of his. Nevertheless, there are still times when I occasionally wish we didn't have a dog, like when he refuses to go outside during a thunderstorm and instead pees on the floor. Grrr.
So last week we noticed that he was squinting with his left eye. He didn't seem to be acting any differently so we just sort of ignored it. On Thursday I noticed that he eye was looking kind of cloudy, but my grandmas were coming in to visit that night so I figured we'd just take him to the vet after the weekend. Well, by Saturday it was looking really bad so we decided we had to take him to the vet. On the way there he had his head hanging out the window in the wind, which was apparently a huge mistake because afterward it looked so terrible that I couldn't even really stomach looking at it. I felt pretty embarrassed walking into the vet with a dog who looked like he'd been totally neglected. The vet said it was so bad that she didn't even know how to treat it, so she referred us to a dog ophthalmologist, and called him in after hours so he would be there when we got there.
On the way there, I told Steve we should probably discuss what we would do if it was going to cost like $1000 or something. We have both said in the past that we would not pay more than $500 for our dog, so I figured we should make sure we were still on the same page, although I wasn't sure what page I was really on anymore. Steve shrugged that off, saying it was not going to cost very much because Jose probably just needed some eyedrops.
So, we got there and before the doctor did the exam, he wanted to let us know about pricing up front. He quickly looked at the eye, but didn't do an actual thorough exam. Since it was after hours, the exam alone was going to be $350. He said it was an ulcer on the cornea and we could try to treat it with medicine, which would cost $600. He thought it was too late for medicine anyway though, and said our best option was to have surgery, which costs $2000! We were completely stunned. The doctor left to give us a few minutes to talk it over and decide what we wanted to do.
The rational part of me was saying that we couldn't spend that much, while the rest of me watched Emma cry and ask if Jose was going to be okay, then noticed that Steve (who I have only seen tear up twice in ten years) was wiping away tears. Then I looked at that darn dog and he was looking up at me, wagging his tail, as if to say, "Hey, we're friends, right?" Basically the options were either put him to sleep or spend a total of $2500 to make him better. I told Steve that they were both terrible options and I didn't want to pick either one, so he could decide and whatever he chose would be fine with me. He said he just wouldn't feel right picking money over Jose, and also that it seemed cruel to kill an otherwise healthy dog just because he has an injured eye. I said okay, and we called the doctor back in and told him to go ahead and do the surgery.
We picked him up a few hours later and as we were driving him home, we both said we were sure we made the right decision. We have to take him back four more times for check-ups, but he is apparently going to be okay. They gave us a ton of medicine - three kinds of pills and three kinds of drops - that I have to give him multiple times each day. The drops need to be at least five minutes apart so it's not like I can just put them all in at once, which means my new full time job is to administer medicine to our dog. I made myself a chart to keep track of it. Also, the first day when he was really groggy from the surgery, I was surprised at how well he handled the drops. He hardly moved when I would put them in, but now that he is much more perky, he hates the drops so it's like a mini wrestling match every time I have to put them in. I will be so glad when I can stop!What a lucky dog. I hope he appreciates this!