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The Wookie Saga

It all began..........

18th July : I came downstairs in the morning, Wookie was limping everywhere. He took 2 steps, laid down, took another 2 steps and laid down. Obviously it was hurting. So I took him to the vet. Verdict: nothing broken, most probably a sprain. Doctor asked, "Did he jump down from heights?"

What? Wooks? He's afraid of heights. He will not even walk down stairs even if he's 2 steps up! "Nope, definitely not", that was my reply.

21st July : We were leaving for KK and so we took Wookie to boarding in the morning. The whole family went to see him off. Poor fella, he's never spent a night away from home since we got him and we figure he will have a hard time adjusting. I turned away once they took him because I felt so guilty :(

24th July : We got back from KK but it was too late to get Wooks. I did mention to the rest of the Cheong gang that I felt like breaking in to the boarding house and break him out (mmmmm, influences of Prison Break??) *sigh* so I waited till the next day.

25th July : When we got back, my car would not start. So the mechanic had to change the battery. Since the boarding house was just down the road, I popped over to see if I can bring him home. And YES! he's all ready for me. When they brought him out, he jumped and licked and danced and generally behaved very Wookie-like but with an increased dosage of x10! All the way home, he whined and fussed, complaining about why we left him there, how miserable he was blah blah blah.... ALL THE WAY! Till we reached the gate of the house!

27th July : Wookie vomitted. And throughout the day, he continued to vomit. We thought it may be something he ate and sometimes after a day, he will be alright again. But the next day, he was not alright. He had diahrrea.

28th July : He looked a little under the weather but not entirely sick-ish. Began to eat less.

29th July : No vomitting or diahrrea. Good sign! But still eating less.

30th July : Vomitted again. Went to the doctor's. "We need to de-worm him" Ok, so he was de-wormed. "Give him something to relax the stomach too after all the vomitting" Ok.

31st July : Stopped eating.

1st Aug : Still refused to eat. Began to get weaker. Slept most of the time. Mummy getting VERY worried.

2nd Aug : Dr. said, "We'll put him on drips. He's not been eating and is very weak. Got to get something into him whilst we find out what is wrong with him. Yea, ok but I told the doc, under no circumstance will he stay overnight. "Better take X-ray too. Make sure it's not obstruction and do some blood test too"

X-ray came back, no obstruction - good. Blood test normal except a little high on white blood - infection. He was given an antibiotic jab

"Probably pancreatic infection", Dr. said.

Ok. Heck, what do I know.

3rd Aug : Wookie VERY weak by now. Had to be carried to pee. Had to bring his water bottle to him. He was put on drips again. Dr. said, maybe even for 24 hours.

4th Aug : More tests. Barium meal. Blood tests. The poor boy went through all those. I can't imagine what must be going through his mind. I bumped into my ex-students' mum who are dog lovers and dog owners. I told them about Wooks and they told me, "Bring him to Dr. Ghosh" The barium test result came back - not so good news. They STILL could not tell me what is exactly wrong but it's probably some thingamajig inside him that's not working well. Could be congenital, I was told. But how come it takes more than 2 years for something congenital to surface and so suddenly? "It can happen anytime, we don't know how come", I was told. Meantime, I was taught how to force feed him with the shringe. The 1st feed was indeed an experience for him AND me. We both had food all over us and the floor looked like a war zone. But at least I managed to get something into him.

5th Aug : We brought him to Dr. Ghosh. And with his preliminary diagnosis, he told us it's probably something simple like gastric ulcer and most probably caused by the medication given to him for the sprain. Looking back, the time frame for such an occurance is correct and highly probable. When we told him that he pooed last night, he asked what colour. I had to call David to verify. "Black" Not good, Dr. Ghosh said. It meant that he has bleeding inside "Continue to feed him and give him something to line the stomach" But he will not do anymore for the time being.

7th Aug : Took him back to Dr. Ghosh. And he took some blood for test. He could not get it from both his front legs. "We'll have to take from jugular" Oh No! I panicked! "Er, Dr. I think I can't hold him. I will wait outside"

9th Aug: 6th day of force feeding, 3 times a day. It meant I either have to go around smelling like dog food for the whole day or change after every single feed. Conversation with Ju, he said it's the same, feeding Jorja, food nearly everywhere except Jorja's mouth. Jorja is Ju and Swee Meng's 8 month old girl. Yeah! but Jorja is not furry. It was so diffiult getting food out of Wookie's fur. Went to Dr. Ghosh again. Blood test showed that there was nothing very terribly wrong.

Diagnosis : Ulcer that got infected and was bleeding, hence everytime food goes in, it hurts. That's why he stopped eating. He was looking a tad more alert today. He actually accepted a small piece of lettuce (his fav food) from me although he did not eat it. And he got up and walked to his ball which I threw, although he did not pick it up.

10th Aug : He took a small piece of potato from me. He actually 'stole' a piece of carrot which fell on the fall while I was preparing dinner. Still needed to be force-fed.

11th Aug : Gave him a little food in his bowl. Ate some and had to feed the rest.

12th Aug : Actually finished everything in the bowl.

13th Aug : Today. Dr. Ghosh gave him a clean bill of health. But still needed to continue on his meds to taper off it's effect.

It had been a horrible experience for the whole family and especially for Wookie. During those force-feeding times, when he was well enough to walk, he actually hid when he saw me take out the food to prepare. He will get under David's bed and crawl right inside where I can't reach. I HAD to crawl inside to get him out! But it had also brought us closer. I will sit with him till the wee hours of the morning, stroked him and comforted him. I will call Andrew several times a day to report on how he's doing. I could not concentrate on anything that I was doing. I am glad I had enough experience to be able to go into 'Ballet Teacher Auto Pilot" mode because 80% of my brain was 'Wookie-occupied' I could not sleep in the night thinking what's wrong with him or if tomorrow will be the day he shows recovery.

But from last night, when he dragged a piece of tablecloth off a side table, 'stole' a piece of tissue, wrestled with a cushion he took from the couch, I know I've got my old Wookie back. When he was ill, he was like a 'perfect' dog. Quiet, not zany. But I do not want a 'perfect' dog. If I want a perfect dog, I will most probably buy a Nintendog. I want my crazy, scruffy imperfect Wooks. And I don't know what I'll do without him. Thank you, all of you, for those messages, phone calls, SMSes, prayers and visits.

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Reader Comments (4)

Blog so much about Wooks, later your two children jealous ler :P

You guys really do love that mangy mutt hehe
August 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJyan
Nintendogs aren't perfect either lar.... they don't always come when you call (which can make you feel dem stupid) and they crap on the sidewalk too!

Anyways, he's back to normal now and that's what's important.
August 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJulian
Jyan: Well, yes, I guess we do love him.

Ju: You have to add - one can't cuddle a Nintendog.
August 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKaty
I can cuddle Jo... she isn't quite as hairy as Wooks but she can scratch and drool as good!
August 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJulian

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