Molly, April 2008, Calvert Beach, Chesapeake Bay
(It's 3 years later and she looks exactly the same!)On Sunday morning, I gave Molly her most favorite treat: a strip of duck flavored jerky (called "Happy Hips" because it has glucosamine in it). Well, egads. She must have gotten a piece lodged in her throat because there was a rush to eat grass. There was gagging. White froth at her lips. Forlorn looks at me: Well, can't you do something?! So I did. I took her up to Friendship Animal Hospital which has an emergency room. They took her right away ("triage for short of breath to the waiting room!"). There was nothing lodged in her throat but her breathing was clearly labored. And then it was a very long morning. 3 hours later the lovely Dr. Schultz - who had nothing but nice things to say about how sweet Molly is (duh!) - gave us a diagnosis of Laryngeal Paralysis. This is basically exactly what it sounds like: an inability for the abductor muscles of the larynx to work properly. In a nutshell, it makes breathing hard. It develops over time - we've noticed - and it's important to keep her cool and un-agitated. There are surgical remedies, but I have never been one to operate on an older dog. She is perfectly happy to be quiet and enjoy the air-conditioned cool of the living room.
This is the first time I have contemplated her mortality. I can't imagine life without her but I can certainly rejoice in the life we're having together for now. What an angel.