How’s Knox?

The question of the month.  I can’t even imagine counting how many times I’ve been asked this question in the past month.  And my heart is grateful to every single person who’s asked.  So, how IS Knox?

Knox is skinny, lethargic and sick.  He’s sicker than I’ve ever imagined he could be.  So sick that sometimes I start preparing for the worst.  But smart and supportive friends have said to just take it one day at a time.  He’s got two weeks (well, 10 days at this point) to turn a corner.

I know he’s fighting hard.  Really hard.  And so are we.  Our boy has gone from a jubilant, energetic boy who would amaze everyone with his speed after a tennis ball…from my running partner, an entertainer for each foster dog that came through the door…a great big muscle-y lug head; to skin and bones.  He gets up only to go for a quick walk or to eat (thank goodness he has continued to do that…).  He’s lost what little fat he had before, and we suspect a whole lot of muscle (thank you, prednizone).  His spine, hip bones, ribs and shoulder blades protrude.

Will he get better?

We have no flippin’ idea.  It’s been an emotional roller coaster to say the least.  Some days I accept that 5 weeks on medications and no progress means, he’s done.  Then I really think about it… and how is that possible?  Just over Christmas he was his normal, happy, (sometimes over) excited self.  In just a few weeks he’s turned into a different dog.  He’s sad; he’d prefer not to cuddle when before, you had to warn guests that a 68lb pile of love would most likely attempt to sit on your lap.  Of course we give him his space…most of the time.This boy is loved, that’s for sure.  And not just by us… and that is comforting on some level.  But the truth is, we just wish there was an answer.

If there is no improvement by February 10th, we’ll probably cut him off his meds and let fate take it’s course.  It may sound horrible (it certainly does to me), but I refuse to string him along for no reason, not to mention waste thousands of dollars to keep him alive for my own personal benefit.  This is not him.  If he starts getting better, I’d risk my arm to make sure he improves, but if he doesn’t?  Keeping him alive, barely…who is that serving?  Certainly we love him too much to be that selfish…we love him way too much.

So I guess what they say is true…

At least for this guy… He’s a fighter alright.  He’s fighting mighty hard and we are so proud of him for it.  Fighting his itty bitty pitty butt off…for his life. Gosh, where to begin.  This has been a yo-yo of a week.  We kept hoping for good news, but it never came.  After two blood transfusions, he still wasn’t stable.  Despite the levels going up a bit, they were never considered safe.

He's lost 9 lbs...but eating well now!

He was discharged Thursday night with the meds he’s been on and a “good luck, but some dogs just don’t respond to the meds”.  Well, if that was our plan, I would have been devastated.  BUT, remember I said on Monday’s post that one of the many gifts this boy had brought to my life is the many friends I’ve met who are involved with pit bull rescue?  Well, a visit to our trainer’s vet was essentially demanded by her all week.  By Thursday, I was so relieved we had another plan.

In 24 hours, his levels dropped again (so he is still dangerously anemic).  Our new Doc suggested upping his current meds (doubling his antibiotic and steroid), and adding in a few others, as well as some vitamin K, and a few meds to help his belly not react too terribly.  Here’s the line up.  We’re overwhelmed to say the least.

We tried to organize the best we could, but holy cow, it feels like we’re running a nursing home!  Sheesh!

Anyway, after leaving the doc today, we’re very hopeful.  Confident even.  More so in him, than in anything else.  Because as I said above, he’s a fighter.  I know we’ve been asking for over a week now to keep your fingers, toes and paws crossed… but if they’re not too cramped up from all the crossing, could you keep it up a little longer?  We think it’s helping.  Knox says thanks.

And so do we.  Thank You.  It’s truly amazing how many people have awe-ed us.  We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.  Thank you for hoping for this boy.  It’s working.  I hope we will have some scientific evidence to report next week that he’s really on the mend (he’s back to the vet on Tuesday, as long as he presents the same all weekend).

The sooner he’s better, the sooner he can get back to work being the bestest foster brother he can be!

Wishing upon a star

This past week, our whole world fell out beneath our feet. 

The love of our life and center of our universe (and without saying, the inspiration for this blog), became incredibly sick.  It came out of no where.  Without going into too much detail I will share what’s been going on (because so many of you have inquired).  Knox tested positive for a blood parasite called Mycoplasma Hemocanis.  This is usually dormant until something bigger is going on (autoimmune disease, cancer, no spleen, etc).  So despite the treatment with meds, he’s not responding and his blood is very low (incredibly anemic).  He’s had two blood transfusions at this point.  We may need to attempt a third but usually, that’s the max.

So that’s the update.  I want to say thank you, to you.  For caring and sharing.  For sending good thoughts, crossing fingers, toes, and paws.  For sending messages, leaving notes, and being here for us, virtually.  I’m amazing by the support we have received.  I know every dog is special to their owners, but this dog, our Knox, is special to a whole lot of people.  If I can’t toot his horn when he’s on death’s doorstep, when can I?! 

For us, well that’s easy…he’s completely changed our lives. 

We went from young 20-somethings who wanting to rescue a dog, to two completely devoted owners who also are now completely devoted to this breed (which we didn’t know jack about before).  On May 17th, 2010 we brought home a “Baltimore Mutt” (aka a pit-mix) and had no idea how much of an influence he would have on us, on the world he lives in, the streets he walks, and the people he’d meet.  Not to mention the people whom he’d introduce us to (and it’s true, I now have dozens of friends, yes FRIENDS, which I never would have met if it wasn’t for our big-headed lug), and of course all the foster dogs who have made quite the impression on our hearts (and his).

In our eyes, this boy’s work is not yet done.  Yes he’s accomplished a nice long list in his short 20 months with us, but he’s got more to do, so we are wishing upon a star tonight that he makes it through this tough battle…