My Blog Posts

Zen & Health Insurance

In this episode of Fu@k Around and Find Out:

"Why I Have Health Insurance For My Dogs"

Zen - recovering at home!

Never again do I want to be in a position where I have to weigh whether or not I can afford to provide life-saving care for my pet so I carry insurance on all my dogs. That decision proved to be a worthy one this past week when I discovered that Zen had ingested a LOT of foreign materials, primarily silk plants and cardboard. WHY? Why would an almost-14-year-old dog suddenly start eating inedible things? I believe it’s not dementia but like eating grass, it stemmed from a need to soothe an upset tummy. Sounds counter-productive but I’ve seen him do it and he’s VERY persistent, so I am certain that’s what happened, tho’ I had no idea how MUCH he ingested. Yes, I’ll be investigating more about the tummy upset, but in the meantime….

Zen had started to pass the foreign objects but there was still a swelling in his belly that was not going away after 24 hours so off to Urgent Care we went on Thursday. X-rays showed what was suspected and the recommendation was to get him to a 24-hour emergency hospital where they could re-assess and possibly keep him overnight with IV fluids and hope the objects pass. So that’s what we did. 

Pre-surgical visit ~

Unfortunately, I was notified that the objects hadn’t moved overnight so we opted to do surgery on Friday. Yep, on an almost 14yo dog, but it’s Zen, I had to….

I was able to visit with him before the surgery and the techs told me he was “so sweet!” That was unexpected but nice to hear!

He looks a little punky, pre-surgery.

He came thru the surgery well and I was able to visit him Saturday morning at 5:30am before I was heading into one of the most intense teaching weekends I’ve ever experienced. The ability to compartmentalize can be a useful trait! 😊

Early morning visit the day after surgery.
Incision area
Getting some love, early morning after surgery.

Just before 9am, as I was in the middle of coaching and videotaping a dog who was searching I got a phone call from the hospital: “Zen’s ready to go home.” Wow! I had expected him to need their 24-hour care until Sunday or Monday. So after my last session ended at 8:30pm I headed to the hospital and picked him up. As the tech was giving me instructions for his medications and post-op care, she mentioned something to the effect of him not being that much of a senior and I had to inform her that he’s going to be 14 soon! She said he’s been very active and recovering so well she had no idea. Yeah for us!

As soon as we walked out the door he dragged me to go pee. He was so happy to be going home and could relax once we got there. I made up the kitchen for him to be isolated from the rest of the dogs.

Zen - crashing in the kitchen after we got home.
THIS was in Zen's stomach - cardboard on the left and silk plants on the right, laid out in my bathtub. OMG!

Any surgery is scary but with an older dog there are so many worries! Fortunately Zen seems to be healing well! He had to come with me while I taught classes for a good part of Sunday and he seemed to be doing well. All bodily functions are working, he’s eating and drinking well. Aside from the spondylosis in his spine and the boatload of meds he’s on that make him a bit “wobbly” at times, he’s getting around amazingly well! Probably a bit better than before the surgery, so I will definitely need to look into how to keep this level of mobility after he’s weaned off the meds.

Zen went with me for a good portion of my teaching day.
Relaxing at home Sunday afternoon.

Fingers crossed that he continues on the path to recovery but all indications are that he’s got a lot of gas left in the tank and he’s ready to roll! 😊

Zen - happy to be home!