Friday, April 23, 2010

Please pray for Albert!!

Sometimes the worst things stumble upon you at the worst times....
On my flight home from Nashville, my mind was racing with all of my plans for the future. I had it all mapped out...what equipment I was going to buy next...where all of my money was going...what I was going to spend the next week doing. I had no idea that I had terrible news awaiting me that would change a lot of these plans.

While I was at my internship, my 9 month old puppy Albert got very sick. My parents became concerned when the normally hyper lil' guy laid down and refused to get up and also refused to eat ANYTHING. They decided to take him to the vet immediately. When they got there, Albert was given some tests and the vet confirmed their worst fears...Albert has parvo. They were given the choice to take him home and care for him, if the very high vet expenses were out of the question,but where his chances of survival would be very slim or leave him at the hospital where his chances of living were much higher. To my relief they left him with the vet. To not spoil my trip, my family waited to tell me about Albert until I got home on Tuesday. I was extremely upset and automatically assumed the worst, that he would not live. All of my close friends and family know how close I am to him. He is like my child. Everywhere I go, I look forward to coming home to him greeting me at the door. I was devastated when I realized that this would not be the homecoming I would receive this time...

For those of you who are unfamiliar with parvo, it is a very very ugly disease that affects many dogs and is especially volatile in puppies. The virus progresses extremely fast, is very contagious and can kill dogs within days who do not receive treatment. If your dog is acting lethargic and is vomiting and/or having diarrhea, I HIGHLY suggest you get them to a vet immediately. My parents' quick reaction to Albert's illness may be the factor that saves his life.

There is no doubt that I chose the most expensive route and it is a very controversial subject. (although my parents brought him in, he is my dog so I will be responsible for all expenses, as well as some help from my boyfriend, Andrew) I know many people who think I am crazy and would never consider spending so much on an animal. But for me..there was no decision to make. (I completely understand that in many situations, the money really just is NOT available. I have so much respect for people who do what they can for their pets and I totally understand that the limit varies from family to family)His life means SO much more to me than any material possession and I will do whatever I can to help him. Even if he were not able to pull through, I would sleep well at night knowing I did everything I could and cared more about him than the green in my wallet. When the end comes, you can't take your money with you...or all the things you bought with it. Agree or Disagree, this is where I stand.

Albert has now been at the vet since Sunday. It's been 6 nerve-wracking, LONG, expensive, miserable days...but his condition is very slowly improving. He is fighting a new strain of parvo that is stronger and tougher than the others, but he IS fighting. If things keep at the same pace he should be home within the next couple days. Because parvo is so unpredictable, nothing is for sure and things could change at any minute, but I have faith that he will pull through.

The hardest thing about this struggle has been keeping the right mindset. No doubt, I have been praying non-stop and asking God to heal Albert, but not until recently have I actually been able to see him coming back home. As a defense mechanism, most people tend to prepare for the worst in bad situations, but through this experience I have learned to never underestimate the power of positive thinking. I keep remembering a wonderful sermon I listened to with Sarah Barlow and the interns.(Ironically we listened to this as Albert was showing his first signs of sickness! I truly believe I was meant to hear it.) The message was to trust in God in all situations and BELIEVE in his power. You have to train your mind to think the right way and truly believe. The key to getting through this is having more faith in God's ability to heal Albert than in parvo's ability to kill him.

I hope to report good news the next time I blog, things are looking up but he still needs your prayers! Please pray for my boy and his complete recovery. Here are a few photos of him around Christmas time. We love you Albert! And can't wait to bring you back home, keep fighting!!