Family

Pierre and Olive, 7 Months Later

It’s been 7 months since Pierre and Olive’s life went topsy-turvy on them. I doubt too many people read this blog to hear about our dogs, but they’re our family too and it has been quite a dramatic 7 months for us all.

Honestly, the dog’s have been wonderful. The first 3 months was probably the hardest adjustment for all of us. They never had any issues towards Wallis, but we weren’t able to give them the amount of attention they were receiving prior to her arrival, and that was hard on us.

I would drag my body down to the floor every night, so that we could have a good chew, wrestle and love session before the next feeding…but I felt immensely guilty when I’d have to go back to Wallis. They’d look up at me with big Bambi eyes and I’d quickly grab them a treat and tell them how good they both were being. It goes without saying, that they obviously put on weight during those first 3 months too, which the vet confirmed by telling us they both needed lose two or three pounds.

I started calling Olive nanny Olive as she would come running at any noise Wallis made to make sure she was okay. She often looked at Andrew and I like we could be doing better, and she would lay down outside our door while Wallis napped. Pierre wasn’t nearly as interested, but he loved to give Wallis’ hands sweet kisses. That was the extent of it, and occasionally when she was really fussing, he’d let out one bark at her and Wallis would actually stop crying.

I had visions of putting them all to sleep on the bed together like you see so many people doing these days, but Olive and Pierre are way to rambunctious for that. They’re both bed hogs and love to stretch out as wide as they can go, often adding back leg kicks to move the other out of their way…which would have probably been Wallis. Pierre is also prone to sitting on faces, so that dreamy idea was scratched early on.

Just as we were finally getting the hang of things, Olive became horribly ill. One morning she started vomiting huge brown vomits, and she refused to eat anything or drink. The vomits were so large I was terrified.

Dog’s vomit quite a bit over their lifetimes…and always at the worst moment and on something you love, even if there’s an entire easy-to-clean floor in front of them, they will make sure they make it to your carpet. However, this type of vomiting was insane, I had never seen such large vomits before, and I knew something was seriously wrong.

We rushed her to the vet, and they did an X-ray but couldn’t see anything in the X-ray, so they advised us to get an ultra-sound, unfortunately, they were unable to do that or major surgeries at their establishment, so we had to go to one of those ER vet places. The ultra-sound revealed that Olive had an obstruction that was blocking her small intestine, it luckily had not gone inside the small intestine but it was on its way.

We were shocked because Olive likes to carry shoes to her bed and hide socks in her secret spots that we refer to as her lairs but she’s never eaten anything or even acted interested in that type of behavior. She was rushed into emergency surgery to have the object removed, it all happened so fast that we didn’t even have time to think. Turns out, when she was a puppy, she had swallowed a piece of these type of bones, and it had been sitting her stomach this whole time, and finally had made its way down.

She only had those bones when she was a puppy and the moment I noticed her able to break chunks off of them, I quickly threw them away. Bulldog’s are aggressive chewers and it’s something that you learn early on to be very watchful over. She must have swallowed a piece though and she wasn’t able to vomit it up, so it sat there. It was black and hard when they pulled it out but you could tell what it was. I was so mad at myself. I will never purchase those bones again.

That was only the beginning of our nightmare though, as we spent the next month going to the vet nearly every single day with one complication after the next, simply because the surgeon had put the wrong size stitches on Olive. She put stitches for her weight, but didn’t consider that she was bulldog with a wide chest, and eventually the stitches started to pull away.

That was the conclusion of our ordeal, the weeks prior were spent trying to figure out why she was leaking so much, she had a large growth forming that I had to put hot compresses on every 10 minutes, she refused to take her medication, and then had a seizure response to one of the meds. She eventually had to be re-opened and stitched again. Like I said, it was a horrible nightmare in which we really could have lost Olive.

Everyone just kept saying, some dogs recover differently than other dogs but nobody would accept blame that they had caused this issue by being idiots. It cost us major money, and we’re still paying it off, but we’d do it all over again in a heartbeat for Olive. Of course, that goes without saying, but when it was their fault and we’re paying for it, that’s hard to let go…too much emotion involved.

Olive was amazing through it all. We built her a ramp as to keep her mobility to an ultimate low, and only being 2 years old and still a puppy really, she did beautifully. She laid on her bed for nearly a month with very little activity, it was heartbreaking to watch, but she was seriously ill. I was so proud of her though, and we were all so immensely grateful that once she had been re-stitched, she healed quickly (as she should have done from the beginning) and was back to her wild gorgeous self again.

Once that was behind us and we were looking at the debt that had incurred, we were feeling low about it, but Andrew reminded us that Olive had saved us a lot of money by alerting us that our basement was about to flood. A pipe had burst very early one morning, but we didn’t hear anything. Olive stood at the basement door barking. When Andrew went to investigate he saw that water had just started to go everywhere and was able to quickly turn it off and fix it. She saved the day, that would have been a horrible mess.

Not that we needed justification or anything for saving our dog’s life…but it’s good to remember that no matter how much we spend/do on/for our pets, that they reward us tenfold in unconditional love, and protection. They’re there for us, as much as we are there for them, and though it has been a wild 7 months where nothing has felt as it use to, Pierre and Olive have remained a constant source of laughter, and comfort. We could not be more grateful to have them in our life.

Also, Wallis is obsessed with them, and I am pretty sure her first word is going to be dog. She tries very hard to get them to play with her and chases them everywhere in her walker. She’ll fling her arms up in the air and come charging towards them and we’ll yell to the pups, hide yo toes! They’ve gotten very good at dodging her now, and the other day, I was doing the dishes and turned around to see Wallis sharing her cup of water with Olive….and so it begins.

I adore this picture of Olive, it was taken just before Wallis was born.

Best friends.

Nanny Olive waiting outside the door while Wallis naps.

We started letting the dog’s sleep on the guest-bed during the first 3 months as a special treat for being so awesome. I laid a sheet over the bed so they wouldn’t get hair everywhere, but look who decided he was too good for a sheet.

We lost a lot of snow this year…to her stomach.

Olive discovered my banjo case was the perfect stool for her cat spying.

Pierre turned 6 years old in April and my heart felt sad, it never gets easier watching them age so quickly. He’s basically a goat and eats a lot of grass, but never gets sick.

Olive turned 2 in May. Who could resist that face!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Meg | Hello Farmhouse
    August 13, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    I hope things start looking up for sweet Olive. What a terrible thing to go through!
    That’s amazing that she saved you from a basement disaster! And that photo of her in the snow is too adorable. I’m so glad to hear that she and Pierre have been amazing with Wallis.
    P.S. I can’t find you on instagram anymore. Did you something happen to your account?

    • Reply
      Tiffany King
      August 16, 2016 at 12:21 am

      Thank you Meg, she’s doing great!! Phew!! You know…I decided to quit Instagram, but I appreciate you noticing, he he. 🙂

  • Reply
    regina
    August 19, 2016 at 1:13 am

    they are such beautiful dogs. we’ve been through the major vet bills too (a spinal problem for otis as a young pup and both eyes for bump). but what else can you do for a member of your family? i know you must have been near frantic with olive’s recovery. but i love to hear how they are bonding with wallis… i have the same dreams for ellis and our dogs. xoxo.

    • Reply
      Tiffany King
      August 20, 2016 at 12:03 am

      Thank you Regina! And even more so, thank you for sharing a glimpse of your own experience, it’s impossible to not do the best thing for those we love. I am sure Ellis will become just as obsessed as Wallis has become. It makes me so happy to see, and I think to myself often, she’s learning from the very beginning to be kind, and gentle to animals, such an important part of ones heart. Thank you for your comment, xoxo!

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