A Big Heart

I’m the type of person that when something’s wrong or bothering me, I don’t tell anyone. I don’t tell anyone because talking about it makes it real. Talking about it releases it into the universe for other people to talk about and form opinions on and I don’t like that. Keeping things inside keeps them safe, but it also takes a toll on the person keeping it in. So, I’m going to try something different.

We found out yesterday that Weevil has an enlarged heart. It’s almost twice the size it should be.

I knew something wasn’t right the first time I picked him up last June. You can literally feel his heart vibrating inside his chest – we took him to Dr. Felix, and discovered that our sweet Weevil had a heart murmur. We were told to keep a close eye on him, limit his physical activity, and continue life as normal. It worried me, of course, but I knew we couldn’t change it, so I pushed it to the back of my mind.

He’d been acting droopy and anxious the past couple of days, so I called Dr. Felix. He thought it was best to go ahead and bring him in, just to check. He decided to do an X-ray and that’s when we found out about the enlargement.

I’ve said it 100 times and I’ll say it 100 million more. Dr. Felix is the best vet in the entire world. I have a very special relationship with Dr. Felix. We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, he’s held my hand through many-an-emergency. I never have to worry that my dogs aren’t going to get the best treatment possible when they visit him. I trust his judgement wholeheartedly. He could tell me the world was flat and I’d believe him. He’s never once made me feel stupid for bringing Aphid in for a broken toenail. He’s never laughed at me as I freak out over the most minor things. He’s not only brilliant and comforting, but he understands. We’ve had many heart-to-hearts about how we “love too hard.” Give me a dog and I’m going to love it with my whole heart my whole life. I’m going to do everything possible to make sure it has the best life a dog could possibly have. I never wanted to be that girl that was obsessed with her dogs. I think it’s the number one sign of a loser. I  wish I could view a dog as “just a dog” and not be so attached to them. It’s dangerous to be this attached to something, because I know eventually I’m going to have to live without them.

We don’t know Weevil’s history. He was caught in a coyote trap in South Georgia last summer. Thankfully, a friend of ours was there for a class and rescued him. She took him in, fed him, took him to a vet. She’s Weevil’s angel. We’d been looking for a Beagle puppy for awhile, but didn’t want to buy from a breeder when there’s so many other dogs that need good homes. Luckily, Mickey that works at the farm put us in contact with Weevil’s rescuer and it was love at first sight. Weevil lives with Tom and he is obsessed. He loves his daddy. Which is only fair, because I don’t know if Aphid’s ever gotten more than 3 feet from me when we’re home. He’d ride on my shoulder if he could fit.

So Dr. Felix sat me down and explained the situation. An enlarged heart isn’t an automatic death sentence, but it’s also not good. I know that because my grandparents had a German Shepherd that died at three from an enlarged heart. There’s no treatment for it. Likely, Weevil was the runt of the litter and it just formed wrong. I think I’ve probably sat down at my computer no less than 100 times between now and yesterday to Google it and find out more information. But I refuse to do that. We don’t know what the future holds. We’re not in control of that and neither are those numbskulls that have the time to sit online and write about the “worst-case-scenarios.” I want  to know everything and feel in control of this, but I’m not the one in control. I’m worried. I’m sad. But I’m not going to let it consume me. Go read Matthew 11:28.

I do know that we’re going to continue to give our Weevil the best life possible. He’s already feeling better and has been playing with his brothers all morning. He rode out to the farm with his daddy this morning. He dumped his food bowl on the floor. He’s busy being destructive which means he’s being Weevil.

I’m going to continue kissing that big forehead. I’m not going to stop burying my face in those big ears. I won’t stop looking into those big droopy eyes and having to stop what I’m doing to scoop him up and love on him. I’m going to keep threatening to spank him each time he chews up another shoe or tears down another set of blinds. And I know he’ll always be able to get out of said spanking with one look and that wagging tail. I’ll still sprinkle cheese on his food. I’ll still hold out my hand for him to give me high fives. I’ll love him even more because of that big heart. He’ll keep having his own chair at the dinner table. We’re going to continue to love him with our whole hearts for our whole lives and that will be enough.

All Images © Ashlee Culverhouse Photo 2012

I snapped this at the farm yesterday right after his vet visit. He loves his daddy but I think his daddy’s pretty smitten with him, too.

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2 thoughts on “A Big Heart

  1. Ok, now that I have stopped crying, I can type. Please, please consider writing a book and combining it with your amazing photos. Your writing comes from the heart – it is so clear to the reader. Your pictures capture things others don’t see, until you show them to us. Please consider writing a book! I’ll be first in line to buy it!

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