If dogs can love enough to lay down their lives for us, is it possible that they might also make themselves sick from grieving???

I understand that dogs are not our children. They are our family, but not our flesh and blood. Which makes me writing about Kohl’s health scare seem so lame. Almost disrespectful in a way.

I mean there are so many mothers and fathers who are trying to come to terms with a terminal health diagnosis of a child. Or they lay their baby down for a nap, and that child never wakes up again. Then there are the surviving parents of the children who lost their lives in Manchester, Egypt and the Philippines.

And here I am asking you all to pray for my dog.

I feel conflicting emotions. Grateful that thus far in my life, and in the lives of my daughters the only health issues we’ve been taken by surprise with have been those of our dogs. I also feel guilty that the only lose I’ve had to live with are those of my dogs.

I cannot imagine the strength it requires to be a parent who is sleeping on a cot in a children’s hospital ICU, or oncology wing. Nor do I know how I would even begin to carry on with my life if every single day I had to walk by an empty bedroom that used to have Justin Beiber blaring out of it, and is now silent. I can hardly hang out in my garden and write without Mack lying on his favorite chaise basking in the sunshine. I am weak and I know it. This is why God, the universe have spared me these unimaginable losses. Having to live with the ghosts of those we’ve loved, who were taken too soon everywhere. Whether they be upright on two legs, or four. I imagine that the sadness and grief are similar, although I’m confident the depth and magnitude of it when dealing with losing your child is incomparable.

I worry with all the illnesses that Mack had, and the fact that Kohl isn’t the healthiest dog to begin with, there will be plenty of running to have tests conducted for every condition that he suffers with that doesn’t rectify itself in a matter of hours. I mean, it’s sort of like once bitten, twice shy. Considering I had a feeling that my Kuda was sick but didn’t get him looked at until it was much too late. I was much too lackadaisical about his health, he had always been our strong boy, the healthy one. You can bet that I won’t jump to that conclusion ever again.

Thankfully Kohl doesn’t have pancreatitis as that other clinic and vet confidently told us he did. What he also doesn’t have is cancer, or heart-worm, or any tick borne diseases. His organs are all good, strong and healthy. He is the picture of excellent health. Even his wonky heart is doing well on his medications. So then what is wrong with our dog?? I have now asked three vets if it’s at all possible that he might just be, literally making himself sick with grief. None of them seem to think that this is something that could be possible, but Dr. Matt isn’t ruling it out entirely. I mean they do love, and if a being can feel love, can they not also feel loss?? Even if they are “just a dog?” I happen to think that they can. I mean even Duke, who appears to be as aloof and independent as a cat, feels deeply when one of his pack members is no longer a part of the family. The entire reason there even is a Kohl in our lives is because Duke suffered such deep depression after losing Kuda that we couldn’t bear to witness his sadness anymore. In fact, when we finally brought Kohl home Sunday Duke was OVERJOYED at his return. He came completely unglued with happiness. His tail wagging more vigorously than any of us had witnessed in his entire life. Making it completely obvious to me that dogs feel much more than we even give them credit for. Because there was Duke, relieved that his remaining pack member had returned. On the heels of suffering the loss of his alpha, he couldn’t have expressed more happiness at having Kohl back in his fold.

I’m sure Duke is enjoying another sort of relief too. Knowing that with every boxer illness he in turn gets the medical attention he needs. That boy of ours is so low maintenance we often forget to take him to his own follow up appointments. Thank God I dragged him to the vet with us yesterday, mostly to avoid him being distraught while being home all alone for another full day. But since I did we now know that; a) his little knee isn’t healing that great and b) he has some foreign object in his colon…nothing to be alarmed by, as Dr. Matt believes we’ll see it “soon enough.”

Wish us, and his colon luck!