Sunday, April 15, 2012

Shock & Silence

My dear readers, you may have noticed an unusual silence here during the last
couple of weeks. This was my Spring break at school, and I was going to leisurely
update you about my Bologna discoveries. But this and all my other plans suddenly 
collapsed when our dear dog Emma had to undergo emergency intestinal surgery.
(The whole story is very heavy for me, but I am going to try and lighten it up
 with some sweet children's book illustrations.)

Alice ProvensenA day in the life of Murphy

We brought Emma to the vet clinic for what we presumed to be a common gastrointestinal problem,
but after a sonogram revealed a large mass in her abdomen, we had to go back the next morning
for an emergency enterostomy. The complex surgery lasted over three very long hours.

Noëlle Lavaivre, Pistache et Dame Tartine, 1959, thanks to the lovely My Vintage Avenue 

The operation went well, but the diagnosis was pretty bleak: Emma's intestines had been severely
damaged by a large infection which could be have been caused by either a blockage or a tumor.
Only the results of the hystological examination could tell, and that was going to take about a week.

Gwénola CarrèreABC des petites annonces

For a couple of days Emma remained at the clinic, were she was medicated and fed intravenously.
We were allowed to visit her twice a day. On the third day she looked a bit stronger, but so miserable
 that we all decided that she was going to be better off convalescing at home.

It was great to have her back, but she was in such poor shape! 
Since she was very weak and nauseous, the only way to get her to eat 
was force-feeding her. We could only give her a little bit of food 
and water at a time, since she was in constant danger of throwing up.

B. Lubarsky 1959, thanks to polny_shkaf

Finally, the past few days she has been feeling much better, and has started
to eat and behave like her usual self. But last Friday the test results confirmed 
our worst fears: the infection was caused by an aggressive malignant tumor.

Maria Uszack, Chory kotek, 1988, thanks to Garaż ilustracji książkowych

All of you pet owners and animal lovers can surely imagine our sadness.
I really didn't feel like blogging, at least not until we had a diagnosis. 
Now I have to come to terms with it, and hope that our time left together 
will be as long and happy as possible.

As of today, I am going to resume blogging as usual, of course until further notice.
Working on Animalarium is always a pleasure, and a great distraction from daily worries.
 I am only going to ask a little help from you friends, since our medical expenses are already 
approaching 2000 euros, adding financial woes to an already difficult situation. 
So I have finally decided to add a PayPal donate button to the blog,
and any contribution, no matter how small, will be most appreciated.
To all of you who have written to me recently, please be patient, in time
I will answer. And to everyone else who has been following and commenting,
thank you so much, everyday you make my day a little brighter!


  1. I am so sorry you have to go through this, but I know you will love and appreciate your sweet Emma every day that you have left with her.

  2. Dear Laura,

    All my heart is with you. ♥


  3. Much strength to you and your sweet dog.

  4. Oh I am so sorry to hear about this. You're doing all of the right things and your dog is so lucky to live her life with you. All of us who have dogs know what a heavy time this is. I'm glad she is feeling better now, though, and hope for many more good days.

    "My only regret loving dogs as I do, is the misery of their early departure." --Robert Wehle

  5. Dear Laura — I know all too well how hard this is to go through, so I wish you much strength and courage...
    Dear Emma — please get well soon... we're all rooting for you!

  6. Dear Emma,

    I dont know enough english but I'm sure you don't either:) You look well, and you should get well. I'll pray for you.

  7. fuerza para vos y tu querida Emma

  8. Queridas Laura y Emma:

    Acabo de descubrir tu maravilloso blog y tu amor por los animales y al mismo tiempo, esta triste noticia. Te envío toda la fuerza desde Argentina.


  9. I'm so sorry... wish you and your lovely dog strength and long long time spending together.

  10. sending some hugs and energy from Vancouver!

  11. warmest regards from Taiwan, too ... you have our wholehearted wish-it-get-well-son to Emma.

  12. Dear Laura, I include my big sympathy from the southern tip of Africa, too. Emma is such a beautiful girl with wise eyes and a gentle nose - how it must break your heart to see her suffer. Allowing her to spend her remaining time with the ones she loves most is certainly the greatest care you can give her. Courage for the sadness ahead, and many thanks for the time and love you put into this wonderful blog.

  13. Dear Laura, what a beautiful blog with your own creative illustrations. I know we only met briefly in OH through Susanne and Michael Joss, but from one doglover to another, I know exactly what you are going through. Our little ailing dog is going through something similar (although not quite as life threatening), but it really aches our hearts and minds and we can't see them suffer. I hope you still have some sweet quality time left with your cute Emma. So sorry you have to go through that. I wanted to send you a small donation, but the link with paypal doesn't work. Maybe it's because of different countries? Do you think I can just use my regular paypal account and send you some money that way? What is your email address? Many blessings and a warm hug! Claudia

  14. What a beautiful way to tell your sad story. I hope your days with your very beautiful dog are filled with delight, as much delight as possible.

  15. Good luck to Emma and to you from some Seattle humans and dogs.

  16. You are in my thoughts. I just went through a serious illness with my little dog of 13 1/2 years. It is so upsetting. Miracles can happen. Laura

  17. I return to your blog often for succor in this crazy world!
    Thank you for all you do to lighten my life.
    Kisses to your little Emma for all she must bring to your world,my heart is with her (:

  18. Thinking of you and Emma and hoping you have lots of wonderful experiences/times together.
    She is so adorable. Give her a hug from me. I hope she defies the odds and has a complete recovery.
    I have been following your blog for a long time (and up until now havent left a comment...sorry).
    Beautiful blog.

    Sending lots of healing, positive energy to Emma.

    Jacky xox

  19. Dear readers,
    thanks for all your heartfelt comments and your wonderful support!



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