…if dogs could talk…

…mine would say “Couldn’t you tell I was in pain? You dummy you!”

Nashville 09-2010 00116About the time Mocha was diagnosed as having a leaky heart valve which causes fluid to accumulate, she seemed to go downhill rather quickly. She’d get out of her bed and plop down on the floor. A little later she’d get up and amble a short distance and…plop! She continued this pattern for days.

The vet had advised that Mocha rest as the spirit moved her. The way she behaved, it seemed her spirit wanted permanent bed rest. And every so often the thought of “putting her down” crawled through my mind. I hated to see her suffer so.

Mocha’s appetite never waned. And when she was outdoors, she seemed her old self.

As the days passed, her body seemed to shrink and lean to one side. She walked around looking lopsided. Her tail wagged less.

When Mocha started looking up at me with a very cynical stare…moreso than usual…I thought she’d had a stroke. She wouldn’t lift her chin, just her eyes. It was as though she was casting an evil eye on me. Spooky. After a couple of weeks, her neck seemed to disappear as she hunched her back.Imported Photos 00004

Dr. Mom’s diagnosis? Old age and arthritis, along with heart disease.

“Poor, poor Mocha” I thought. As I stroked the length of her body, I’d murmur softly . “I know how you feel. I have arthritis. It’s no fun getting old. You’ll be alright. It’s okay. I love you.” The whole while she was probably thinking “You’re making it worse. Don’t touch me.”

I finally decided to get a second opinion, the vet’s, wondering if the end was in sight for my beloved, old pooch.

The assistant asked preliminary questions, all the while observing Mocha who paced, sometimes in circles, head cocked to one side. When the young woman asked if my dog was in pain, my eyes widened. Pain? That never even crossed my mind, especially since she never yelped when I held her, stroked her, walked her.

I hung onto the possibility that pain was indeed the culprit, as the assistant went to fetch the vet. “Mocha’s not dying! She’s just in pain.” Words that kept playing over and over in my brain.  I shivered at the thought that I had contemplated ending her life. OMG.

Lo and behold. The vet diagnosed Mocha as suffering extreme discomfort because of pain in her neck region. Evidently unlike people, dogs can’t turn their bodies to look from side to side. They’re kind of stuck if their necks are immobile. Worse, the sciatic nerve can also be affected, causing added pain.

Oye vay!!! It was like a wall of bricks fell on top of me. Pain, not heart disease was the reason for Mocha’s strange behavior.

If you’re like me, you bypass common sense and go straight to…worse case scenario!

A steroid shot and pain meds, and Mocha’s her old self again. Just old…not decrepit and on death’s doorstep. Thankfully, she has no memory of my idiocy…

…now that she’s back to taking long walks…and getting her treats for going poopy…

………hugmamma.February 2011 00040

8 thoughts on “…if dogs could talk…

    • You’re so right. As I would with my own daughter, I’m constantly eyeing Mocha for any nuances as to whether she’s feeling ill or well. It’s a constant vigil, and will probably continue until she finally succumbs. It’s just the way of a mother…every mother. We care for those in our care…until the end. hugs for your compassion…


    • I’ve missed you. Hope you’re okay…that your fibromyalgia is in check. Yes, Mocha’s doing better. I can’t say she’s returned to her young self. She has good moments, like a couple of nights ago when she was extremely playful…chasing my daughter and me around, as well as the cats…barking as if talking to us. I’m keeping my eye on Mocha, and the vet up to date on her condition. She’s on a daily dose of meds for both her heart and achey body. The vet does accupuncture, so that may be another course of action. Who knows? Mocha might also have fibromyalgia. hugs…and keep well.


  1. I’m glad your pup has recovered well. It’s always that much harder for the vet when the animal they’re looking at (dogs, cows, anything) can’t tell you where they’re hurting, so kudos to them as well! 🙂


    • Just took Mocha to the vet for a recheck. Mocha’s doing better, but still has some stiffness in her neck. I’ve got another medication to give her and a recommendation to give her daily massages. All good…thanks!


hugs for sharing some brief thoughts...and keeping them positive

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