Monday, October 20, 2014

It is well...

So much has happened this past month. It seems like whenever Jon travels, (Derbycon and Hacker Halted), things just happen. I'm sure things happen when he is here, but when he is gone they just seem worse.

About a month ago he headed to Kentucky for Derbycon. The morning he was to leave our youngest guard dog, Thorin, was not himself. By mid-morning we could tell that he was really sick, and our guts told us he had been poisoned. Now poisoning of dogs is quite common here. People will put rat poison in a cheap piece of meat and throw it over your fence, so the dog will eat it... get sick.. die.. and then someone will break into your compound. We immediately called the vet, and he sent a driver over to pick him up. Within ten minutes of our call, the driver comes. Thorin was almost unconscious at this point. His eyes droopy and puffy. His mouth horrible swollen. We had to carry him into the car and lay him down.

Jon was here for this part.. but within minutes of sending Thorin away, the driver was here to pick Jon up to take him to the airport.

The vet calls later to say that Thorin is on an I.V, but not doing good. Jon calls from the airport to check in. Of course he feels bad that he is going when I have to deal with the dog.

The following morning.. the vet calls at 6:30.... Thorin has had a heart attack during the night and died. He was such a good dog. He was always sitting at our front door step, guarding. He just was so sweet. I am so sad. I have to tell Declan on the way to school. Jon is over the Atlantic somewhere.. I'll have to tell him later.

Flash forward to this past week.. Jon got asked to speak at Hacker Halted in Atlanta. He is scheduled to fly out Monday night, which means leaving Jinja at 3 in the afternoon. He gets on his way. About two hours later... as I was greeting a new guest for the Bed & Breakfast, I notice that Kodi (our male german shepherd-father to Thorin) is not acting normal. It wasn't like he was acting sick.. he was just not his normal self. About thirty minutes later, Johnson comes to the door and says Kodi isn't eating the food he is giving him (which he usually loves). I head outside to see what's wrong.

Kodi is just laying down, but as I approach he gets up and just stands there. He is normally running all around the property and making sure the other dogs are in order. For him to just stand still, is quite out of character.

I call the vet. He says he is in town and can come in twenty minutes. (I have to say it is extremely nice to have the vet come to your house- the vets clinic is a good 30 minutes away). Kodi just stands with me.. I notice he is shaking.

The vet loads Kodi onto the back of his truck, with Johnson and Gerald accompanying him to the clinic. (Kodi does NOT like this vet-- a week previous to this, the vet had come to update the dogs vaccinations... long story.. but Jon ended up getting 10 stitches- guess that's another story to tell).

I don't hear from the vet til the next morning. Kodi had a temperature of 41 C. That is extremely high for a dog. The vet says he has given an injection (doesn't say what), and has him on an I.V. Later that afternoon, he calls to say that Kodi seems to be doing better, but he will keep him there to make sure he will eat.

Around 9pm that night, I get a call from the vet, saying that Kodi is doing much worse. That the high fever seems to have caused Kodi to have blood vessels in his brain to burst- he is bleeding from his nose. The vet says the prognosis isn't good.

Declan and I sit on the bed and cry.

Not again.

We pray. But I think I know, Kodi doesn't have a chance.

Next morning as we are heading to open the Keep... I get a call from the vet... Kodi has died.

Again... our dog is gone. Again.. Jon isn't here.

We do know that the deaths were not related. We are fairly certain that they both died from different things. That is wasn't poisoned meat thrown over the fence. BOTH deaths... could have been prevented.

Fumigators had come to the house to spray for bats, rats, fleas, fire ants, etc. Jon specifically asked them if it was safe for dogs. They assured him it was fine. Even so, Johnson and Gerald moved the dogs to the opposite side of the compound while they were spraying. Thorin managed to get off his chain and headed back over to his doghouse. The fumigators didn't stop spraying. Nor were we told he had gotten off. This was Friday. By Monday... the toxins had already taken over. Had we known Thorin was near the spraying... we could have given him an antidote. Organophosphate. Banned in the US for use... but still commonly used here.

For Kodi... Aflatoxicosis- a fungus that can grow in maize flour and ground nut powder. Both of which are extremely common to feed dogs here. The fungus causes a build up of basically poison in the liver... the liver gets to the point that it can't handle it anymore- they get ill- fever- and have a 70% mortality at that point.

Things that could have been prevented... but things we just didn't know about. Living here.. we are always learning. Sometime we can learn without anything devastating happening... probably half the time... something devastating does happen.

On top of Kodi dying.. I get an email from my mom with the news that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. What does that mean for her? What does that mean for me? For us here?

One thing I have learned living here....if I don't put my trust in God. I would have no hope. I am overwhelmed a lot of the time. But I know that God is with me. That is the ONLY thing that helps me get through times like these.

I recently found a new version of "IT IS WELL"- by Kristen Dimarco - It has been like a life line for me. To just play that song. To sing those words in the midst of sadness. It is well....(