Time has a way of getting away from me these days. It has been nearly five months since Jazzy and Rasta entered our lives. Rasta was adopted only a couple of weeks later, to a wonderful young couple who adore her.
Jazzy’s heartworm diagnosis was too much for the small rescue to handle, and so I asked if the Humane Society of North Central Florida would take us on. Soon after, heartworm pre-treatment began.
I took Jazzy to the beach in her last week before treatment. It was her last dose of freedom, and my last chance to relax completely for a couple of weeks. She ran on the beach and cuddled on the couch. She pointed at seagulls. Then we went home.
Jazzy refused to be taken from me at the Humane Society office, as I am coming to expect. The tech dragged her off down a hall, and treatment began. She was given treatment over two, rather than one, month, and extra medication to help her heart process the treatment more easily, due to the murmur.
Jazzy has handled the treatment like a champ. She never got sick, achy, or lethargic, likely due to the treatment being spread out more. She did, however, get terribly, terribly bored.
With just about two weeks to go until she is finished with treatment, my own heart is full of the thought of what we’ve gone through and how much I’ll miss her when she’s adopted.
For us, heartworm treatment isn’t hard so much as it is tedious. It is exhausting. I feel like a jerk all of the time. She feels good. She doesn’t understand why she can’t do the things that she wants to do. I understand but am nonetheless frustrated by her frustration.
And yet, despite the crate rest, despite my apparent neglect and indifference to her needs, she goes on loving me. I can’t explain to her why she can’t run. I can’t tell her why she can only walk a bit, never run or play boisterously. She doesn’t know why I make her stay in her crate with a toy while the other dogs meet guests and enjoy a fun evening. But she trusts me. If I say it must be so…
She complains sometimes. I can’t hear words, but I hear the emotion in her voice. She begs me to let her out. Not give her water or food. Not a chew toy. Not tether her on the porch, where she can lay on the rug in the sun. “Let me ruuuuuuuuuun!” she begs. “Let me run so the world flies by and the dirt churns under my feet! Let me ruuuuuuun.”
“No.” I tell her, stern, absolute, with my, “There will be no questions about this,” voice.
She sighs with a final pitiful “hmph” and flops down dramatically to chew on her toy.
As I turn my back, I whisper to myself, “It’s for your own good kid.”
I can’t tell her, but I don’t have to. She trusts me. If I say it must be so, then it must be so.
Sometimes I wonder about her life for the six years before she came to me so skinny that I could see her hips and ribs jut out, covered in fleas and sores from biting and scratching, anemic and positive for heartworms. Did she trust her old person like she trusts me? “If they say it must be so….”
The trust and loyalty of a good dog. We never deserved it.
I love Jazzy. I put her through heartworm treatment. It sucks, but she trusts me. Soon, I’ll give her away. I’ll never be able to explain it all to her. But I hope the rest of her life is better than the first six and a half years. Maybe, just maybe, she’ll know, somehow, that I helped.
And I hope that forevermore if anyone tells her it has to be so, it does. I hope no one lets her suffer again. All I can do is hope. But I hope.
Jazzy was adopted! I miss her, but I feel so good about the home she went to. I know that she’ll be loved forever and allowed to run to her heart’s content now.