Monday, June 22, 2009

Snakebite in Mississippi

My mother-in-law has had a tough time over the past few years. My father-in-law is sick and she's his primary caretaker and the family breadwinner. It's created a lot of stress. Two years ago, her mom (Grandma Sara) passed away. She was pretty low. And then, when we were at the cemetery looking for a good spot for Grandma Sara's remains, we found a little puppy.

My mother-in-law took him home and named him Barkley. He has been a bright spot during a very dark time, as my father-in-law has continued to decline. Barkley made himself at home on their farm, getting his exercise attempting to herd the feral cats. He has grown up to look kind of like a half-corgi, half-spaniel (below right is a recent photo sent via cell from my mother-in-law). His breed is one that was never meant to be. As Steve's brother-in-law says, "his parents made a mistake." But he's always been a good dog.

Today, I was rocking Lexie (post-projectile vomit) and I received a text message from my mother-in-law. It said only:
Barkley got bit by a poisonous snake this AM.

I texted her back:
What happened to him?

As I waited a long 10 minutes for her answer, I thought back to when we found him, tiny and alone in the cemetery, obviously abandoned and so eager to be part of our little pack. And I thought about how he's helped my mother-in-law cope since he joined the family. He's so little, I thought, how could he survive that? He must be dead. And she can't bring herself to say it. I teared up. I know that life's not fair, and that bad shit happens to good people all the time. But please, I thought -- Barkley's story cannot end this way. This cannot happen to my mother-in-law after all she's been through and continues to endure.

She finally texted back. She'd rushed him to the emergency vet. Two shots and a pile of medications later, he came home for observation with instructions for my mother-in-law to call if he didn't seem improved tomorrow. The vet said he'd seen dogs survive worse. My mother-in-law reports that he's listless and won't eat or drink.

Please cross your fingers that little Barkley's story has many more chapters.


Mama-Beans said...

Poor Barkley! I've had pups around the farm get bitten as children by rattle snakes and they have been fine, so fingers crossed that he pulls through!


Kim H. said...

Awwww... I'm praying for Barkley! Poor guy... That happened to several of my cats growing up - and they seemed to come out of it fine.


Anonymous said...

Poor baby! Praying for the pup.

Hilary said...

That sucks! Your poor Mother-in-law! Hope he gets better....

Kristin said...

Hoping and praying little Barkley improves. Our furry friends are so important.


Mrs. Gamgee said...

Poor little puppy! Crossing my fingers that he will pull through this.


Michelle said...

Oh wow! I can totally relate, I had a post a few days ago about my little Peanut. I will be praying that Barkley gets better soon!! I hate hearing things like this!! Hopefully you'll have better news SOON!
~Michelle (ICLW)

Nic said...

Poor Barkely!! I really hope he gets better soon!
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I really hope I dont freak out during my MRI. I just want it to be over!

Brenna said...

Oh, so scary! I'm sorry to hear about Barkley and hope that he's on the mend.

dcpeg said...

Fingers crossed! Our first dog survived many dreadful things I believe because he knew we loved him. Barkley will survive because he's so loved.