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Flowers for Algernon November 3, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Big Lug, random stuff.

Have you ever read a story that just stuck with you through the years?


I’ve had a few like that – stories I’ve forgotten, other than a scene or two, until years later, when I come across the same story and I remember “that’s what it was!”

Or a story like Flowers for Algernon – I think I read that in sixth grade (I was in the advance reading group) – and I never forgot it.  The name alone – Algernon – was enough to be unforgettable, and by the time I understood the title, well, it was just not something I’d easily forget, that’s all.

Do you remember it?  Charlie was a mentally retarded challenged handicapped young man, and he became a candidate for, basically, intelligence-enhancing treatment.  It had worked well for the lab rat – Algernon – why not try it where it will do some good, right?

Suddenly, Charlie started growing smarter.  And smarter – until he was as smart as, or smarter than, the doctors who’d performed his trials.

And eventually Algernon, the rat, started deteriorating.  He not only lost the benefit of this treatment, but he became erratic – even violent – and then he died.

Charlie knew what was in store with him.

I can’t help thinking of this story – a lot – lately.

You’ll recall that our Puppy-Baby had been involved in a drug study for treatment of his hip dysplasia and that we’ve been pleased beyond anything we ever expected.

Our puppster was running and jumping and frolicking – pain-free!  It was, quite honestly, the closest thing to a “miracle drug” we’ve ever seen.

Then the study ended, and we had to turn in the remainder of the drug.

Fortunately, the test was not for a new drug, but a new delivery system –  the drug itself has been in existence, not just for dogs, but for people too.  So the vet ultimately prescribed the drug in the same form people use it – little, tiny tablets.  Little, tiny, affordable tablets!

However, there’s been a bit of a problem lately.

About the time he went off the trial and onto the regular meds, Jarly started getting sick.

At first it was the occasional dog-vomit, but it didn’t take long before we realized something was going on.  Since one of the more common side effects with this medication is nausea, we took him off the arthritis meds, but it continued.

We’d just opened a new bag of kibble – maybe – just possibly – there was something wrong with it.  So we switched dog food.

It settled down – for a couple of days.  Then it started again.

We switched him to a bland diet – boiled ground beef and grain (rice, then barley) and he stopped barfing, but he was hungry.  All the time.  And a little cranky.

Actually, very cranky.

We were on an abbreviated morning walk the other morning – abbreviated because, without the Magic Drugs, our poor puppy is still Mr. Limpers.

So we were walking, there in the pre-dawn hour, and he grabbed something from the ground.

Not just anything, mind you.

He had found a dead squirrel.

He, who had spent the past several days barfing all over my living room, wanted to chew on a dead squirrel.

Um, no.

Drop it.


Gimme that freaking squirrel darnit you’re not going to eat to it and puke it up for me to clean it up now LEAVE IT.


And eventually, he did.

With a snap of his jaws – on my arm.

My sweet Puppy Baby  BIT ME.

Yes, he was sorry, but still.  I spent yet another several hours in the emergency room – this time to end up with the IV antibiotics and 6 stitches in my arm.

A trip the vet – this is so out of character for him, and now I’m really worried.

And still the barfing continues.  We’ve stopped the drugs for the time being, just in case that’s the culprit – that, and how much good is it doing if he’s barfing it up anyway?

The vet is convinced this is some kind of reflux thing – and has prescribed a couple of antacids.  So far – no joy.  And by no joy, I mean still barfy. And limpy.

I’m just hoping he doesn’t go the way of Algernon, that’s all.  I want my sweet, frolicky puppy back.

In fact, I’m kind of worried sick.



1. sjbraun - November 3, 2010

Awwww – I hate to read this!!! Prayers for you and for sweet puppy. So he seemed to do well with the tested delivery system but not the pills – is that what you think it is? But the old delivery system is out because it was just experimental?? I sure feel for you all – it’s so hard to see a pet suffer, and even harder since they don’t have speech to explain themselves to us 😦
Keep me posted.

Thanks. We don’t know whether it was the meds or not – though the vet is doubtful. Without getting into too much icky detail, they think his esophagus isn’t working properly, causing him to “regurgitate” as opposed to “vomit.” (Who knew they were two different things – or that it actually mattered?)

We’re hopeful we can get this under control enough to put him back on the meds soon. And yes, that’s one of the things that’s bothering me most – I know he’s not feeling well, but if he can’t tell me what’s wrong, I can’t fix it. 😦

2. judy - November 3, 2010

This is so not good news. And your poor arm. I know you will stay on top of this and I am sending GOOD vibes for all concerned. Chin up. Pats for the puppy and a hug for you.

Thanks, Jude. 🙂

3. Anne - November 3, 2010

Awwww, poor Mr. Limpers and Mommy Limpers. I can’t quite imagine having one of my own fuzzbutts bite me bad enough to require stitches. Did he give you that look of “I’m sorry, Mama, I don’t know what came over me. I’m really, really, sorry.” I hope you get him sorted out soon. And you heal up well.

Oh, absolutely he did. First thing he did was kind of crouch down and look at me. . . then he spent the rest of the day kind of following me around with his poor droopy tail. I finally took pity on him and let him sit next to me.

I think he’s starting to feel better – fingers crossed.

And me – stitches are coming out today.

4. kayatthekeyboard - November 4, 2010

God bless you and pupster both….it breaks my heart when mine doesn’t feel well. Sending positive thoughts….

Thanks Kay. No Mr. Barfy Face for a few days now. . . .

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