Wally Woes, Bat Mitzvahs and Moms

Wally After his ER visit. Is there anything sadder than a sick puppy?

Wally After his ER visit. Is there anything sadder than a sick puppy?

When I took our puppy Wally out of his crate last Friday morning, he let out a sharp yelp, as if I had stepped on his tail.  He crouched and gave me this look like, “Do something, Mom!”  I picked him up and carried him to the elevator and then outside the building to do his business.  At 6:40 AM, there weren’t many people on the street.  As soon as I put Wally down, he wouldn’t budge.  After a few seconds, he let out another yelp so loud that the doorman who was 100 feet away came running over to see what the problem was.  Poor little doggie took a couple steps, then yelped a third time.  I have decided there is almost no worse sound than a puppy screaming out in pain for no obvious reason.  He wasn’t making any progress on the bathroom situation and after studying him for a couple more minutes, I realized he was shivering.  It was 68 degrees outside already so I was knew it wasn’t the weather causing him to shake.

By 7:30 AM, I am usually on a train bound for work, but instead, I spent the morning at the Animal Emergency Room at East 62nd Street.  The vet there took Wally away for a physical exam.  Almost 45 minutes later, he took us back into a room (without Wally) and said, “I have good news and bad news.”  I felt my pulse beat out of my head as he explained that he couldn’t find anything wrong with Wally upon his examination.  I waited for the horrible bad news – that there was bad bloodwork results, or a bone was in the wrong place, or he had some horrible disesase that only cavaliers get or something fatal.  But he never seemed to get to the “bad” part.  The vet finally finished speaking.  I told him to give us the “bad news,” and he said, “Oh, well that’s the bad news. We don’t know what it is.”


We then asked him how much Wally weighed (he was 13.5 lbs at his last vet visit several months earlier).  The vet had his weight in grams and then after using a calculator to convert it to pounds, was alarmed that the number was 12.1 lbs.  He advised us that this could be pretty significant problem and that we should definitely follow up with our vet.  He threw out terms like “cancer” or “internal organ deficiencies” and a bunch of other horrible scenarios.  We asked if Wally was ready to be discharged and the vet said he’d go get him. Twenty minutes passed and no Wally. I eventually had to ask one of the vet technicians to bring our dog back. 

When we got out of the hospital around 9:15 AM, Wally pooped and peed on the sidewalk – his first of the day.  We were relieved.  He started walking normally up the block. We got him in a taxi and back to our apartment.  I headed to work with a suitcase as I had a family bat mitzvah up in Connecticut on Saturday, and The Husband and Wally were meeting me at work, where I’d rent a car to drive out to my sister’s for the night and attend the bat mitzvah the following morning.  An hour after I left for work, The Husband called to report that Wally was still yelping and not moving.  We called his breeder (who offered to come watch Wally for the weekend so we could attend the family party).  We called the place that was supposed to watch Wally (the breeder there gave us a bunch of helpful advice and recommended giving Wally a baby aspirin).  I called Wally’s regular vet and explained the problem.  He gave him a prescription for a pain killer.  The Husband was in a panic.  So was I. How could we leave our little baby puppy when he needed us the most?

I picked up the rental car and drove directly home after work.  We nursed Wally for the night and at 8 AM Saturday morning, I was on the road, headed back to CT while The Husband stayed behind with Wally.  They went to the vet who discovered some back pain on Wally. They did an x-ray. No broken bones. They weighted him – 15 lbs, 11 oz!! Guess that ER vet didn’t know his math.  And worse – he made us panic that our dog could have some horrible disease based on a miscalculation of his weight.  Wally’s regular vet believed it was a back muscle issue and that rest, pain killers and some TLC would resolve it in a week or so. 

What a relief.

I got the news at the bat mitzvah reception. To celebrate, I ate pigs in a blanket, sushi, chicken piccata, a Heath bar cupcake, chicken fingers, french fries and a Diet Coke to balance it out. YUM.  Hit major traffic on the way home, so in total, I did 5.5 hours of driving in one day including 30 minutes of looking for a parking spot once I got back into Manhattan.  Owning a car in New York City is absurdly stressful unless you’ve won the lottery and can have someone drive you around.

On Sunday, Wally seemed a bit better (he was walking finally without yelping), so we drove up to my parents’ house for Mother’s Day.  It was the first time we took Wally off the leash and let him run around the backyard.  He seemed almost back to normal, but by night, he was moving slowly again.  I’m crossing my fingers that he improves each day.  My mother was wonderful and made French Toast and Hot Lox for a stressed out Husband.  She gave Wally an early birthday present – a plush squirrel toy.  She also got me a present – for my first mother’s day as a doggie mama. Anyone who says that having a dog does not qualify you as a mother should spent 72 hours with a sick puppy. 

Anyhow, glad that it’s finally a work day.  I need some calm time.

Another crazy week is brewing here. Less than 2 weeks til Aruba and EXACTLY 2 weeks until The Bachelorette premiere. I can almost hear the limos rolling in for Des.

Grandpa and Wally on Mother's Day. He's looking better.



  1. Poor little puppy. Hope he’s better and that mama and papa puppy parents are too.

  2. Amy Heinl says:

    Hope he continues to get better…nothing worse than a sick “baby” and a vet who is a jerk with no answers when it’s obvious something is wrong
    Take care

  3. I know just how awful that puppy scream sounds, and how it takes over your life when they aren’t well. My dog baby is 5 now. He’s a Chiweenie and 2-3 times a year it seems that the spot between his shoulder blades bothers him tremendously. Sometimes it happens if he jumps off our bed, which is very tall, or if he gets picked up incorrectly. But other times we’re not sure what caused it. Anyway, when it gets to bothering him he moves very stiffly, has little appetite, and is very tender and generally lethargic. I have a prescription from my vet for Metacam, which is like doggy aspirin, and it helps quite a bit. I try to always keep some on hand and when the poor little guy lets us know he’s hurting I give him some right away and usually within an hour or two there is some improvement. I sure hope Wally is feeling better, and Wally parents too!

    • Jen, thanks. Wally is on metacam right now. Seems to help some, but there’s still been some yelping and he still seems lethargic. We’ll keep an eye on him. So sad indeed!

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