image of Holly and Harvey spriger spaniels

The Good

As a writer, I’m well aware of many famous sayings to do with writing. Perhaps the most famous is never judge a book by its cover. That goes doubly so in Harvey World. Harvey, he’s the black & white springer next to his pal Holly in the picture above, is my English Springer Spaniel and he has had a bad 8 months of illness. In October last year he suffered from a large cyst attached to his dietary tract and Ataxia, which is a spinal problem. He underwent a long surgical procedure in which it was hoped it would sort out his spinal problem. The details you can read here.

Harvey’s recovery was remarkable for a 14 year old dog. Now Harvey has a new battle, nasal cancer. But Harvey is a fighter and he will not give up. The cancer is slow growing and he’s on medication to help him. He will never get better and I understand that. But he has good and bad days and three times in the last eight months Harvey has seemed to have given in, yesterday was one of those.

The Bad

So yesterday morning was like any other. I woke up, let Harvey and Holly out and they did their thing. We have a routine here where Harvey goes out for a wee. He comes back in and a few minutes later he wants to go out for a pooh. This goes on for an hour or so, in out in out. But yesterday was a break in the routine as I was up late, usually it’s 5am and it was 7am yeaterday. Consequently, Harvey was late getting his medication and when it came to breakfast he didn’t want his normal food. He had had a little bit of my bacon-buttie, but when he was presented with his food he refused. I managed to crush up his pills and get them down him. His steroids would normally kick-in after an hour or so, but not this time and he slowly began to deteriorate. Yesterday was a Bank Holiday in Cyprus, so the vet was closed. I managed to get a message to the vet and he agreed to see Harvey today. But by mid-afternoon Harvey was listless, asleep and blood, mucus and nasal lining was flowing freely from his nose.

The Downright Ugly

As the blood seemed to build up in his nose Harvey would sneeze and blood was showering the area he lay in. It was a constant clean-up operation. The he would do a big sneeze and clear his nasal passage. This would lead to a large glob of nasal lining coming away and being ejected from his nose. It looked remarkably like a small piece of liver. If a policeman had walked in I would have been arrested on suspicion of murdering someone.

Harvey was getting worse and a visit to the vet was now urgent. Fearing the worse is always a bad scene and the appointment wasn’t until 6pm. Harvey had been asleep for quite a while and woke a couple of hours before the appointment. I tried feeding him again, knowing it wouldn’t happen… but it did happen.

The Miracle

Harvey ate. Not a little nibble, whole mouthfuls. He ate and wanted more. I gave him more and he wanted yet more. By the time it was just past four in the afternoon Harvey was outside, trotting around, sniffing the flowers, weeing on the flowers and wanted a few nibbles to eat. He was a different dog.

Today he’s snuffly and his vets appointment is at 09:30 and I’m sure he will be as fine as he can be.

Never judge a book by its cover. And here’s another saying. Never put a good dog down.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2019



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