Continued from here:
Yesterday the house filled with the smell of liver cooking as I prepared Sadie’s dinner. The vet had sent her home on Monday afternoon, just overnight. Before he discharged her, he attempted to cap off the catheter in her jugular but failed when it pulled out despite the stitches holding it in.
“It’s OK,” he told me. “If she needs fluids, we’ll figure something out.” He had told me that her jugular was her last vein only a few minutes before, that they’d had a “heck of time” getting it going, and I felt trepidation as I realized she was cut off now from the fluids that had given her life over the last two and a half weeks.
But she came home. She ate small meals. She drank water. She slept well. The next morning, when I attempted to return her to the vet, she cried so hard and tried with such vigor to fling herself from my arms in the direction of the door that I asked if she could stay home with me. The vet granted me permission, so home she came, to eat small meals, go for short walks, and sleep on my lap.
Last night, I bought and cooked her liver. The vegetarian, poring over the cookbook, smelling meat in her house for the first time in…. oh, 20+ years. But we had a German shepherd years ago who was bitten by a river rat and got leptospirosis. She almost died. She lay semi-comatose in the donkey shed, on a bed of thick straw that we changed daily. My mum cooked liver and whirled it in a blender. We sucked it into a turkey baster and drizzled it down her throat, rubbing her neck till she swallowed. Before school and after school and on weekends I sat with her head in my lap, trying to convince her to eat. She grew yellow-eyed, yellow skinned, lost weight. The vet said she would die. But my mother and I poured liver puree down her and she lived. Gave birth to three litters of puppies. Died of old age at the age of 15. Now I’m giving Sadie little bits of liver to help her liver heal. Is it my imagination or is the neon yellow of her belly fading a little?
When I asked Dad about feeding liver to Eddie, he said, “Well, it was just Mum’s theory, I think. I don’t know if there’s any science behind it.”
I hesitated with Sadie. I looked for websites that would suggest liver as an aid for sick dogs, and found only one that called it a “miracle food.” Others mentioned it, but as part of a regular diet. There were the usual differences of opinion on feeding raw versus cooked food. In the end, confused, I bought a little packet of the stuff and cooked it in a frying pan. She likes it. I give her little pieces, one an hour, and continue to hope.
Hoping, now, finally seems reasonable.