General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Kyle on May 18, 2020, 09:22:25 AM

Title: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: Kyle on May 18, 2020, 09:22:25 AM
My husband, Paul, and I live in Los Angeles County, CA, which has strict “Stay Safe At Home” Covid-19 Guidelines and Requirements. Since it’s spring going into summer, we see all the doggie problems the season brings: skin allergies, flea allergies, kennel cough and other viruses that may require vet visits. During the last two months I have made several visits, following the COVID 19 requirements. If you haven’t, I hope my experiences will help you know what to expect.

One of our dogs, Kipp, has Pannus, an auto-immune disorder in her eyes that requires a specialist and daily medications. Two months ago, at the start of the “lock down”, she got an injury to one eye, so I took her to the eye specialist. The current check-in protocol is designed to keep the vet and techs safe. When you arrive, you call and a tech comes to your car, in a mask and gloves and takes your dog into the hospital. The vet calls you after the exam to let you know what’s going on. They take your credit card number over the phone and after paperwork is finished, a tech returns with your dog.
You never enter the office. You are not allowed to accompany your dog during the exam. You hope they have been putting on fresh gloves or hand washing when handling your dog so nothing comes home on their coats to you.

Kipp had been to this specialist numerous times. She was never happy going but tolerated these visits because I was with her, telling her how brave she was. In the last 8 weeks, we have had to have four follow-up visits, some were rather painful and included scraping her cornea. Each time we went, Kipp became more terrified. It was horrible to see my usually friendly, stoic dog freaking out as she was being led away by a stranger. She needed me and I couldn’t be with her.

Understanding the logic of the procedure, that it’s for the safety of the vet and the techs to not have people in such close proximity, does not make it easier. It is certainly not easier on the dogs who just do not understand.

Just before the “lock down," our dog Dally, thirteen-and-a-half-years-old, was diagnosed with bone cancer. We had nightmares of not being able to be with her when the time came. We kept hoping against hope that the cancer would move slowly, and the pandemic would end before we needed to put her down.

Dally was not that lucky. Ten days ago, it was obvious we needed palliative care to help her be more comfortable. Dally was sick and in pain. We tried to explain to the tech what we needed from the doctor, someone we didn't know. Watching Dally reluctantly going with a stranger to what she has always thought of as a scary, horrible place was awful.

When the doctor called us, it was obvious the tech hadn't relayed all of our questions. So, when I explained our concerns, he said he would “go back and look again and call us back”. Why wasn’t he with Dally when he called? Where was she? Was someone with her or was she stuck alone? It was horrible knowing Dally was being poked and prodded and being passed from tech to doctor to tech to wherever….and I wasn’t there with her. There was nothing I could do to make her feel safe.

Just a week later, the growth had spread to such a degree Dally was in real pain and discomfort. Life was not what it should be for her. We called the vet. For the safety of the staff, we were told just one of us could be with Dally. This was a difficult decision for us. We wanted to be together, for the sake of both of us and Dally. But we decided I would stay with her.

Dally and I sat on the floor on a blanket, waiting for a wonderful vet, who we knew. Dally knew I was upset and tried to kiss my face – but I had on a mask. She kissed my mask and all I wanted was to feel her wet kisses on my cheek for the last time.

As the doctor administered the final medication Dally was cradled in my arms. The doctor and I were very close to one another. Certainly not within “social distancing guidelines”.  My mask was soaked with tears and my nose was running. With heartfelt gratitude I thanked my vet for allowing me to be there with Dally. I told her I realized what a scary time this is and how unsafe it is for her to have me there, but thank you, thank you. 

I truly hope none of your dogs have to go to the vet during these difficult times. Please be careful about the risks you take with yourself and your dog as you make your choices about what is safe. This pandemic is crazy. It's like we each toss a coin in the air, hoping for one outcome but being unable to ensure we actually get it.

Kyle Trumbull-Clark
Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: LeeAnne McAdam on May 18, 2020, 09:34:03 AM
Really, really sorry you and the dogs had to go through all of that and I'm really sorry about Dally.  There is no good way to do that, but during this time it is particularly painful.  I understand it, but it's awful when you can't explain it to your dog.  My heart is sorry for you and Dally and I'm really hoping that Kipp will recover.  In the meantime, you'll be in my thoughts.
Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: Sharon Nelson on May 18, 2020, 10:42:59 AM
I am so sorry Kyle.   This is one of those things we hope to never experience.  Having one of our dogs being led away by someone in a mask, gloves, and a gown is something that we cannot ever prepare for or let our dogs know "it is okay".

I am happy that at least one of you got to be with her at the end.  Some of the vets here are not even allowing that.   Hugs to you and positive thoughts for Kipp and for both of you.

I hope people do what is needed to stop this pandemic so we can someday return to what we used to consider normal and be there for our canine partners like we want to be.

Virtual hug and love to you during this very difficult time.

Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: MoabDiane on May 18, 2020, 11:31:34 AM
Oh Kyle, that is so sad!  I'm glad you were able to be with Dally, but still.  I can't even imagine.
You are a strong person to share this with everyone, and I hope they do take your advice to heart.
Hugs your dogs.  You just never know.

Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on May 18, 2020, 11:49:33 AM
I am so sorry for all the complications you had to endure and for the passing of Dally.  Luckily, I have only had one dog, Tor the pup, go for a follow-up visit for his broken jaw.  procedure was the same as yours.  Luckily, all of mine are healthy at this time.  Please know you are in my thoughts.
Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: Amy McGovern on May 18, 2020, 11:52:50 AM
Sorry for the loss of your Dally!  That is so hard and I'm glad they at least let you in.

We had to go in last week for a simpler problem and I took two of my three.  One was ok about going inside but one had to be carried as she was having NONE of going into the big scary vet alone.  And I think they stuck them in a crate inside, which made me sad (not that they are not crate trained, just that they are used to me going in and treating them in the office!).  I at least hope they got stuck together...
Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on May 18, 2020, 12:22:33 PM
This is heartbreaking.  I am currently not going to the vet for their vaccines and such because I won't allow my dogs to be taken without me, and my vet is my cousin.  Unfortunately, the techs have, in the past, brought out vaccines that I was not going to do.  It was only because I was there, that it was caught.  If I have to go elsewhere, I will.  I am currently taking a foster dog to a vet and he at least allows us in the waiting room and then comes out and talks to us. 
Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: Becky Woodruff on May 18, 2020, 05:43:12 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss of Dally.  It is heart wrenching to have to say good-bye under the best of circumstances.  Thankful she had part of her family with her to hold her close.   
Your story hits close to home as I had to say good-bye to my (shared with Sharon) 17 year old border collie two weeks ago.
Thoughts are with you my friend.
Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: DeafSheltieMom on May 18, 2020, 05:58:26 PM
Peace and love to you and your family, Kyle.  Virtual hugs to all of you.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, as hard as that had been for you.  It gives us a reality check of life outside of home, where most of us have been hunkering down.  My puppy is close to his neutering time, and I'm dreading it, just for all of the experiences you've had. 

Thinking of you...
-Dayle, Tesla, Hutch and Jacques
Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: Rosemary on May 19, 2020, 07:30:24 AM
I am very sorry for your loss Kyle.  I do know, first hand, what it is to hand off your dog at the vet.  It is so hard when you know they do not understand.  I am glad that they did allow at least one of you to be with Dally.  I have heard of vets who do not even allow that.  My vet has invested in 6 foot lines so that when it was our Sunny's time, we were able to be with him outside.  It was a beautiful April afternoon on soft grass under a tree.  I wish more vets would make this tiny effort for their patients and their families.  The loss is so unbelievably heart wrenching enough.  Thank you Kyle, for being the best dog mom possible.  I hope you find comfort in your memories of your wonderful dog. 
Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: Kyle on May 20, 2020, 10:16:31 PM
Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. They are truly appreciated.  :)

I am hoping for the day when we might all get back to some sort of "normalcy", whatever that may be. Until then, we need to be looking out for each other and doing what's right for everyone's safety so we can all have fun together!!

Please take care of yourselves, your dogs, friends and family - they're who we've got.

Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: Anne Etherton on May 22, 2020, 08:33:25 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss, Kyle.  It is a really hard situation at best.  I'm glad you were allowed to be with her.  I had to bring my papillon in in mid-March.  He was in a lot of pain with what turned out to be a pinched nerve in his back.  It was really hard to give him to the tech when he was scared and in pain.

Sending hugs to you and your family,
Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: Rsquared on May 23, 2020, 09:47:11 AM

Your post brought tears of sadness and empathy for how you had to spend your final precious moments with Dally.

I’m so sorry it had to end this way...

Hope to see you during happier times at a trial one of these days in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

Title: Re: My Pandemic Experience (Long)
Post by: auzyhrd on May 23, 2020, 12:58:37 PM
I am so sorry you and your dogs are having to go through this during the pandemic! It sucks!!

Virtual hugs!!