So I spent a great deal of tonight looking up on beagle epilepsy and how to treat canine seizures on the internet in between watching over Beagie (yes, my Dad’s aptitude for creative nomenclature shows! Good thing my mother took charge of naming us, otherwise my brother and I would have been Boy and Girl[ie]) and making sure we were there when he suffered from his cluster seizures. As the entire cosmos is aware, I have a severely ridiculous but genuinely solid fear of dogs, cats, and arguably anything that moves which aren’t human beings, and so since the day Daddy brought him home, I have denied myself any kind of proximity with him.
This conscious attempt at indifference vanished at the slightest hint of urgency. Seeing Beagie collapse on the floor — eyes popping out of sockets, whole body trembling like a magnitude 10 earthquake accompanied by haunting howls of pain and attempts at breathing — is like watching, from a fifty-meter radius, an adorable little boy crossing the street alone to get a cone of ice cream and getting ran over by a 6-wheeler truck in the process. This unbelievable panorama of pain is enough to reassemble your guts, and if that isn’t enough, prompt your hapless heart to explode into torturous oblivion. And what unsettles more than anything else is that there is nothing you can do about it.
The experience of seeing Beagie’s epileptic fits tonight has made me learn a couple of things:
1. My family, with the possible exception of my father, doesn’t know shit about taking care of living things. Or even anything that moves, like electric fans. (I have a lot to say about this subject, but that would be another story and hopefully a thousand decent poems or something)
2. My mother is the face of hysteria.
3. My dad carries the weight of the world.
4. I am lost and at a loss for reality.
5. The diagram of a dog’s frikking skeleton. I know where a dog’s thoracic vertebrae are. All four of them.
4. Epilepsy is a bigger bitch than Peaches (that insanely annoying family mini pincher) or Ms. Evelyn of Achiever’s Study Nook Commonwealth ever were.
5. Beagles now embody the epic challenge of my life: challenges (and more specifically, challenges of commitment). I am constantly faced with the prospect of going beyond myself and evolving into the best Dana I can be in order to truly move forward in life. It’s always characterized by a period of suffering, struggle, a ridiculous amount of discomforting discombobulation, and growth. (Optional but more often than not: immense happiness at having turned out a better person, among other things). Getting involved with a beagle is no different; Snoopy’s breed is even the perfect example.
5.5. When I get married, I WILL buy a beagle with my husband and fully commit to the responsibility of taking good care of it. Only then would the life partner and I proceed to consider the possibility of more advanced life forms like Andalusian horses. Or children.
6. We are discouraged from feeding grapes to our dogs as they are toxic to them (!!!).
7. Beagles are hunting dogs. When I get my own beagle in the future or when Beagie gets better, I WILL FRIKKING TEACH THEM TO HUNT BECAUSE THAT’S AWESOME.
8. Phenobarbital - that canine seizure medicine with possibly adverse effects, especially to the liver
9 (and this is cheesy). Beagie believed in me despite my denial of him. Unlike Peaches, he was never stingy towards me. He would come near me with no hints of aggression and even if I tried to shoo him away, he wouldn’t get angry and still tried playing with me. I show him contempt, he would return it with affectionate and gentle playfulness. His nature seems to be essentially Christian. Sometimes I wonder if he is really a dog.
10. Despite my fear (and sometimes hatred) of dogs and canine teeth, I love Beagie. And seeing him in this state of pain and pity immensely hurts my heart. I hope he gets better soon because everybody in this house positively adores him, and for a pretty damn good reason, too: he’s amazing.
And to the beagle of this home I say: thanks, because you have no idea how you made me aware of the things I should be rooted to, and the very condition of my misinformed living. I pray you get better soon, because I promise to feed you snacks from now on and help you hunt down Mrs. Ortiz’ pesky and promiscuous cats.
Beagle seizure links I may want to refer to in the future (with annotations engraved on my mind):