Back in 2005, a blessing came my way. A black little pomeranian flew out from a breeder in Atlanta, GA to be by my side. I remember that night so clearly. I drove to the LAX cargo pickups with my friend Leon. I gave the worker my pickup slip, and he gave me a tiny crate with the sticker LIVE ANIMAL, FRAGILE. Never take those words too lightly. When I peeped in the crate, I saw a black little cotton ball at the very corner, shaking and fearful. I opened the door and reassured her that her long travel has ended. I took her in my hands and placed her against me. I fell in love instantly. I took her home. I remember she pooped everywhere. I remember she was afraid of me and everything which was new to her. That night she cried in her crate. My heart couldn’t handle it so I soon took her out and let her sleep next to me. October 2005 changed my life. Wakame changed my life.
I named her Wakame because she looked like a black ball of seaweed. And I love seaweed. And I knew I loved her. She became acquainted rather quick and soon enough she was acting like she owned the place. She was tiny at the time, no more than 6lbs. Running around, hitting her head against the walls because she still wasn’t aware of the layout of the house, she ravaged all my stuffed animals, even if they were twice or even three times as large as her. She had a firm grip with her bite. If she liked a stuffed animal, she wouldn’t let go, even if I lifted it high into the air, she’d grip it tight on, flying up there with it.
Among other darling activities, she loves to play hide and seek. She loves running in the park as fast as she can muster, only to tire out with her tongue lying as long as it may. If there were toilet paper rolls or paper towels in her vicinity, watch out! Those babies were her favorite pastimes to tear to shreds.
Nothing was less than amusing for me. To watch her, was soothing. To love her, was rewarding. I’ve never known the full capacitiy of a love of and for a dog, not until then. But to me, Wakame was and is special. Her loyalty towards me, whether she learned that through me or innately, or both, is pure and amazing. That’s what made her so strong. When I left for Japan, her loyalty remained true. She really, never ever ever gave up on me. Just like the tight grip she had on my stuffed animals. She never ate a single bite of human food, even to the point of running from it because she didn’t want to feel my disappointment. Whenever I came to being extremely sad or utterly happy, she came to me and layed next to me. Snuggle time, plopped My little Waka. Best believe and count on it.
Bottom line, she was always and will always be there for me. Down to her last breath I know.
Wakame suffered from a luxating patella last year and had to have surgery to rectify the situation. In common terms, her knee cap kept popping out of the knee socket. This is a common illness with dogs of small stature and Wakame’s leg became severe enough that her lifestyle’s performance would falter if we were unable to give her the surgery. Despite costs, and with help from my friend Victor, she underwent surgery and was and has been getting back to her normal attitude on four legs: Running around like it ain’t nobody’s business, hiding kibble in all the hot spots. Waka-Waka. Her condition was improving each day. Soon enough beds and chairs were an ease to hop onto again.
On January 3rd, 2011, Wakame, my mother, Joshua and I were playing in my Vegas home. When we were sending my mom off to work, Wakame was starting to drag herself on three legs. At first I thought it might be the return of the luxating patella. although it looked different (she was dragging herself rather than hopping) since it was the other hind leg. I then thought she was just playing around. I took her upstairs and Joshua and I wanted to rest up before we’d hit the New Year’s traffic. Her leg wasn’t improving so he offered to take her to my vet once we got back to California. I found that comforting and blindly didn’t realise the urgency at that point. Within the hour however, she was not making use of her other hind leg and she’d drag herself with her two front feet to play with us. This is when major concern errupted. Joshua started to do minor research online. We went downstairs, and at this point, I’m carrying my darling everywhere since she was struggling to move. Granted I presummed that the next day’s vet appointment would shed much light. Joshua tried to give her some of the attention she always loves but her tail just would not wag. That’s when he said we need to take her to the ER. Apparently from the minor research he did, if the tail wasn’t wagging, it was a really really bad sign…
It was 9pm at this point and we took her to a 24hour Emergency Vet care about 2 miles from my house. After a check up, the doctor told me although he could not confirm results, he assumed that it was a rupture in her spinal disk. She was at that point paralyzed from the waist down and he gave me the whole hearbkreaking spiel. From the odds of her being able to have her walk again to even considering putting her down, if her quality of life dissippated. He said we need to discuss what we’re to do with her because she would probably need surgery and surgery within 48 hours of the initial shock is HIGHLY recommended to maximize the healing process. Caught between driving home or coasting it in Las Vegas for the procedure, we came to the arrangement that we would drive home and take her straight into the ER the moment we got back to L.A. The doctor did all the xrays and bloodwork we needed, and handed us all the papers and transfers we would need for the next hospital. He injected Wakame with loads of morphine to subdue her aches and our ETA was around 4am.
We left Las Vegas straight at midnight from the hospital. I placed her on my lap, and wrapped her in my jacket. We were doing great on time, but as not-so-great-luck may have it, it was also one of the worst nights in weather that LV-LA has seen in a long time. There was snow and it slowed us down by nearly 3-hours. Joshua and I grew restless of the traffic and the cold, and the stress. We felt cramped and cranky. By the time we got back into LA county, the morphine had worn off and Wakame was crying in pain. We made it to our destination by 6:30am. At this point Waka went straight into the the ER and I signed all the papers, to get them to do WHATEVER they needed to do. They told me she would probably need a very expensive surgery and I was briefly saddened by the cost but there is no way that I would let $$ let her suffer.
We then went back to finally try to rest. My sleep was really broken that day. My mother and father were really concerned and kept calling. The doctor called me right before the surgery. He said they were about to put her through the C-scan (a more accurate portrayal of Wakame’s situation) and based on that they would either perform the surgery or wake her up and NOT perform the surgery. She would be sleeping within 15 minutes after the phone call and if the C-scan showed what they suspected, a ruptured spinal disk, they’d go right in to remove the excess residue to subdue the pain. He mentioned after surgery, she would have an 80-85% chance of recovery though nothing is ever truly promised. A little later, the doctor called me and said they were waking her up; That there was no surgery that would help her. The way she ruptured her spinal disk was of Type 3 liquified. Say a jelly donut that splattered. There’s nothing to take out and surgery would not improve conditions. He let me know that there is still an 80-85% chance for her to walk again, but it is a long process. That she will no longer know how to pee for a while, that we need to slowly watch as her motor skills return back to her.
Currently, Wakame is at the hospital. She’s been away from me since Monday morning and I have been choking up ever since. I am a strong girl but my weakness is my undying love for her. I don’t know what the future holds but for this to have happened so sudden, when no clear accident occured, it breaks my heart. She should be released by tomorrow and I am about to embark with her on a long journey to get her back to her quality of life. She may walk again, she may walk with a limp, she may even never have those motor skills returned. 80-85% is a good chance and I’m holding on and strong to that.
What I ask for all of you who read this is this.
Please pray for her. Please hope for her, and keep her in your thoughts. For anyone who knows her knows she would give you solace and joy if you ever needed it. This dog deserves nothing but positive energy her way and we need to help her. I THANK YOU for all your kind words, your kind spirit. Your faith in her recovery, your prayers, your smiles, and your love coming her way.
I will be posting updates alongside our road.