My Ornery Old Love

Apparently, Luna is still a strong, stubborn, ornery old bitch, the Queen Bitch, just like her mama.
Almost imperceptibly, Luna has been losing muscle mass, her vision, and her hearing. Now she hugs the fence and walls when she is securing the perimeter, and her hearing loss isn’t opportunistic, she really can’t hear me. In the past, she would look at me, deciding whether she wanted to listen to me. Now she just doesn’t hear me. She has been growing increasingly agitated and disoriented in the night – pacing panting pacing panting in out in out pant pace turning circles in her bed down up in out pace pant…

In the wee hours of Monday morning she had a seizure, probably not her first. That seizure was followed by a few more. She looked terrified. She was shivering and convulsing, she could not control her body, nor could she walk. I’m not sure who was freaking out more, Luna, the babies, or I. They were trying to get close, lick her chops, comfort her (?). She was biting and snapping at everyone except me. She finally stopped convulsing, crawled up on the bed, lay her head on my pillow, and let me comfort her until first light.

Throughout the day she was having seizures and I was imagining the worst. Thinking that her time had come, I was contemplating the arrangements that had to be done – get the vet to the house to administer the “sleeping draught”, find someone to dig her grave, and how I could possible leave her the following morning.


I had a flight scheduled for La Paz/Tijuana the following day. My six-month Mexican visa had expired six weeks ago. I was unable to renew it because my passport had expired. I tried for weeks to reach the US Consulate in Cabo San Lucas, to no avail. Using an alternate method and a couple “mules”, I finally had my new passport in hand and was able to return to the USA and renew my visa. I was on pins and needles, deathly afraid that Mexican immigration would not let me return to my only home and my babies. I had traveled to La Paz last week to speak to migracíon. They told me not to worry, but to arrive at the airport early and speak to the agent there. I arrived early in La Paz and spoke to the agent. He was just confused, but told me not to worry. He also pointed out that the number on my passport did not match the number on my tourist visa. In normal Sheila fashion, I worried about this until I had my new visa in hand and had safely passed through the border and to my boarding gate. Apparently, I have new passport, a new passport number, and I am a new woman in the eyes of Mexican immigration.

My night spent in San Diego was akin to a much needed therapy session. My friends John and Kim took me in and treated my like a precious, delicate flower. We bought all my favorite comfort food, sourdough bread, cambozola cheese, extra sharp cheddar cheese, apples, and dark chocolate. John pulled out an amazing bottle of zinfandel wine, and Kim arranged a spectacular platter, adding dried fruit, nuts, olives, avocado, and homegrown cherry tomatoes. All my favorite comfort foods are on my forbidden list, but I felt that the situation was desperate and called for desperate measures. Following dinner, I ran an Epsom salt bath, with a hint of eucalyptus oil, then fell asleep with their cat snuggled against my belly, purring contentedly. It was so quiet I could hear nothing but the ringing in my ears.

Once back in Todos Santos I had found a bit of clarity. Luna was looking much better but I was determined to take her to the vet and see if there were medications that could help make her more comfortable, I owed it to Luna to do all I could. You might think the vet would have been my first stop. If you know Luna, you know this is the last resort. Luna is impossible at the vet. The only time we go is for vaccinations, a painful nightmare which has left me scarred, and in case of extreme emergency, her belly is ripped open by a vicious neighbor dog. A trip to the vet with Luna is a daunting task, one that I never look forward to.

First thing Thursday morning I snuck the sample cup under Luna as she peed and took it in for urinalyses on our way to the beach. After siesta, I took Luna to Dr. David. He told me her urinalysis looked just fine and the only other thing he could do was a blood analysis, but it would be expensive, 1200 pesos (about $65.00). I decided that it would be a good idea, and with much trepidation I picked Luna up, put her on the examination table, and held her as tightly as possible. This was only the second time Luna has had blood drawn. The first time she was completely sedated.

Holy Crappolee that dog is a beast! Not only did she bite the vet, she bit me. While her jaws are still strong, her teeth are nothing more than stubs, so no flesh was ripped. On the second draw, after biting me, she relaxed a bit. I realized only after the vet was done that her sphincter had also relaxed. She had let loose all down my front and on the floor of the examination room. It would not have been so awful, but I still had to drop the blood samples off at the lab. That was embarrassing.

I was grateful for my two-minute shower. After about 1.5 minutes the water started seeping up from the plugged drain. But that is a different problem for a different day.


I crawled into bed next to Luna and she snuggled against me, laying her muzzle in my lap. She slept peacefully while I gently caressed her. I did wonder if the stress of the vet visit was worth the results, which I am still awaiting.

This entire experience has exhausted the entire family. Jalisco wants nothing more than to snuggle me. Luna alternates between her bed in the kitchen and my bed. The twins are just happy mama is home and are mostly calm. I have my warning sore throat, the sore throat that tells me I need to just chill out or I will become very sick.

Currently, I am surrounded by my babies, trying to remain as calm as possible, waiting for calls from both the vet and the plumber. Of course, this being Mexico, I can relax for a very long time.


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