I was napping last Saturday afternoon when my wife woke me up. I was in a mid-nap stupefied haze, her voice sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher's, but I sobered quickly and realized that my wife was talking about our dachshund, Flash. My be(a)st friend.
That's a regular thing in our household. We're always talking about Flash. Flash did something cute. Flash did something bad. Flash ate another pair of earphones. Flash hacked the Pentagon's mainframe. Word to Warren Zevon, our dog is an excitable boy, and he's always sitting by the sliding doors that separate our bedroom from the living room., either because he's hungry (morning) or because he's bored and just wants to play. Flash is the embodiment of excitement (he once jumped from the passenger window of a moving van*), so when my wife woke me I assumed Flash was waiting for me and wanted to lick my face and do regular Flash stuff.
He wasn't. He was having a seizure. A pretty big one.
We know this about Flash. Last year he started having petit mal seizures. He'd pee on the floor or vomit, sometimes both, and look confused. But he remained cognitive, for the most part. I -- perhaps stupidly -- took him to a former student of mine who is a young veterinarian, and Flash was diagnosed with back problems and prescribed steroids. He doesn't have back problems.
He has epilepsy. And it breaks my heart to see him when he's having a seizure, knowing I can't do anything, knowing how scared and confused my best friend feels. The one he suffered last Saturday was a doozy: he was convulsing, and his eyes rolled back, if only briefly. He's graduating from petit mal to grand mal. And...fuck.
I mark Flashy's "episodes" on my calendar. For the past three months, they've been consistent -- a seizure every 30 days or so. He's normally a devil dog, full of piss and vinegar, but those episodes take a toll on him, and I'm scared they might become more frequent.
I don't know what I would do without my boy.
* It was a van that was moving; it wasn't transporting belongings from one house to another.