Last week, my dog got sick very suddenly and we rushed her into the vet as soon as we could. She got a very unfortunate diagnosis. Gastric torsion. Most of the time, this is basically a death sentence for a dog. Many dogs don't even make it into the vet's office before the torsion cuts off their airway. We were so lucky to get Tessa into the vet's office in time, but it wasn't all fun and games after we got her in.

The first thing they try to do for dogs with gastric torsion is an attempt to get a tube down the dog's throat to remove the excess air from their stomach. Tessa's stomach was too twisted for a tube to get down, so the vet had to go for the worst-case scenario. Emergency surgery. Of course, as a pet owner, this is the last thing you want to hear. It's not about the money that the surgery costs or the fact that your pet will most likely be staying at the vet's office for several days, it's the fact that your pet may not make it through the night, and even if they do, you will have to watch them be in pain for several days or even weeks while they are trying to recover.

Tessa's surgery was tough. I was able to go see her each day after her surgery, and it was hard for me to sit beside her and try to comfort my sweet pup without tearing up myself. The vet came in and told me that she still had a long way to go before she was completely recovered from the surgery. Those words stung a little bit and each morning I impatiently awaited the call from the vet's office with updates.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Finally, Friday came around, and that was my last opportunity to visit her before the end of the week. To my surprise, when I opened the door to her kennel, she stood up and came to greet me! She went to the back door of the office and wanted to go on a walk. And what a relief that was.

On Monday, we were able to bring her home and she was back to her nosy self. But with that being said, I don't regret spoiling my dog. It doesn't bother me that she wants to be hand fed every meal after coming home from the vet's office, but this will be a habit that we eventually break. I will never ever tie my dog up in the yard just to make sure she stays. She will come inside. She is just as much a member of my family as anyone else. It doesn't bother me that she likes the expensive food the best and that she requires a lot of attention, because she's basically my child, and taking care of her is my responsibility.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Take care of your pets. They may just be part of your world, but you are their entire world.