We all have those special pets in our life that we will remember forever. What makes those animals special is the memories we build with them throughout the course of their lives. This is the case for my Saint Bernard, Tara. You may have seen me write about her before, but what is different this time is that I’m going to be talking about the life she has had growing up with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder is when sudden occurrences toward the brain cause sensory disturbance, convulsions and even loss of consciousness. My family and I have always been careful with her, and she has only had three seizures in the last three years. She had her first one many years ago, but because of the way she acts towards family, friends and strangers, you wouldn’t even know she suffers from the disease. I can honestly say that she is the most loving pet I’ve ever had.
This past week, however, she unfortunately had another seizure while coming down the stairs in my parents' home, causing her to fall down the flight, have a seizure attack and even lose her eyesight for a brief period of time. My family and I were luckily at home, so we got her 135-pound frame into our car and drove her straight to the animal hospital. At this point, due to her age, I was thinking the worst. Prior to putting her in the car, she was limping pretty badly due to the fall — which didn’t make it easy for her to go into the car, especially because she hates car rides.
Once we got to the hospital however, she jumped out of the car and was walking around on her leg as if the events that transpired within that last half an hour never even happened. Once the vet looked at her, she questioned why we had brought her in but then after further evaluation it was only a slightly sprained leg she had.
The thing about raising a dog with epilepsy is that what we have to be most careful about is something that only occurs on a rare occasion. Because a dog only gets seizures every so often, they cannot be given medication due to the effects it has on the brain — especially considering the medication is for dogs that have a seizure a minimum of once a week. However, I am very fortunate to be able to say that Tara is now at home and making a full recovery with no seizures since then.
Any time in life we have to take an animal we love and care for into a vet for emergency situations, it makes you think about the memories you have with them, because you don’t know if there will be any more to be made. I am very grateful and lucky to say that I will still be able to take Tara, along with her brother, Payton, on more walks in my neighborhood for the foreseeable future. One of the benefits I enjoy personally from today’s technology is being able to document memories at an instant. Because someday, when I have my own kids, I want to be able to show them that despite her epilepsy, Tara is the best dog I’ve ever had.