Every now and then someone writes to me after reading “An Owner’s Guide to Canine Epilepsy” or “Cory’s Story”. I received two wonderful e-mails this week that I wanted to share with you. The first was from a woman named Terri who is the founder of American Cocker Spaniel Rescue in Spanaway, Washington. She told me about becoming a foster to a darling little chocolate cocker named Coco who had been found abandoned in the woods. She said, “Coco had the most violent seizures imaginable – he would wake me up, out of a dead sleep….it sounded as though someone was banging on the inside of his crate with a hammer. They were just awful. It broke my heart every time he had a seizure.”
Terri’s story about Coco had a surprising ending. Although Terri found a permanent home for him, she stayed in his life, babysitting him whenever his people went on vacation. Eventually Coco’s vet diagnosed him with a brain tumor, estimating that he might live only 6 to 9 months. Coco made it another 12 months before it was clear to everyone that his quality of life was no longer acceptable. He was senile, stumbled and fell down, was deaf and blind and he stopped eating and drinking for 2 days. The surprising ending is that Terri offered to have Coco put down while his family was away! She took him to the vet and held him in her arms as he was helped to cross to the Rainbow Bridge. She told me that she cried so hard she could not hold up her pounding head. She said, “Coco was such a great dog and it’s just not fair that he was plagued with seizures…..If I love to be 170 years old, I will never, ever forget dear Coco.”
Then Terri thanked me for writing Cory’s Story and making the Owner’s Guide available as a free download for anyone. She said “I know for a fact that it will be very helpful to many people.” I read those words with tears running down my face, having shared a sacred moment with another dog guardian who knows first hand just how scary and heart-breaking it is to live with and to love a dog with a seizure disorder. I was deeply moved by Terri’s offer to be the one to take Coco to the vet for his last earthly journey, when he wasn’t even her dog! Having gone through that experience of being with Cory when he crossed to the bridge, I can tell you that it is one of the most wrenching things a person can go through. I told Terri that I believe she is one of the rare Earth angels we hear about from time to time.
The next day I got an e-mail from Gail in North Wales. She told me about her border collie bitch “Podge” who started having seizures just 4 months ago, when Podge was 3 years old. She began her message to me by saying, “Can I thank you for taking the trouble to put Cory’s story on line, as it gives owners hope. Too many times in the past few weeks I speak to people whose dogs have been put down because of epilepsy.” She went on to tell me about how Podge’s seizures escalated to the point that even a trip to the vet and a valium injection didn’t help. Podge was having about 4 seizures a day and paced relentlessly. Gail said, “mentally I said goodbye, because I couldn’t watch her suffer.” “To take my mind off her discomfort I started to search the internet for clues and when I read the first chapter of Cory’s Story I realized I wasn’t alone in the sheer panic and the helplessness, just willing our lovely dog to survive and get better!”
Gail took action, realizing that there were things she could do for Podge! She came to terms with the fact that her dog had epilepsy, (not a blood sugar issue as she kept telling herself). She got Podge in to see a vet who put her on anti-epileptic drugs and she modified her diet so as to provide Podge with fresh cooked vegetable and meat casseroles, replacing her tinned dog food. Gail reported positive results and has hope that she may be able to get Podge off of the anti-epileptic drug eventually, if her new diet can control the seizures as well as it did for Cory.
I encouraged Gail to take a look at replacing the cooked meals with raw meaty bone meals eventually, which I believe will provide Podge with the maximum nutritional benefits. Gail said she will do that and promised to give me an update some day.
I cannot describe the pleasure I get when I hear from people like Terri and Gail, knowing that Cory’s Story has helped them in some way. Cory was a very special dog and it was his life’s purpose to share his experience, through my writing, so that other dogs would have the
opportunity to live healthier (dare I even dream “seizure-free”?) lives.
Canine Epilepsy: An Owner's Guide to Understanding & Living with Canine Seizures
This guide will help you and your canine companion deal with canine epilepsy. You'll learn how to detect symptoms of an upcoming seizure, treat during and after a seizure, and prevent future seizures.
Ready to read Cory's Story? Read Chapter 1 Now.