Jan 24
GPW73 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

How to Get a New Dog!

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Dec 2016, three years + into retirement from 35 years in corrections & age 66, I am in my element, shoveling snow!  I like(d) to do it.  Just three swipes from finishing the driveway & suddenly I don't feel so good.  What to do?  I finished shoveling of course!  Went inside to relax my discomfort away.  No go.  Went downstairs to take a shower & relax.  No dice.  I laid down on the bathroom floor, feeling miserable and figuring that this is it.  Then I resolved that I could not let my wife find me like that.  Dry off & dress.  Up the stairs telling Dear One to get dressed now, we're going to the hospitol!  Got to parking lot & almost didn't go in.  I said that this is getting old (I was in in Sep for chest pain and passed all testing with flying colors), but wife felt my head and found tons of cold sweat.  In we go, announcing our (my) problem.  In BP screening, the pain kicked in seriously.  Into room and off with clothes and another picture perfect EKG.  ER doc approaches, looking at me and stating that she knows me (she was on duty in Sep).  I announce that I am going to black out and I follow through, falling into her arms.  Boy Howdy did I stir up the ER!  They lost me twice & I pulled intubation out once before they gave me a second dose of poison.  Ground transport to Boise, ID (copter grounded for weather) some 45 miles away on icey roads.  All I remember is waking up to a strange man in a white coat telling me that he put a stent into my heart and a cute red head asking if she could give me a sponge bath (she must have been warned about my misbehavior in the ER and didn't want to startle me).  I learned that I had a 100% blockage of my LAD.  Doc told family that I had no brain damage, which puzzled me as he had never met me till I rolled in from the ambulance.  At least I now have a potential excuse.  Three days later, with a second stent adjacent to the first, I'm off home.  Scared as H*** the first night home.  So quiet & no medical staff standing by to jump into action.  Back two weeks later with clot in left ventricle.  More meds and back home.  Talk about a life style change!  Some 50# overweight, so I have work to do.  Wife can't walk with me (physical disability), so into the family comes Bella Buttercup, a 20# 8 week old German Shepard Dog (our third).  So fluffy you could tie a stick to her & dust under the bed.  After a year of twice a day walks and a 2 1/2 month travel trailer trip to TX, she is 90# and I have lost 30#.  A ways to go yet and am still not yet cardiomyopathic by a couple of % points.  Still working the diet thing and having some angina & BP issues (low pressure!).  I will work through this.  Found that the attending physicians were really good, but always going to the next patient/emergency.  Have to be more insistent with them & more proactive, learning more about my disease and my new life.  Hence my joining and this post.  Hope I haven't bored you or reactivated your PTSD.  It feels good to tell the tale and my thanks to you for voluntarily reading this.  Ya'll take care, man the pumps, keep up the fire, etc and keep moving forward.  Again, many thanks!  

PS:  I can think of much better reasons to get a GSD!


  • AHAASAKatie

    Thank you so much for this great post! I love shepherds and have had two during my lifetime. They have both been super energetic and I have gotten lots of exercise as their doggie mom. I want to share this article about how walking your dog can impact heart health.  I love dog stories and look forward to hearing more dog stories from other members. Best Katie 

  • yarn007

    Just love your story about how to get a new dog.   Just love the pic of your sweet Bella Buttercup.   Tell her to keep up the good work of walking "her person".

    Thanks for sharing your story.

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