I have to start by telling you I was not the best doggie owner, caregiver, mama yesterday. It was around 8:30pm when I could see my two, senior beagles begin to stir. My instincts told me I should take them outside, but my throbbing leg told me to stay put. I chose to obey the leg. I was just too drained to preempt whatever situation might occur.
I was herxing.
“What’s that?” you ask.
Even my computer doesn’t recognize it as a word and tries to autocorrect it to say “herding.”
It’s where there is an exacerbation of weird symptoms from the Lyme bacteria as they die-off and the body tries to detox. Those pesky little guys…or gals (pretty sure bacteria have no gender but don’t quote me on that) certainly do not give up without a fight. My leg was suffering the repercussions of this knock down, drag out battle.
I quickly learned that my beagles, Seven and Caylie, do not alter their schedule to accommodate herxing. I could hear the clickety clacks of their nails against the hardwood floor as they impatiently pranced around the dining room. It was nearly their time to eat, but I wanted to hold out just a bit longer. I assumed part of their anxious antics were due to hubby working in another room in the apartment. The beagles do not like to be separated from us.
“What’s going on out there you two?” I called to the pooches in the dining room, as if they might understand what I was asking.
At this point my brain should have registered “get up,” but unfortunately, it did not. I saw my 14 and a 1/2 year old beagle, Seven, quietly walking towards me. Out of my peripheral vision, I noticed she stopped in her tracks.
Squatting can only mean one thing! Actually, it could mean two things and in this case, it meant the second. “Nooo!” I tried to shout but my lips were dry and stuck together a bit. I jumped up aware of the leg pain but distracted by the two strawberry-sized dollops of doggie poo now in my hallway.
I suddenly realized the aforementioned “clickety clacks” had actually been a potty dance alerting me that the beagles needed to go outside. I had missed that cue.
Armed with a plastic bag, paper towels and some cleaner, I recalled the greatest pearl of wisdom I had ever been given as an Occupational Therapist by an ICU nurse. I kid you not, she advised me that if I even anticipated a “code brown” situation, I was to begin breathing immediately through my mouth and avoid even the slightest chance of inhalation through my nostrils. I followed those recommendations to the letter and quickly rectified my old girl’s little accident.
Well, it was my accident really. It had just been an all around crappy-kind of day. Next time, and I am sure there will be a next time, I will just have to pay closer attention to the signs my senior pups are giving me. Hopefully, it won’t coincide with a herd. Dumb autocorrect. A herx.