the day my dog gave me epilepsy, or so i thought.

If you couldn’t tell from previous posts (or any of my profiles on the World Wide Web in general), I love my dog.

I mean, look at him. Look at that face. That face. He’s so cute my heart hurts to look at him. You know, in a good way.

That face.

And I know he loves me in return, but as far as dogs go, he’s pretty independent.

Meaning he doesn’t:

– Follow me around the house like Big Sister’s dachsunds do to her.
– Whine when I’m in the shower because he can’t see me through the curtain.
– Fall over himself in anguish when I leave. He knows he’s the king of the house; Boyfriend and I know it, too. He’s perfectly content to lay on his perch on top of our couch, chewing his bone and barking at anything that moves outside our bay window.
– Necessarily have to sleep with us. As in, when we’re ready for bed, I’ll carry him into the bedroom and force him into a cuddle (a non-violent puppy-sleeper-hold wrestling move, if you will) – which he’ll stay in for approximately two minutes before shaking me off to go back to his aforementioned couch. He usually comes back around 3am, but he wants to make sure I’m aware that he needs his space. Typical male. (Excluding you, Boyfriend.)

Until last night.

I came home from work last night, and as usual, Preston met me at the door. Dog owners, I’m sure you’ll agree with me – this is one of the best reasons to own a dog. There’s always someone waiting at the door for you to come home to, who’s so incredibly excited to see you that they’ll kiss you and jump on you and even piddle on the floor to show their elation over your return.

But then he would. Not. Leave. My. Side.

As in, following so closely behind my heels that I nearly tripped when walking all evening. As in, when I ran on the treadmill, he sat so close to it I could feel his cold nose on my calf every so often. As in, when I showered after my workout, he laid on the bathroom rug and whined pitifully when he couldn’t see me through the curtain. As in, he didn’t even look at his bone once the entire evening because he was too preoccupied with being right next to me at all times.

Needless to say, I was a bit worried.

My first step was to tweet a pretty popular Indy veterinarian who responded something to the effect of, “Something is obviously up to him, keep me posted.”

Um, heart attack.

Which led me quickly to…Google.

In case you haven’t been in this situation, the results and ensuing emotions and overall level of panic stirred up from Googling potential medical problems with your pet is only second to the ensuing emotions and overall level of panic stirred up from Googling potential medical problem with yourself. In case you for some reason are living under a rock and have never been in such a Google conundrum, know these two things:

1. There are a lot of more comfortable places to live than under a rock – try a patch of dirt, for example. Or perhaps a nice grassy meadow.

2. WebMD is not your friend.

The first conversation stream I clicked on led me to the horror of all that could be wrong with Preston.

Then I stumbled across this little gem:

“Your story reminds me of a story on Animal planet. This lady’s dog all of a sudden starts shadowing her. Within an hour the lady had a seizure. The dog sensed it before it actually happened. I did not say this assuming that you are about to have a seizure or are sick, but some dogs are sensitive to their owner’s health.”

Why yes, cpietra16, I too had seen that episode of Dogs 101 but had somehow happened to put it out of my mind.

Until last night.

And once I read that, an uncanny sense of dread washed over me. My head started aching; my heart was pounding. My left arm started to feel like a dull, almost useless tool. I was all of a sudden freezing. Then I was sweating. Then my breathing was labored, and I was sure I was only seconds away from launching into a full-on anxiety attack, which would lead to a heart attack, which would lead to a seizure, just like cpietra16 predicted.

I kept Googling, I tweeted again at the vet. The outcome was looking grim: It was either me or Preston, neither outcome preferable to the other.

Then I called Boyfriend, who laughed. And, despite my best efforts, started to calm my fears. Then the vet finally tweeted back at me again, telling me that Preston was probably nervous I’d leave him like Boyfriend had and that the best remedy was lots of cuddling.

Cuddling. I could handle that.

You can imagine the death grip I had on poor Presty last night.

I somehow woke up alive.

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