Yesterday I took Addison to the vet for her first puppy check up. No more than 5 minutes into the examination, the Dr. furrowed his brows and gave a look of concern when he listened to her chest. My heart immediately sunk and tears welled up in my eyes. The Dr. took her out of the room for a consult with another Dr. in the practice. Both Drs. confirmed that Addy has a serious congenital heart murmur. The vet referred me to an excellent cardiologist.
Last night, Jeff and I took Addy to a veterinary complex that treats only referral cases. The cardiologist had left for the day, but the Dr. on staff confirmed that her heart murmur was indeed serious. She diagnosed her murmur as a "4," on a scale of "6."
Most puppies outgrow this over time, but in Addy's case, she will most likely need medication and there is no telling when or how this condition will affect her quality of life. Medication is very costly, and diagnosing her specific heart condition is very costly as well.
Jeff and I have the hardest decision of both of our lives ahead of us. Do we keep her and accept the costs and heart ache of caring for a dog who will most likely develop serious heart problems? Or do we give her back to the breeder? We both have grown so attached to her and can't imagine accepting another dog into our hearts. Lots of prayers have been whispered and tears have been shed, but no clear answer has surfaced.
As I was sitting with Addy in my lap, patiently waiting for the Dr. to come back into the examination room, I read a quote on the wall that sums up my feelings for her...
"The sunshine in my life does not come from the skies, it comes from the light in my dog's eyes."