Lola Update: 3-Weeks Post Op

 
3-Weeks Post Op

3-Weeks Post Op

 

Lola had her 3-week check up today following her eye operation and we couldn’t be happier. Little Lola strutted into her appointment with Chloe this afternoon at Melbourne Eye Vet, showing off her cheeky, confident self. Granted Lola has always been cheeky and confident, but since her operation we’ve seen a new side of Lola we’ve not seen before. A playful side. Lola who has always been happy with snuggles and being close, but now she is playful. She kills up her bed and her toys all athe time now –like she’s an excited child getting presents on Christmas Day and can’t wait to test them out. She’s also more confident being alone. Normally she is under my feet wherever I go, including the toilet and sitting outside the shower. But now she is happy to stay in her bed in another room. This is a big change we’re excited about.

Whilst Lola’s peripheral vision has improved, let’s just say her central vision is quite possibly non-existent. We felt pretty confident with that conclusion following Lola’s face plant into a brick wall the other day as we walked down our street. As if her little face isn’t flat enough already!

Chloe checked Lola’s eyes and unfortunately the scarring is beginning to regrow, meaning her vision is gradually going to worsen again. But we can try to fight this.

So whilst the race is on to try and stop that scar tissue from growing back, with a stronger steroid now prescribed, we are just so happy with Lola’s new lease on life. We can never possibly know what she sees, but whatever it is, it makes her very happy. Right when we thought our little Lola couldn’t be any happier, despite the horrendous year of illness she’s had, suddenly we now have playful, cheeky, confident Lola.

I believe we can learn so much from animals. Resilience, kindness, empathy, honesty, gratitude. Lola never cries. She never complains about the crappy cards she’s been dealt. She doesn’t point the finger and blame those who harmed her over the years. Nope. Rather she lives in the moment, happy to be warm and loved. As I type this I have a sleeping Lola resting on my arm (she’s asleep sitting upright as I’m lying on the couch). All animals ever want is love and kindness. And that’s all they need. Funnily enough, that’s all we need too.

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting Lola’s journey.  I believe your positive energy is a big reason why she is here and celebrating her first Christmas in our family.

Big hugs and cuddles from Lola to you all.

Woof! xxx

 
Leaving Melbourne Eye Vet after the operation - eyes stitched closed for 1 week to protect them as they heal.

Leaving Melbourne Eye Vet after the operation - eyes stitched closed for 1 week to protect them as they heal.

 
 
Gently washing blood from her eyes

Gently washing blood from her eyes

 
 
Snuggled up with her bravery cloud pillow

Snuggled up with her bravery cloud pillow

 
 
Brother Tyrone sharing his rabbit with Lola to make her feel better

Brother Tyrone sharing his rabbit with Lola to make her feel better

 
 
With Chloe at Melbourne Eye Vet

With Chloe at Melbourne Eye Vet

 
 
Found Lola on the coffee table - trying the help with holiday packing... no, seeking out corn chips (left side of the photo).

Found Lola on the coffee table - trying the help with holiday packing... no, seeking out corn chips (left side of the photo).

 
 
Resting tired eyes

Resting tired eyes

 

Be responsible. It's not that hard.

 
Jessica Dewar Yoga_Lola Eye Operation_28 Nov 2017 (1)
 

I’m having one of those really angry and disappointed at humanity days. I try not to have them too often, and generally always look for the good in people, but today has gotten the best of me.

As I write this post my little girl, Lola, a rescue pug, is undergoing yet another operation to try and improve her eyesight. Whilst this is a good thing, and we are praying for a good outcome, I just feel so angry that she has to go through this awfulness. That she has spent her life in pain because she was failed repeatedly by humans. Lola’s vision loss was avoidable. Had she been cared for the way she, and every other animal on the planet deserves to be cared for, this would not of happened. But instead, Lola has been used up as a puppy mill dog until ditched to the kerb because her breeding days we over. She has since been palmed off from person to person – none of whom actually cared enough to notice she was suffering.

I get so frustrated when people look at Lola and comment on how cute she is, that they too want a pug, a puppy, a rescue etc. I think to myself – is an animal just a toy to you? A toy until it suddenly has needs and then it becomes a burden, left to fend for itself? Do you have any idea how much care animals need? From basic care such as good food, clean water and affection, to exercising and vet bills? I read a study recently that said the average dog costs about $25K in their lifetime and I think – do you have this money to put towards your dog? Little Lola has cost us almost half this in just nine months – but we were prepared to take on the health costs if it meant helping Lola to have a happier and healthier future. This is a lot of money! Money we certainly didn’t plan on spending, or have for that matter, but the reality is, as responsible dog owners, we were prepared to find the money because she is our responsibility. And we will do whatever it takes to help her (or any animal).

Having spent a lot of time with vets these past few months, the collective agreement has been that no person should own a pet if they cannot adequately care for it. Vets have shared horror stories with me, stories that keep me awake at night wondering how people can be so downright thoughtless, careless and detached. Stories that are rarely shared in public because, lets face it, who wants to own up that they’re a terrible pet owner?

Many pet owners seem to have this mentality of – out of sight, out of mind. But whilst this type of person is trying to alleviate their own guilt for having harmed an animal (if they are in any way empathic and not a complete sociopath), the animal is quietly suffering and possibly dying.

People get sucked in by the cuteness of a baby animal that they see in the window of a pet shop (these pups are almost guaranteed to be from puppy mills), then make unintelligent, rash decisions to have a pet. Then all too quickly they lose interest. But don’t worry - the human wont suffer with this loss of interest. But the animal sure as hell will.

So as I sit here anxiously, hoping Lola is OK as they operate on her fragile, damaged eyes, praying she makes it through (recent liver failure makes this a more precarious operation), I’m hoping that this post will hit home for a few people who care to read it and be honest about their intentions for getting / planning to get a pet. It is too late in Lola’s case, and all we can do now is pick up the pieces. But it is not too late for people to make smarter decisions about where their pets come from (puppy mill? registered breeder aka puppy mills? pet shops aka puppy mill supporters? Rescue organization?), if that pet is absolutely right for them and their living situation, and if they’re in this for the long haul.

 
Jessica Dewar Yoga_Lola Eye Operation_28 Nov 2017 (2)
 

Animals should never be a spare of the moment decision. Bringing an animal into our lives should be well thought out, ensuring owners can dedicate the time, energy and money this pet will need over its lifetime.

Ok – enough of a rant from me. I just feel so sad that little Lola is going through this awful procedure which should never have needed to happen if she’d had the right thing done by her in the first place.

Sending prayers to Lola and all the other animals who just need love and kindness.

Love, Jessica xx

P.S. I'll keep you all posted with how Lola goes.

Because I Need To Be Strong For Her

 
 

Life is finite. I live with this dreadfully sad awareness every day – as do we all whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. This means life is precious. Every moment of every single day is precious and nothing is a bigger reminder of this than when we are faced with the loss, or potential loss, of someone we love.

Owen and I are currently in and out of the emergency vet hospital in Collingwood because early Sunday morning, out little pug Lola took a dramatic turn for the worst. She went from being her usual, happy, cheeky little self to suddenly in the intensive care ward which she remains in today. I’ve never been so devastated in all my life.

Little Lola came into our care in February 2017. Lola was a rescue and even though she has suffered so many traumas in her life, she maintains the happiest disposition of any animal I’ve ever met. Blind due to no fault of her own – purely a case of neglect – she has now been diagnosed with liver disease. For the past three days she has been poked and prodded with needles, been drugged to the point of losing control of her bladder and barely able to lift her head, and had most of the hair on her tiny little body shaved off. There is nothing more horrific than seeing a creature who is so vulnerable being pulled around and tested the way she has been. Of course this has to happen so we can find out how to help her, but it is nothing short of cruel. When will this little girl get a break!

 
Monday lunch time.

Monday lunch time.

Monday night after many more tests. She's exhausted.

Monday night after many more tests. She's exhausted.

 

My partner and I are heartbroken going through this awful process. Little Lola came barging into our lives earlier this year and ploughed her way deep into our hearts. We adore our animals and would do anything for them, so as you can imagine these past few days, being totally out of control and dependent upon the expertise of others, has been nothing short of horrendous. My phone is glued to me in case of an update.

With swollen eyes from having non-stop cried since the weekend, I’ve sat quietly most days reflecting upon our lives. On my life. I’m reminding myself of how precious our lives are. I feel so sad for people who hold onto anger or negativity because I’m mindful that it is just a waste of their precious time on this planet.

To calm the anxiety and slow the tears, I’ve spent hours walking quietly through parks with my other little man Tyrone or sitting on my mat focused on my breathing. I’m taking time to remind myself to take slow, controlled inhalations and exhalations to bring steadiness and clarity to my mind. Whilst this doesn’t change the reality of the situation, it allows me to regain the strength I need to get through this awful time. It reminds me of how important it is that I remain calm so I can be strong for her.

Granted, when I need to cry and just let it all out – I do. But there is a time and a place for this. Rather, by connecting with my breath I feel more in control of a situation that is totally out of my control, namely my thoughts and how I respond to the situation. Let’s just say I’m very good at thinking the worst, which is a painful, neurotic habit I need to constantly shut down (and I mean every minute of every day I’m having to cancel these thoughts). So as I breathe, I consciously focus on seeing Lola getting stronger and healthier. There is peace in this place and suddenly the anxiety starts to relieve, even if just for a moment.

So rather than dwell on the worst, I’m preparing for her recovery and I’m excited to say Lola has new PJ’s to keep her now shaved little body warm as well as a bravery teddy and comfy new bed to snuggle up in. This bravery package is waiting for her at home when we are given the all clear to bring her back. We all have different ways of coping, and my way is to prepare for her homecoming. It keeps me positive even when the news is not the best.

 
Jessica Dewar Yoga Lola Care Package
 

We are now waiting for the Medical Specialist team to contact us with steps moving forward and the results of a recent liver aspirate test. All fingers and toes are crossed this is positive.

I’ll keep you posted with an update.

Thank you everyone for your support and well wishes for Lola’s speedy recovery. Your energy is surely headed her way and I know she can feel it.

Much love,

Jessica xx

 
Sunday before heading to the emergency vet. One very sick little girl.

Sunday before heading to the emergency vet. One very sick little girl.

 
 
 

To Lola. You are an inspiration.

 
 

We have a new furry friend in our family. Little Lola.  Lola is a pug and she is just divine. A gentle soul who follows me around like a duckling follows her mum, we just adore this special girl. Lola is special for more reasons than her beautiful nature. Not only is Lola a rescue who has had a very traumatic eight years of life, but as a result of a lifetime of neglect and abuse, Lola is now permanently blind. She needs three different medicated drops in her eyes, multiple times daily, as well as ‘fake tears’ as often as I can put them in. Her eyes no longer produce tears on their own to keep them moist – so I need to do this for her.

But despite her awful beginnings, this special little girl is just such a joy to be around. She follows our other pug x through the park and is guided to the best places to sniff. She uses big steps, which is adorable for such mini paws, to feel it is safe to move. Lola is one tough girl and it is heartbreaking when I think about the lack of love she has received but deserved and craved.

 
Hanging out with big brother Tyrone.

Hanging out with big brother Tyrone.

 

As I watched her potter around this morning, my mind went to the teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s. A universally studied text that is understood to guide yogis to the path of enlightenment.

Within the text, Patanjali speaks of Yamas, which include five ethical rules that can be thought of as moral imperatives. Of the five rules, the first is Ahimsa, which means nonviolence and non-harming of other living beings.

Whilst the interpretation of Ahimsa can be vast, some obvious examples of nonviolence are showing kindness to ones family, ones animals, being vegetarian or vegan. Not wearing furs or products that are tested on animals. Not being the one to test products on animals… I think you see my point. And I wonder how many people really do truly practice Ahimsa, and how many studios cultivate this philosophy into their community.

So whilst I was watching this precious little soul enjoying her life despite the hell she has had to endure (we can learn so much from animals if we stop and observe), I felt so saddened by the number of people out there who fail so badly to show kindness to those who are vulnerable. I’ve never understood how someone can be so unkind as to allow an animal, any animal, to suffer.

 
 

It is not hard to be nice. It takes much more energy to be an angry, uncaring person than it does a kind and loving one. For me, the practice of Ahimsa is natural – it always has been. This has left me vulnerable at times for ridicule from those who lack kindness and struggle to feel love or be loved. To be clear, their behavior, their righteousness and need to be cruel says a lot about the person they are and absolutely nothing about me. I have no issue with being judged about being kind. I would much rather be the kind one than not. Those who are violent are nothing more than weak, insecure bullies. People who fail to care for those who are more vulnerable are not cool. They’re not tough or ‘the boss’. Instead, they are the weakest of them all, and I pity them as this is a very sad, lonely path they are following.

As you all know at Jessica Dewar Yoga our mission is to build a kinder world through the practice of yoga. I believe yoga has the power to help even the most troubled of us all by unlocking and revealing the shadow parts of self that keep them, us, small. I know it is through this vulnerability people can experience happier lives. And when we feel happier in ourselves, I am hopeful this will extend to sharing kindness and love to all that surround, including our furry family members.

 
 

To little Lola – thank you for choosing us as your forever home. We have already learned so much about what it means to see the positive side of life no matter how dire the circumstances have been. You’re spirit has not been broken and that is a testament to just how strong you are. We promise to show you unconditional love and kindness for as long as we are together.

Sending hugs,

Jessica xx

NB: To support the rescue and safety of other pugs like Lola, head to Pug Rescue and Adoption Victoria to donate. Your contributions will be so greatly appreciated.