Bayley is an active,
mischievous, water-loving un-neutered three-year old female yellow Labrador.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I now know that it may take a
village to raise a puppy, too. Bayley was diagnosed with diabetes before
her first birthday. In a matter of one week, she began to urinate
uncontrollably and seem wobbly and lethargic at times. The vet diagnosed
her with appendicitis, and then realized in subsequent treatments that she was a
diabetic. We were devastated! My fiancé and I had picked our
“daughter” out together on our very first date. She was our pride and
joy and we were frightened and uneducated about canine diabetes.
The local veterinarian was not an expert on diabetes, especially in a patient
this young. Our attempts at regulation were futile, and Bayley was sick
often. We took her to the center of veterinary medicine and research,
Tufts University, luckily very close to our home. Tufts saved Bayley’s
She began to receive bg curves on a regular basis, and we began to monitor her
urine at home. We switched her diet from Science Diet to W/D and she began
to gain weight. She was very tiny when first diagnosed. She eats at 7:00
a.m., noon, and 7:00 p.m and receives 14 units of insulin twice a day. She
demands a walk at 11:30, and her grandmother (who provides the best doggy
daycare while we are at work) walks her and her partner in crime, my mother’s
yellow lab Karma. Bayley hits the beach at least a few times a week
weather permitting. She enjoys diving off of piers in the pursuit of a
tennis ball, digging in the sand, and chasing seagulls.
Despite all of the best care and the love we provide, Bayley developed cataracts
in 2000. Bayley’s favorite activity is chasing the ball, and we were
determined to save those eyes. Her eyes were always a light green, and now
they were turning cloudy with blindness. We visited an ophthalmologist and
were shocked to learn the staggering cost of cataract surgery and the lengthy
recovery period. However, we were determined. I was a law student at
the time, and my fiancé was supporting us all. So, I brainstormed.
Bayley is very popular with both humans and fellow canines. So, I decided
to throw a fundraising party in her honor. “the Drive to save Bayley’s
eyes” was born. I sent invitations, my fiancé set up the volleyball
net, a band we were friendly with offered to play and caterers we were friends
with donated the time, food, and manpower to stage an event. We had about
150 guests filtering in and out all day, and received other donations in the
mail. By the end of the day, Bayley’s surgery and pre-operation costs
were covered almost to the dime. It was a miracle, it was a beautiful
outpouring of love for animals and people. It was a momentous event in my
Bayley had the surgery on her right eye. Unfortunately, the retina in the
left eye was detached and they were unable to save that eye. Her recovery
was difficult. She received two antibiotics twice a day and three forms of
eye drops, steroids and antibiotics at different intervals throughout the day.
She wore a cone, and felt very upset with us for leaving her in the hospital
alone for several days prior to and after the surgery.
Today, she is a wonderful, active ball-obsessed sighted diabetic daughter who
was healed by the love of a community. We still have our low points.
At times, she will not eat and at other time she is ravenous. Her
regulation has been a battle to maintain, with indications from time to time
that her pancreas is producing. We have had many different plans over the
past few years and expect more to come. I think the most important thing
is to be thankful for the quality of life she has today, cherish her (even when
she hogs the bed, or eats my favorite shoes) and continue to monitor and share
our experience to help others. If you drive past the beach at 11:30 on
Saturday, the yellow fur ball catapulting through the air is my dog Bayley in
all of her glory in the pursuit of a very sandy tennis ball.
-- Contributed by Liz Thompson.
Contributed March 2002
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