We had to take Sage back to the vet yesterday. She could barely walk when we first woke up, and by lunchtime she was unable to walk at all. Her left front leg could not support her.

The truly strange thing is that the day before, she was feeling fine and walking well. She had been on painkillers and muscle relaxers for a week; it took nearly that long for her to stop crying out and walking around panting all day and night because it hurt to lie down. Then suddenly, on Monday, we were calling her condition a "medical miracle" since she was walking with such alacrity that it was as if she had never hurt.

Anyway, she was so bad yesterday that she ate lying in front of her dish because it was too painful to stand. I tried to help her stand up, at which point she bit me badly on the chin; I bled profusely and will have a real nice scar after it heals. Even Jack the cat, who has long been Sage's enemy, was obviously concerned.

Lisa called the vet, in tears, and got us in for an emergency appointment. We drove to the animal hospital with me holding Sage in my lap like a baby, to support her back. It felt like we wouldn't be bringing her home alive. We expected the doctor to put her to sleep and were distraught over the idea.

The vet gave us several options:

1. Let her stay in the hospital for a couple of days, receiving I.V. steroids, fluids and painkillers (to allow her to rest her back).

2. Give her a large shot of I.V. steroids and a subcutaneous shot of a painkiller, send her home with us with oral steroids and extra-strong antacids to settle her stomach while taking the steroids, and see how she does over the next ten days.

3. Just put her out of her misery immediately.

Option number three was simply out of the question for us, considering our emotional state at the time; option number one was just too expensive and we also feared that she would pass away while we were not with her.

We chose option number two, so we could spend at least a little more time with her and get used to the idea that we might lose her soon, but at the same time pray for the best.

Within an hour after we got home, she was walking normally, drinking lots of water (the vet had warned us that the steroids would make her quite thirsty) and eating the way she always has. We brought her to bed with us, and Jack laid beside her with his paw on hers. It was so touching to see.

In the middle of the night she woke us up so she could go out to urinate, and she felt so good that she didn't want to come back in for a long time. We stayed out with her, watching with joy and amazement. When we finally came back in, she slept on the floor in obvious comfort.

This morning she ate well and has been walking with ease. The change is astounding and we are now optimistic that we will be enjoying her company for a long time, even if she has to take medicine for the rest of her life.

It is a good day. Our spirits are high and Sage's are too. Jack even looks happier; he has realized that he actually likes her. The weather is beautiful and we have the doors and windows open.

Life is good.

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