Kira’s Companions: ‘What’s wrong with him?’


Photo by Kira Gomez

Messi the 9-year-old golden retriever and my best friend has been himself lately. He’s always on my mind while we wait for the results of his medical tests.

By Kira Gomez, staff writer

Messi is my 9 year old English Cream Golden Retriever. We got him from Hilo, Hawaiʻi, when he was still a puppy, and I remember crying while holding him on the way home from the airport. He grew up to love the water, the cool tiles of our kitchen floor, and welcoming guests to our home. No matter how old he’s gotten, he’s still a puppy at heart.

To see him sad and not his lively self the past couple of weeks has been hard. My family noticed something was wrong once he started losing his appetite – he loves his food. When using the bathroom and moving around seemed hard for him, we decided to book a vet appointment for last Monday.

Bathed Messi preparing for his vet appointment
Bathed Messi preparing for his vet appointment (Photo by Kira Gomez)

And it hasn’t been easy dealing with the results of his examination since.

There were a lot of health problems Messi was dealing with. I wasn’t with him at the appointment, but waiting for my mom to tell me what was wrong was nerve-wracking. When her text did come through while I was at practice, I thought the list of what was wrong wouldn’t end.

He had a mass in his bladder and a smaller one on the back of his head. He had something called autoimmune thyroiditis which is common in Golden Retrievers (apparently), and his platelets were really low. I was and still am terrified. My baby was in serious pain. They didn’t know if the masses were cancerous, and while we wait for his surgery to remove them, we are all hoping they aren’t.

The vet prescribed multiple medications, and he has to get surgery done to remove the masses. Our main priority after the appointment was to get him to eat and watch over him, so he doesn’t get any cuts that could bleed excessively.

My parents and I cooking Messi's food
My parents and I cooking Messi’s food (Photo by Kira Gomez)

Thankfully, when we started cooking chicken he started to eat.

Keeping it down was a struggle for him, but he is slowly getting better and eating more. I monitor him at night after blowing up an air mattress for me to sleep next to him downstairs, and whenever I take him out I watch him.

Messi's medication
Messi’s medication (Photo by Kira Gomez)

We have been giving him his meds in the morning and one at night too. We have seen a slow increase in his energy, and that has been offering me a little more comfort.

He is a lively, lovable, and kind dog. I am praying that his surgery goes well, and he recovers from his health problems over the next few weeks.

I want the dog who rolls around in the grass and plays with everyone.

I want the dog who chases (but never harms) the chickens.

I want to see my best friend back and better than ever.

For now, all we can do is wait and pray.

Me and my little brother Tiki with Messi in 2015 before Christmas
Me and my little brother Tiki with Messi in 2015 before Christmas (Photo by Kira Gomez)