Thursday, June 12, 2008

He was a good ole dog.

I've been away for a few days....well, not away from home or work or the computer even. But posting wise? I've got excuses-a-plenty. Too hot (pre A/C), too cold (post A/C installation), working (when has that stopped me?), too lazy, too busy. And excuses they may be but honestly, they've all been true at one time or another this past week.

Yesterday's reason? Emotionally exhausted.

The dog. My dog. Baxter.

Back in March he was given one to four months to live, the tumor inoperable. A sad day, to be sure but after the first week or so, I just kept steadfastly giving him his medication and quietly monitoring him - not totally pretending nothing was wrong but seeing as how the dog was just REALLY hungry and REALLY thirsty - not too worried either.

But Monday, he was panting and didn't really drink his usual five bowls of water that night. And Tuesday? He didn't get up when I came home from work. He could and did get up a few minutes later but I noticed his absence at the door. And Tuesday night? The benadryl apparently stopped working and his mast cell tumor, which releases histamines and itches like crazy? Well it itched like crazy and he just about licked it open.

Wednesday morning, his back leg was giving out on him as soon as he stepped on the kitchen floor. He could walk but if he tried to turn or adjust his position? It would give way. And he couldn't sit (the tumor was on his rear).

The call to the vet was the single hardest thing I've had to do in a long while.

We made an appointment for later in the day, before the kids came home from school. I went to work and spent three hours distractedly flitting from task to task. My husband was supposed to meet me at one thirty. I came home at noon, to spend some time.

I cooked his favorite meal...four hardboiled eggs. As a bonus I covered the eggs with a ton of cheese, another favorite. I took him down to the lake for a swim. Of course on the walk down the hill? He's fine and I'm all thinking I could maybe postpone the whole thing, second guessing myself to the end. He slipped on the stairs into the lake though and I started to cry. Started to cry? Not really, more like I cried again.

We took him to the vet and he died quietly, with his head in my lap, he was still wet from the swim.

Remember when he ate the whole bag of Tastefully Simple stuff?

Or got hit by a car at the veterinarian's?

It will be a long time until I'm done missing him.


blackbird said...

I'm so sorry, Jen...
he was a good old dog.

cady said...

oh jenny, i'm so sorry. losing a pet is one of the hardest things to deal with. i'm still sad about having to put sasha to sleep last year. some people i know just don't understand why we get so upset over our pets. they don't realize that they're like family.

Amy said...


My heart just breaks for you. What a good last few moments Baxter had here with you, though.

Treasure all the memories.

I hope the kids are okay, I know it's not easy for them either.

Lots and lots of hugs.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

You know, when I go, I hope I'm still wet from a swim there too. You gave him a nice last time with you. I'm really sorry for your loss and hope Baxter is in a place with endless hard boiled eggs.

~**Dawn**~ said...

Oh, Jenny. =*(

Heather said...

A big hug to you and your family. May you always have your memories.

Nichole M said...

I'm so sorry you lost a member of your family yesterday. :-(

Sarah Louise said...

sending hugs. I can also recommend dog grieving picture books if you want.



Jennifer said...

I'm very glad I got the chance to meet him and pet him. I'm sending you all huge hugs.

Pocklock said...

Aw. Losing a pet is just awful. I'm so sorry to hear the news. I hope you take comfort in all the good times you had with him.

Thinking of all of you.

mainelife said...

Rats. (wiping tears/typing through them) I'm so very sorry, but so inspired by the strength you had to do the right thing.

catsteevens said...

I haven't been around here in awhile and just now seeing this. I am so sorry. I don't know what this must feel like, but one day I hope to have the courage & strength that you did.