Sunday, October 26, 2008

In memory of Spanky

Today has been a very hard and sad day for us. Us, meaning my son, Michael, his fiance, Robin and of course me.

Robin phoned me early in the day. I think it was morning, but what she had to say to me was so unexpected. Spanky, Michael's Pit/Pei hadn't eaten for a couple of days and hadn't drank water for probably as long.

When Michael took him out in the backyard that he loved to play in, he just stood there for awhile before wanting back in to lay down. So unlike him who was full of energy even at the age of 13.

Robin and I took him to our vet's who did a physical with all signs normal except his temperature was low due to dehydration. He also needed a blood test, but my vet said he would fax to the Emergency Clinic as they had all the facility's there, where as it would take days before he got the results back. He didn't charge us for his services and wished us well.

The result of the blood tests showed infections in both the kidney and liver. Had Spanky been a young dog, the results could turn out differently, but because of age, he said it was most probably end of life and extensive exams and medications wouldn't mean Spanky would get better. Possibly it could give him another day or even week.

I try to look into the vet's eyes to see what he would do in this situation. Finally, I'm not sure if it was Robin or myself who asked the question. He had given us three options and the second one would not have helped Spanky. The vet himself told us that and that was to take him home and self medicate him, plus force him to drink water. So we never even considered that.

Robin phoned Michael and he had just gotten home from work, she told him exactly where we were so he could come to make the decision.

Once Michael came he asked more of the 1st option. Him staying for 4 days with IV and given medication. I was glad we got a vet who was sincere and genuinely concerned about Spanky rather than giving us BS. He told him he wanted to be completely straight with us and personally he figured it was end of life for Spank and his kidney and liver showed real signs of wear and tear. As much as he would rather be able to give us a better outcome, he said he couldn't. Spanky had a wonderful life with a lot of love from what he could tell, but it's his time to go.

Michael, as emotional as the two of us told the vet his concern was not money, but for Spanky. He wanted to do the right thing for Spank rather than him having to suffer. To get rid of the infection wasn't going to correct his liver or kidney and asked if he could develope another infection because of them. The vet agreed that the most humane would be the hardest option.

The three of us all wanted to say our good byes to him and be with him until the very end. Robin and I were so happy we didn't put Spanky's muzzle on him today. I was happy that BSL didn't rob Spanker-doodle from us. He was a wonderful boy that gave us years of happy memories and while we grieve today and have a part of our hearts with a vacancy, we have to honour his memory with all the silliness and great times we had together.

Spanky walked in on his own to us and the vet removed the lead. He put a huge comforter folded on the floor and told us to take all the time we needed. This room was for us as long as we needed. We all kissed and patted Spanky, talking to him with tears rolling down our faces. I cried even more as he tried to lick my tears away.

We had unfolded the comforter and it wasn't until he finally went to it and lay down as if to say, it's time now.

Spanky was Michael's very first dog that he got as a young teen. He had never seen a dog put to sleep before, but wanted to be with Spank. The vet explained in detail exactly what he was going to do and what was going on as he went through the process. We all spoke and stroked Spanky the whole time with more tears than you imagine could can come out of you. I've gone through the drill so many times, but it never gets easier as one of your family is leaving you.

Now gone where there lays no more pain for him we only have memories to hang on to. Michael will be reminded the most, especially during times he goes to take him out, or feed him, or simply want to play with him. Knowing he's gone, yet still in disbelief.

Spanky, you gave so many people so much love, but your true love was always Michael. We'll miss you, you Lil' Stinker, but I'll come for you at Rainbow Bridge as we go through heaven's gates together.

Shasta will miss you too, Spanky. She sniffed me when I came home and knows your scent. I believe she knows my tears are for you as she washes them away as you did.

All our love is with you forever.

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