Friday, November 11, 2005

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done

Today my best friend died. Katie, my 9 year old springer spaniel, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma about 6 weeks ago. She had to have her spleen removed, but she bounced back from surgery and seemed like her old self. We knew we had a limited amount of time with her, but we never thought it would end this quickly. Last night when I came home she seemed very lethargic and not her self. She wasn't interested in eating her food or her treat, and that is very unlike her. This morning was the same, and she threw up what she did eat. I took her to the doctor, knowing they couldn't cure her, but hoping they could do something to make her more comfortable. They said her red blood cell count was 12 and that normal was 37 to 56. Said she was breathing hard because she didn't have enough red blood cells to carry the oxygen through her body. She was anemic, and her heart was racing, working extra hard, and she just looked miserable. The light was gone from her eyes and she seemed spaced out. She wouldn't give me any kisses or any of her "loving" habits. My heart was breaking in two. On the way to the vet, she didn't even act upset in the car, and normally she would be crying to me and shaking from fear. I think she was telling me it was ok, that she was ready.

The doctor said that because her red blood cell count was so low, she likely wouldn't make it through the weekend. That they might could give her steroids, but that would just get her a few extra days and prolong the inevitable. The doctor said that she would continue to fight for oxygen and would suffer from it. She said to imagine how scary it would be if you couldn't get any air. I didn't want her to suffer. Next to my husband, she was my best friend, my four legged soul mate. I couldn't let her go through that. I couldn't go through that. I asked the vet what she would do in my situation. She said she would put her to sleep and let her go peacefully. I thought if I could do one thing for Katie, it would be to make her passing easier on her. I didn't want her to feel any pain or be scared. I was scared enough for the both of us.

I called Derek, and he said he knew that this was coming so he said his goodbyes to her this morning. I wish now I had let Edra, my mother-in-law(who lives with us), say goodbye to her this morning. I never thought that I wasn't coming home with her.

So the vet put the drugs in her while I held her. It didn't take long, maybe 15 seconds. She was peaceful, but I was in pieces. How could I let her go like this? Just a few minutes ago, I got her to wag her tail. She was standing by the door to the exam room. She wanted to leave. I wanted to take her home. But at the same time, how could I not do this for her? If I took her home, she would just get worse, and she would suffer. I promised her I would make it better. This was the only way I could. I told her to wait for me, that one day, we would play together again in heaven. I said a little prayer to my dad to take care of her.

I want to tell everyone a little about Katie. She was very loving. If you were sitting down, she wanted to be in your lap. She couldn't get close enough to you. She liked to sleep under the covers. She had to have her chew treat every night or she would nag you until you gave it to her. She could tell time. We would feed her when we got home from work. On the weekends or days when we didn't work, she would start staring at us at 5PM until we would feed her. She could even spell. I would ask Derek if he F-E-D her and she would immediately run to her bowl. She would jump high in the air 3 times when I was fixing her dish. She really loved to eat! She would sit on the couch and put her paw on the armrest like she knew what it was for. She loved to sleep with her head on the pillow. She knew which Christmas stocking was hers and she would check it every morning to see if Santa had come. She loved to go for walks. She loved to play ball. A tennis ball was her favorite. She loved to chase chipmunks. They didn't stand a chance in our yard. She was very protective of us and our house, but if she met you on a walk, she was really shy. She liked to lay on the footrest of the lazyboy when you were sitting in it. She had to be between your legs. She had an attention getting spot. When she wanted us to pay attention to her, she would go sit on the red leather chair. Sometimes she would dig in it, sometimes she would just sit. She loved to lay on the bed in the front room and look out the window. She would lay there whenever we were gone and look for us. I could go on and on. She really was a special dog. I know everyone says that about their dog, but she was special. She has a place in my heart that is all hers and will be until I die. I hope that when it is my time she is waiting for me on the other side of rainbow bridge.

Here are some of my favorite pics of Katie. I hope they bring a smile to your face, as they are a comfort to me right now.


Ed and Lisa said...

Oh Suzanne... I am so sorry to hear about Katie. You are right... the pups really do become our best friends (aside from hubby of course)... they don't criticize, talk back or even argue with us. They just want to be loved and show their own love back to us. I read your story with tears in my eyes. Just know that you did the best thing for her and she passed on while she was doing what she loved most... cuddling with her best friend.

Lisa :)

Lee-Anne said...

I found your blog, from Lindsey's blog! I'm so sorry, that the first post I read is the loss of your very best friend. Very sad. Read you were looking for suggestions for 'short' names! I've a couple:
Tia or Mia
Jayda (I love this name, but hubby hates it!)
(ok, so it's a few more than 2!)
It's sooo hard to pick your child's name! Good luck with that! Will continue to check in!
Lee-Anne DTC hopefully Dec 2005!!!

Doug said...

My heart goes out to you.

I've had to do the same with one of our beloved pets and it was one of the most difficult experiences of my life.

Michael and Starla said...

I just came across your blog and what a sad story about your dog. I am so sorry for you, it broke my heart that you had to leave the vet without him. They truely are family to us. Our thoughts are with you.
Keep going on your paperwork, it is alot of work but the reward is so worth it (we are just finishing the paperchase, waiting for the I171H).

Shelli said...

Hi! I just discovered your blog. I am so very sorry to read about Katie. We have a furry Katie too. I can only imagine how painful doing what you had to do is. I am thinking of you!