I was really looking forward to Spring Break but, as usual, life happened and changed it. My sweet Buddy started getting sick Friday night. This isn’t uncommon as he likes to eat grass and sticks outside. Neither is him opting not to eat for an occasional meal. By Monday, though, not only was he still not eating and still occasionally vomiting, he’d stopped drinking. Uh oh. Looks like a trip to the vet was in our future.
Buddy has only ever been to the vet three times other than for his regular vaccinations – 1) to be neutered, 2) surgery after getting hooked on the fence in the backyard, and 3) a foot infection after getting something stuck in his paw while hiking mountains in Colorado. This was the his fourth visit. Although we had to drag him through the door, he allowed the vet to lift him up and gave him no trouble, which is very unusual as he usually has to be muzzled to have his bordatella vaccination. Hmm, that’s not good. He definitely wasn’t feeling well.
After a thorough examination and blood work, it was determined that Buddy’s liver had failed. The whites of his eyes were yellow and even the inside of his ears were more yellow tinted than pink. The machine that did his blood work couldn’t register how high his bilirubin levels were as they were off the chart. If we left everything the way that it was, not only would he continue to be in pain, but he would die of starvation/thirst. Even if he had surgery, there was likely a tumor on his liver and his survival rate would be like playing roulette. Not good.
I took him home that evening to have the children say goodbye to our faithful family dog that we’ve had for thirteen years. Knowing what I would have to do in the morning was incredibly overwhelming, and looking into his pain-filled eyes kept my tears coming.
As he fell asleep in my arms the next morning, I whispered into his ear how much I loved him, and thanked him for his loyalty, love, and protection for the many years that he’d been with us. He was the best dog I’ve ever had and life isn’t the same without him. I will treasure the memories we made together forever.