Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dog Heaven

Tonight, I sadly had to read this book to my girls.

A little piece of my heart broke this afternoon as I held my Troopers head in my lap as he was relieved of his suffering here.

He's been sick for quite a while, months even. Thinking he was suffering from bowel issues from eating random stuff (this theory was supported by midnight visits to the ER vet) we let this continue way to long. Today, I woke up to find him and his kennel covered in vomit. I got him out and cleaned him off, and I realized his stomach was severely bloated. He peed and then laid down in the woods.

I knew.

I don't know how I knew this was different than all other vomit/bowel issues we've had over the last 6 months, but somehow, I just did.

I called the vet. They got us in, but the wonderful vet steeled me for what I had suspected. It might be time.

We were lucky to be spared the big decision. It was much worse than we suspected. It was not bowel related. He was either in final stage of cancer or he was suffering from heart failure. The vet was very confident of the latter, his swollen belly wasn't bloated, it was filled with fluid. He told us we could drain the abdomen and ease the pressure to make him a little more comfortable, but he would not get better.

Dan balked and wanted to run tests. The vet said he could run many, many tests, but that he didn't not believe it would tell us anything that would change the outcome.

We let the girls say their goodbyes and I was so impressed with how Julia handled herself. Anna didn't have much to say at the time, but her behavior this evening gave it all away. It would be so hard to not have the words to explain how sad you were. She finally was able to express herself tonight. She going to bed and asked to say goodnight to Callaway and Trooper. I told her that Trooper died and he wouldn't be coming home (nicely of course). She then cried and said she wanted to say goodnight.

It's strange to have gone from 4 pets to 1 in the course of 2 years. Callaway was our first, we got him 13 years ago. He's the last pet standing.

Trooper was a beautiful dog. At first glance, his Rottie-"ish" looks tended to scare people, but he was such a big baby. When he was younger he would cuddle and gently nibble on his stuffed toys. He was so good to my girls, and he was a great little dog. He had such a beautiful expressive face. Even at 10+ years old he looked like a puppy.

I spent many a time secretly wishing we didn't have to deal with him. Owning him made finding temporary housing incredibly difficult, but I could never give him away just to find a house. The almost 10 years we had with him were wonderful. I think that he hung in there long enough to get us here, to our current home. We had other places in mind. Newer, nicer... but we just couldn't do them because of their pet policies. We are so happy here. The girls love being able to safely ride their bikes, they love having a neighborhood full of kids. We have really enjoyed everyone we have met here. We're here because of him, and I'm thankful for it.

I know I'm rambling. I guess I just have so much on my mind, it's still too raw to be eloquent or succint. My heart hurts, but I'm happy Trooper is out of pain. I'm glad I could be sitting with him as he left this world. I'm glad it was my arms he took his last breath in. I'll miss him.


Kirdy said...

Words can't express how sad I am to read this. I can just see Trooper in a backyard with plenty of rocks to eat now....:(cman20

kam said...

What lovely tribute to Trooper. He was a wonderful dog... I know he will be missed. Give the girls big hugs for me!

Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

Big hugs...I am sorry to hear the news.


Suzanne said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Trooper. I know what you're going through and it's rough. Big hugs to you and your family!

laurie said...

I'm late in commenting but this post made me cry. Trooper sounds like a truly wonderful dog (and it sounds like you handled his passing beautifully).
My golden, Emma, died last summer. she was 14. I still miss her a lot.