Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The End Came Too Soon

Sunday afternoon my aunt and her boyfriend came to pick up Sydney and I was getting mentally prepared for my Sunday afternoon nap. The Tide went out to greet everyone when they arrived and ran around in the front yard for a bit. She then came inside and less than a minute after coming in she collapsed. She fell each time she tried to put weight on her left front leg.  

We were obviously concerned about her and my aunt gathered up everyone and left so that The Tide would settle down some because while everyone was at the house she wanted to be up and down and all around. I shut the front door and The Tide somehow made it to the bed. I lay down beside her and tried to comfort her and pondered whether or not I should take her to the emergency vet.

I had tried to call my dad and finally he called back and I told him what was going on and asked if I should take her in or wait until Monday morning. He said to wait which is what I wanted to do but just needed someone else to assure me that was the right thing to do. Since The Tide has had so many issues with her legs and hips and arthritis I just wanted the folks familiar with her to tell me what was wrong.

My dad said he would take her in for me because I don’t have any extra time to take from work at the moment, but when she continued to get worse I decided I would take her in at 8:00 a.m. when the vet’s office opened. I asked my dad to meet me there and he said he would.

Through the rest of the night I just tried to keep The Tide comfortable. At this point she could not really move at all. I put some towels under her backside so that if she needed to relieve herself she could do so without getting it on the mattress. We just lay there through the evening at I tried to get some sleep when I could.

Around 2:00 a.m. she started crying and so I got up to move her and she lost control of her bowels. I cleaned it up and each time I left the room she cried out so loudly. It was just so heartbreaking. I finally got her into what I hoped was a comfortable position and soon after she was snoring. I think we slept for an hour before she started crying again and this was how it was all night long.

Finally it was time to load her up in the car and go to the vet. My dad met me there and we were able to get her inside after much effort. It’s difficult to carry a large sick dog. We got her inside and told the receptionist what was going on. While we were waiting for a room, Jackie came in and we all three just sat there with The Tide giving her lots of love.

They brought out a dog stretcher and took her to an exam room. First a tech examined her and wrote how her vitals. The doctor came in soon after and examined her. After much worrying and concern it was determined that she has a slipped disc in her neck. The doctor recommended 24-hours of high dose steroids. He said that this might solve the problem and if not, as my dad said, it would be the end of the journey.

The doctor said if it was his dog he would give the steroids a try. So, I agreed. After spending all the money I have on The Tide I just really couldn't give up when there was something that might work and like the doctor said, if it gives her another year or two then it is worth it. To lighten the mood my dad said he would spend the money on the treatment if I was the one who needed it. The Tide, after all, is my only child.

So, I left The Tide at the vet’s office and hoped and prayed for the best. I decided to just take the rest of the day off from work as well. I had gotten little to no sleep the night before, had a massive headache from crying all night and morning long and in the words of my dad looked a mess. So, I went home, napped, did some laundry, watched some TV, and prayed for The Tide. About 3:30 I went to the chiropractor and the grocery store and basically had a panic attack as I felt like I couldn't breathe and could only think of The Tide.

I managed to crank out some blog posts in the evening and just tried to keep my mind off of the worst while trying to prepare for it as well. That house of mine sure is an empty space without The Tide around.

On Tuesday I waited to hear from the doctor. My dad called around 9:00 and asked if I had heard from the doctor, and I had not. Unbeknownst to me, he then went by the vet’s office to find out what I would find out later that afternoon. I called around 11:00 and they told me that Dr. Johns wanted to speak to me and I knew it was not going to be good news. Around 12:45 when I had not heard back, I called again and spoke to the doctor. He told me that The Tide had not improved at all. He said we could give it another day or two or go ahead and put her to sleep. I felt in my heart that she was not going to improve and made the decision to put her to sleep.

I left work a few minutes before 3:00 p.m. I had been trying to call my dad and had not been able to reach him so I drove by my parents’ house to see if he was working outside – he was not. So, I went on to the vet’s office by myself. I filled out all the paperwork and talked to the doctor and then they brought The Tide in. I just held her in my arms and told her how much I loved her before and while they administered the anesthesia. Jackie arrived as The Tide started fading. She didn't want me to be alone and knew I couldn't reach my dad. She also got a chance to say her goodbyes. They then gave her the dose of medicine that would put her to sleep forever and as her heart was stopping my dad came in. He had been at my grandmother’s and left his phone in the car and when he saw all the missed calls from me he called the vet’s office and they told him I was there and that it was the end for The Tide.

She went peacefully and quickly. I was not ready to say good-bye but I never really would have been. I did what was best for The Tide in the end. I did not want her to suffer and just delay the inevitable. I am truly, truly heartbroken and will miss my loyal companion and best friend. 


Melissa said...

So sorry about The Tide. I love all the pictures you posted here of your precious pup. Love you.

Jackie said...

Oh my goodness I am just so heartbroken! Love you!

Erika said...

Oh Natasha....I am sitting at my desk crying. I know how much you loved Tide and how you took such good care of her.
I am thinking of you. I am sooo soooo sorry.....

Anonymous said...

So sorry. Praying for you.

Kimberly Washer said...

This is terrible!!! I'm sooooooooo sorry Natasha!! I haven't personally experienced the loss of a close pet yet, but I have seen how it affects people around me and I pray that you are able to find comfort during this. The Tide will be missed by all!!

Candy said...

This broke my heart! I know how much you loved her. We will all miss her barking greeting as we came in for our dinner get togethers. Praying for you!