I’d like to think of a more eloquent and gentle title for this post. I was always told that when you resort to cussing, you have lost your ability to properly and concisely express yourself in a manner befitting your upset and the audience you are trying to communicate with.
But, you know what? Fuck that.
I have spent the year crying my eyes out for one reason or another. I started off with a lot of hope, thinking that things were going to get better. Then, I started taking knocks that just never stopped coming. I, of course, cannot go into the personal stuff that involves members of my immediate family because it would be a breach of privacy, but go with pretty much worst case scenario stuff. That’s plenty to bear, as it is.
Then I lost my Cleo, who was my heart, and not yet two years old. Yes, a cat, but she was something else. She just… made me happy, even through tears. She was my little soulmate. And then she was gone.
We received Dasher, the little puppy, shortly after I lost Cleo (because part of the reason we even got him was for her, as she so wanted a dog to love her as my two current dogs are snobby jerks. The other reason was that I wanted him, too.) A little “dash” of hope.
Then I lost my Socs. This was more expected, but at almost 17, he had been part of my grounding, my foundation. More heartache.
Through that, more personal stuff, but trying to sort it all out. Trying to move forward, still feeling heartbroken, but you can’t just stop. It’s got to get better.
Then Dasher started having seizures out of the blue. It was weird, at 5 months old, he was almost full grown at 5lbs, but still so little. Just a baby, how can a little one like this have something wrong? We weren’t sure what they were yet, it was a “mouth thing”. But I videoed it, and made an appointment. Sure enough, it was “chewing gum” seizures (focal.) Chewing Gum seizures increased in frequency, and then there was a grand mal seizure that scared the daylights out of me. Next step, neurologist.
The only positive thing I can say is that the ultrasound was definitive. Unusual, in these cases… unless you have the rarest form of a portosystemic liver shunt. Inoperable. Only option, completely change the diet and meds. Dasher’s liver was giving him nutrients from food, but was unable to clear the natural toxins from his body, which built up and caused the seizures. So, an almost-zero-protein diet, lots of meds all day and night… Maybe it could be managed, as some dogs had lived decently long lives with those changes (vet spoke about one that was eight years old, for example.)
Tearful, but hoping we could get some time with Dasher, we went all in on that. On everything. Dasher hated the restrictive diet, and he was the only dog I’ve ever seen hate people food. My labrador, Lilly was flat-out beside herself watching Dasher turn down bread and pasta and whatever else we could try to get him to eat that lacked protein, trying to stop the seizures. Hating the food, Dasher was still a trooper having meds forced on him 6-8x a day, plus rescue medication trying to stop an active seizure as needed, etc.
And the seizures only got worse.
At the end, Dasher was having 20+ seizures a day (a mix of a more violent version of the focal “chewing gum” seizures, and grand mal seizures.) The last day, he had permanent facial tics/spasms, and seizures every 30-90 minutes. There were no more meds. There were no more options.
So, we made an appointment for that afternoon. We gave Dasher whatever he wanted to eat. We took him for walks all over the yard, and even let him off leash to chase a chicken or two (he actually caught one gently by the tailfeathers, and both of them were so surprised that they didn’t know what to do. So, he let go so he could chase it again.) We held him, and snuggled him, and cried.
And in the end, we had to let him go. Two weeks. That’s how long it was from normal healthy puppy, to death. Only two damn weeks.
I couldn’t do it. I am a coward. I just couldn’t do it this time. I had lost Cleo in February. I had pet my Socs until he stopped breathing only in March. I couldn’t go in to the vet and watch as they put a FIVE MONTH OLD PUPPY, the best dog I have ever had in my life, to sleep.
Dasher loved both of us, so my husband was the one who went in while in while I sat in the parking lot, crying. I just couldn’t do it.
Because this is bullshit. This is fucking unfair. Yeah, I know, life is unfair. But it’s still absolute fucking bullshit.
And my heart is fucking broken, again. Or, just more broken, because it never even really got the chance to start to heal in the first place.