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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Thanks From A Grateful Family

Once again, we really appreciate all the words of kindness and condolences in various fora.  It's always astonishing just how much members of our family have not only burrowed into our hearts but others' as well.

Speaking for myself, I'm still reeling from the latest thunderclap in our lives.  I was already feeling very empty after Neppy's death--though knowing him for fewer years than Ericka did--having cared for him in his dotage by giving him twice daily shots of insulin and helping get out to potty as his legs started to fail him.  Then to be hit with Kayla's rapid decline so soon was quite a shock to the system.  Naturally there's all sorts of doubt and guilt about whether I'd paid too little attention to her needs as I dealt with Neppy in his last days, and what if I'd been able to notice problems earlier, would I have been able to save her from metastasis and pain and...you know.

We wouldn't have known anything had I not been applying some flea stuff to Kayla (note to all: Frontline is still the best, as we unfortunately discovered having experimented with some cheaper alternatives).  Kayla shrieked in pain as I gently touched her to have her lie down, then she rolled over in a submissive pose.  That's when I saw the awful lump near her groin that she'd been chewing at.

I assumed it was some sort of flea-related irritation, applied compresses for a couple days.  Then Friday took her in to the vet to get the bad news about sarcoma (near an extraneous mammary, and apparently not uncommon with dogs who've been spayed late in life), but it looked like we could just remove the lump and things would be okay.  Then her legs gave out Monday morning, so I took her in again and tests showed she had lesions on her lungs and most likely on her spine.  I was far, far too late.

Everybody got to say goodbye to our sweet girl last evening (heartbreaking to hear Sam say, "I yuv you, goodbye"), but I was the only one who stayed at the end.  I got to tell her she was a good girl who helped me survive bad times and I love her and got to scritch those ears and that beauty spot on her cheek until the vet said she'd gone.  They told me I did the right thing, but I observed that never makes it easier.  And I still can't type or talk about her without choking up.

Mex is a bit confused, and I feel bad for him being alone in what was recently still a Pack (though he's getting special dispensation for many things at the moment).  I'm not so confused, but still feel like shit--and am absolutely grateful for having had such a wonderful companion in my life.

ntodd

December 4, 2012 in Family Life | Permalink

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Comments

Oh, man. What a story.

It is always hard to lose our furry friends.

I see the same thing in Puck's future, soon. He is almost 13.

Empathy. Sympathy. Love to your family.

Posted by: Vicki | Dec 4, 2012 11:04:05 PM

Deep condolences, it's always hard to lose a friend. Hang onto the memories of good times.

Posted by: Snarki, child of Loki | Dec 5, 2012 10:15:31 AM

typing through tears - so very sorry. Deepest empathy and condolences to all of you. Kayla truly touched many lives, and you were so very blessed to have her. I remember when you brought her home, NTodd, and we all fell in love immediately. Our meadows are indeed full of love. Extra extra love to Mex. Blessings to each of you.

Posted by: Green | Dec 5, 2012 11:17:12 AM

NTodd, there are no words... all anyone, human or canine, has at such a time is memories of the good times, and knowing that you and Kayla were both blessed to have each other as companions. My deepest condolences.

Posted by: Steve Bates | Dec 5, 2012 10:33:35 PM

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