He needed help from the Man getting up on the couch beside me earlier, and he will remain there for the evening. His hind legs, which are betraying him more each day, lay up against my right leg. The old muscles in his sleeping body twitch as he dreams, and I wonder if in his dream he is still young as he chases the squirrels that have taunted him since the day he arrived on the Farm. He is 11 now, and we had hoped that we still had a handful of years left with him. He is nearly blind and mostly deaf, but all that came upon him so gradually, I don’t think he ever really missed it. He never was very bright, and has gone through life being blissfully free of worry and care. Before the first set of seizures, there was never any sign that something unwelcome may have been growing inside of his head. All tests came back normal, with the only option left being a tumor in his brain. Medications followed, and for a time he was better…but never the same. Each seizure left him a little bit more vacant and unsure, and the Kody we knew slowly started to fade away. He had his moments though, and we rejoiced each time he was present, and we felt blessed each time he visited. What we had hoped would take months has turned into a few short weeks. The medications that at first slowed the seizures is now hastening the process, and for the first time our discussions include the words “quality of life”. Our other dogs, Gracie and Dewey, are never far from his side, and their sadness deepens daily.
We never thought that we would “know when it was time”. Rather, we both believed that Kody would tell us when it was time, when he was ready to go. The possibility that he wouldn’t be able to tell us never crossed our mind…until today. No matter the cause, whether seizures, medicines or tumors, Kody is fading just as rapidly mentally as he is physically. The daily decline is going faster and faster, and the days of him sharing his needs with us are mostly gone. He has regressed, and behaves much more like a puppy with no table manners. Our fear is that within days he will no longer recognize us for who we are..something we have already glimpsed in him. For the most part, we are still able to comfort him, and reassure him when he is confused and scared. Waiting until he is so far gone that our presence and touch will mean nothing to him in the end is what I fear the most. He has been a faithful companion for many years, never wavering in his love and commitment to the Man and me. It is now our responsibility to make sure he feels our love up to the very last moment…
Oh Rick, I am just heartbroken for you and Jack. Making the decision to help our friends cross over to peace is an agonizing one. I send you strength and love. And a gentle kiss for Kody.
July 17, 2014 at 7:43 am
What can I say that I have not already said. Only you and Jack will know when it is time to end his suffering. I knew with Peanut when he refused any food I offered him and he just stopped eating. I knew when he would lay by my side everytime I set down and when he lost interest in playing and most of all when he no longer wanted to go in the car with us. He loved going with us no matter where it was. He had an appt. with the vet to get his nails cut and his anal glands expressd so he was not upset at going to the vet that day. I told Bob that this is the day that I have decided that I can no longer see him suffering. So when we got to the vet I told the receptionist that it was time to let him go. She took us into a room and the vet came in and said I will just give him an injection in his paw that will make him sleep just as though he is having surgery and I will come back in five minutes to make sure he is sleeping and then I will give him the shot that will stop his heart. The pain I felt in my heart was like no other pain I have ever felt and when his little body went limp arms and the vet shook his head that he was gone only then did I let the racking sob’s loose. He told me to stay as long as I wanted. I held him and told him I loved him and I would miss him and I do to this day. I went home and went up to bed and cried myself to sleep. Today I cry for you and Jack and little Kody and whats to come. God Bless you all.
July 17, 2014 at 8:13 am