Instead of hearts and flowers and jewelry I got to take my dog for The Big Sleep with zero warning on Valentine’s Day. (CW: Pet Death.)
He was fine and dandy and chasing the cat one minute and then he kind of stumbled a bit, got up all lopsided and tilted to the left, and then started barfing and was unable to get up or walk properly.
At first it was almost funny, he was leaning to the side in an almost comical way like he was listening intently to the television or something and I actually laughed. (Which I’m beating myself up over, of course.) Then he started being sick and couldn’t walk and I realized what was happening. It was horrible.
I sat with him for half an hour to see if he would improve and when it was clear he wasn’t going to come out of it, I made the calls. Neither mobile vet answered, or even called me back at all despite my being explicit in my messages that it was an emergency and I needed emergency euthanasia services due to a massive stroke. Fuck them both sideways. I left scathing reviews for both of them everywhere this morning. AT LEAST RETURN MY CALL TO SAY YOU’RE NOT AVAILABLE FFS.
I called my own expensive vet and they told me to bring him in in 45 minutes as both vets were in surgery. I held him in my arms the whole time and tried not to cry too much and upset him. He was so confused, but at least not in pain pain that I could tell. It happened so fast, I hope I was kind and reassuring enough during those last minutes. I don’t even remember the car ride there really. I know I was laying in the backseat with him, but getting into the car and then into the office is all a blur.
I don’t really remember signing anything when we arrived, but I apparently did. At least I chose the individual cremation so I can have him back in carbon form next week. I do recall the vet man reassuring me afterwards that it was absolutely nothing I did or didn’t do, that it was not the antibiotics he recently finished (his tx plan called for a full month anyhow), it wasn’t the food or treats I had given him, and that these things just happen to 16 year old dogs. I still am tearing myself apart though. Wondering what I could have done to prevent this. Analyzing every minute of the final week to see if I was doting on him enough. If only I’d known. I would have done more to spoil him even though he was spoiled rotten every day of his life.
I do however remember the procedure and aftermath *very* clearly though. I’ve dreamt of those final seconds and having him taken out of my arms afterwards the last two nights. It’s killing me to relive it over and over. I hope that stops soon, because I’m dreading going to sleep. Almost as much as I dread my new, sad morning routine without him.
Thank all the gods that I was home when it happened at least. That was a blessing. He didn’t spend one second of it alone, and that I immediately decided that it was The Time, so whatever negative things he was experiencing were fleeting and not drawn out.
So yeah. Happy Valentine’s, me.
The only jewelry I want is an urn pendant to put some of him into. It’s on its way, apparently.
I can tell you one thing for sure: NEVER AGAIN.
I never ever want to experience this ever ever ever. I don’t think I could handle it.
But I’m told that’s what everyone says and that it very often turns out not that way and that people open their hearts to new doggies down the road.
Still, I think those people are wrong. *rueful laugh*