Our Beautiful Boy is gone
At approximately 8PM last night, Friday, 2/29/08, we let our boy go.
On Thursday morning after a 72 hour fast, our vet decided to start feeding him a little rice soup. He kept it down, so she continued the regimen every 2 hours for 12 hours, then started offering food every hour. He wasn't voracious, but ate what was offered and kept it down. Early Friday morning, he began refusing to eat, but midmorning did eat 2 teaspoons grudingly and with a lot of coaxing. We had been visiting morning and evening, an he was a little perkier each time - the food, what little he was eating, appeared to be giving him more energy and it seemed that he was feeling a little better. Friday morning early I called to check on how he was doing, and the office manager told me she had seen him when he was taken out for a walk and to potty and he was doing his happy dance, and had given her hugs and kisses. I told her we would be in late morning to visit. Two hours later, our vet called and said we needed to come in because he was not doing well, very little response, was refusing food and his abdominal area was once again very tender, he wouldn't let her touch the area, not good because that was a pain indicator. She had just increased his pain med, would continue to offer food, but wanted to see how he was with us there. When we got there, they brought him out, he was happy to see us with very subdued nub wagging, but he was hunched over ( pain sign) and wasn't himself. BUT, he did eat a portion of food they brought for him which made me happy - but there was a sadness about him, he looked at me after he finished eating, as if to say, "There, mom, I was a good boy, I ate my food" - he really wasn't that interested. We stayed a while longer, took him for a short walk, but he got so tired and weak, DH had to hold his back legs while he peed because he couldn't hold himself up. I could tell he was embarrassed. My heart was breaking, because in less than 24 hours, his condition had deteriorated. We had been so hopeful, and excited that he was making progress, even though it was slow. He was so tired and barely able to stand, so he went into his cage, while we talked with his vet. The options were: exploratory surgery which he would not survive, and aggressive steroid treatment which would further assault his already severly damaged pancreas. Nothing else. He was not recovering at that point, his condition was worsening, she had him on a massive dose of pain meds, but he still appeared to be in pain. Earlier, I had stepped back for a moment to watch him as he slowly walked with DH, and he looked like he had sunken into himself, the life was draining out of him, and he was suffering.
We couldn't let him continue to live this way.
Our vet was getting off work, but said she would come back to help us help Grunt to the Bridge. We wanted a little more time with him. There are no words to tell how hard it was for us to see him several hours later. In spurts, he was frisky and a brat with Dr. and his favorite tech, Renee (who came in especially to be with him). With us, it was very different. He leaned into his Dad and stood quietly, and with me, he walked over several times to give me sweet kisses - and he put his head next to mine and listened while I whispered to him and stroked his dear face. He was crying. But then that last spurt of Boxer spirit came to the fore, and there was some bouncing, lots of licking and hugs with Dr. and Renee, we talked for a long time and then it was Time. We had brought in his comfy orthopedic bed and his pillow earlier, which he layed down on to rest when he got tired between those spurts - I know he missed that bed and his pillow. He went to sleep on his favorite bed, with his pillow, surrounded by his mom and dad, his doctor and his favorite tech who all loved him so very much. And then, he was gone. He looked at peace, released from all he had so stoically and bravely endured. His Dad and I spent some time alone with him and our tears and our agony. I laid with my head on him taking the scent of him into me, he was so still, and his fur was like puppy fur. Then Dr. and Renee came back to be with us, and we sat with him, cried together, laughed through tears celebrating his spirit, a very special Boxer boy who delighted and brought so much love, joy and laughter to all who knew him or even came into his presence.
I am so appreciative of all of your gestures of caring, the prayers, vibes, hugs, wiggles, bumps and kisses sent to my Beloved that I'm so sure nourished his spirit. Despite all that he endured this week, his Boxer spirit manifested. Thank you from my heart.
Our grief is immeasurable. He was my joy and my heart, and I am so lost without him. But, I am comforted to know that he is no longer suffering. Hug all of your babies for me.
Mom Forever to Grunt, Warriors' Pride - Brindle Male - Neutered - Natural Ears - 3/12/03 - 2/29/08