Goodbye, My Dear Friend Anubis
At 2:30 this after noon, my friend and companion of almost 15 years crossed over the Rainbow Bridge into the hereafter. I shall miss him deeply.
This day had been a long time coming. Once a dog gets to be 15, he is really pushing the upper bounds of lifespan. If you do the old 7:1 conversion, he would have been 105. I would certainly love to believe that he lived a happy life.
Everything happened all so fast. When I came home from work yesterday, Kitty told me that he had collapsed in the kennel and could not get up. We had been noticing that he occasionally stumbled, but this was the first time that he could not stand up on his own. We decided to take him to the vet immediately. I carried him to the Furmobile and off we went. The vet gave him a blood test, and everything came back normal. It was believed, however, that Anubis had suffered a stroke of some sort. He got a shot of steroids and we were sent home with some meds to see if they would help. I could tell by the tone in the doctor's voice that the prognosis was not all that good. I was not, however, willing to immediately jump to euthanasia. Neither was the vet, but he let me know that I could come in at any time if things got bad.
Anubis was pretty pathetic for most of the night. He constantly struggled to get to his paws, but when he couldn't, he would pant loudly while also whining. I stayed up most of the night with him trying to give him comfort. At 3 a.m. he showed signs of improvement. He was actually walking again! He spent the next 30 minutes pacing around the house, half stumbling, panting loudly. I fell asleep around that time but soon awoke to the sound of him peeing on the carpet. I led him outside, which I didn't really want to do since it was cold out there. 15 minutes later I went to check on him and found him sprawled on the ground. I carried him inside, and he spent the rest of the night panting and whining. By 8 he had calmed down and was sleeping comfortably. I phoned the vet to let him know that it seemed that the meds were helping somewhat in that he was at least able to walk. 30 minutes later Anubis had a seizure. One minute he was standing next to me, the next he was sprawled on the floor twitching wildly. It was at this point that I made the decision, euthanasia.
I struggled with that decision for a long time. Did the old boy still have some life in him? Would he get better? Was this a temporary thing? I was wracked with guilt. The vet was in surgery, so I had a while to think things over. I was told that if things got bad, I could come in at any time. At 1:30, Anubis had another seizure. At 2 he had his last. I loaded him into the Furmobile as he twitched wildly. He lost all control of his bodily functions. By 2:15 I was at the vet's. The vet tech who helped me carry him to the examining room knew that things were grave. The vet tried to administer a sedative, but Anubis was twitching too much. He decided to immediately inject the killing drug. Within 10 seconds it was all over.
I'm actually glad things worked out the way they did. There was no doubt in anyone's mind what needed to be done. There was no sad look from him or a last lick on the hand. He was in pain. He was suffering. There was no way in hell that he would be going home with me to live some sort of natural life. I was happy to see him go as opposed to watching him writhe in dog-only knows what agony he was going through. Even the vet told me before administering the final injection that Anubis would never be waking up from this terrible seizure even if the injection was not administered. This was it. It was all over within 30 minutes.
I shall miss my beloved dog immensely. He was a companion to me for 1/3 of my life. I will make a huge memorial post over the weekend once I look through all of the photos I have accumulated over the past 15 years. Right now I need another martini to help deaden the pain a bit.