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12/21/2004 07:42:04 PM · #1
I wanted so much to share one of my best friends with you all in the Pets and Their People challenge, but as so many of us know, the holiday season often brings it share of personal challenges that manage to overshadow all else. Wyndham, my 3 year old Cockapoo Wheaton mix turned very ill last weekend, unable to digest food or keep it down, he lost six pounds in a matter of days. For two nights he has been under the intensive care of our local vet who has informed us that he is positive for Lyme, is experiencing acute kidney failure and we are waiting on lab results that could also prove that may have succumb to something called Leptospirosis.

His prognosis is not currently favorable, but there is a possibility that the sudden onset of symptoms and weight loss could be fooling us into thinking that the damage is more severe than it really is. Tomorrow, we will know better if the Kidney damage is too much for him to recover with any real quality of life and I am faced with the burden that his life is in my hands.

As I lost sleep again last night, I blindly wandered the forums and art of so many who make up this community and came across the profile and archive of sher9204 (Sher Hogue). As I browsed her challenges folder I had been thinking of how so many comment that they 'found the subject too mundane' or 'not interesting enough' or politically charged and they vote these works down.

It was at that point that I saw, not one, but two of her photographs that in the absence of the challenge spoke volumes to my soul. I saw my own dog, scared and possibly dying in a vet's kennel and I saw a cross of acension. It was at this point that I realized how important it was that I make a decision for the good of my friend and not for my own selfish reasons.

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------- sher9204 -------

Today as Dr Morell and I spoke about his chances and decided to give one more day to see if he will turn around, I tried feebly to hold and comfort my puppy and get at least one good photo of him before I am faced with the hardest decision a pet's person can face. For one more night, I can hope that he will make a change that would indicate that we can spend a few more years together but I am also preparing to face what deep down I know may be the best thing for him should there be no change.

If you own an animal who is found with a tick and shows signs of the red circle, or experiences lameness and more than one day of vomiting or begins to lose weight rapidly. Do not waste time thinking that it will get better with rest and loving care. I urge you, for the sake of your pet do not waste a single day when you see these signs. Early treatment with antiboitics can control the devestating effects of these diseases, but if real damage sets in, a couple of days could mean the difference between a short vet visit and one where your pet may not be able to return to your side.

My picture is not challenge-worthy, it is a simple capture of my best friend cradled in my lap in a dark, sterile room with the hope that he knows I love him dearly.
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Message edited by author 2004-12-21 20:35:16.
12/21/2004 07:51:56 PM · #2
I truly hope that everything will work out for you both.

I have been through similar and I understand the pain you feel. Sometimes the the best decision can also be the hardest, I hope you are not faced with that decision.
12/21/2004 07:52:29 PM · #3
JD, what a thoughtful post. I'm sorry you are put in the position to have to make such a difficult decision. I, too, found myself having to come to terms with a dear pets final days. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life so far. Soshie, my cat of 18 years, had feline diabetes and had to be given daily insulin shots. And she lived a happy life for so long even with this ailment. But finally age and her condition made her quality of life just not bearable any more. So I had to say goodbye after several days of deliberation to see if she would pull through. I hope that things turn out for you and your dear pet. But just know that you will have a wonderful angel looking over you and the memories will live forever until you meet again.

my thoughts are with you,
Jen
12/21/2004 07:52:56 PM · #4
My thoughts and heart go out to you. My father had to make that painful choice for an animal friend once and it was the most grieved I believe I ever saw my father. God bless you both and my prayers for you.
12/21/2004 08:02:45 PM · #5
I'm so sorry... we had to have our 11 year old red dobie euthanized about 8 years ago and it still hurts...but it was the best decision for him so that he wouldn't suffer or be in pain anymore. I pray that your sweetie makes a turn for the better tonight.
12/21/2004 08:24:58 PM · #6
JD we are praying for Wyndham! This is every pet owners hardest decision. I sure hope he gets better! I have vaccinated my two dogs for leptospirosis for the past two years but I am not sure that it is 100% effective. Thanks for alerting us to the symptoms. I am sure Wyndham has had a great life with you JD and is most fortunate to have had a loving owner for these years. Even in his sickness he is a beautiful looking dog. God bless you both
12/21/2004 08:37:53 PM · #7
Thanx all for your kind words and prayers. Tonite is hard. Again I won't sleep much and there is so much sadness wrapped up in a feeling of inevitability. I hope, but the hope is shadowed by that haunting visage of reality that lingers nearby and the guilt that I should have seen this sooner and reacted more quickly.
12/21/2004 08:41:50 PM · #8
This thread should be labled NSFH. (heart)

I have been there, and its not fun. I am a dog owner and I feel for you. I wish you and your pooch the best.
12/21/2004 08:44:45 PM · #9
JD, i am honored and humbled that my work touched you. i'm so sorry that you are having to face this decision on behalf of your beloved friend. it's a very difficult decision to make...part of you wants to keep that unconditional love of a pet for as long as you can and part of you hates to see a dear friend suffering in pain.

i had to brave this decision last year with my 18 yr. old friend, Peetie. (not the one in the pic, although, at 15, she's showing signs that her time is not far away.) after long days of wavering back and forth, crying and listening to my friend whimpering and crying, i knew what had to be done. i gave her a nice warm bath, dried and brushed her hair and talked to her. i told her what a great friend she had been and how much i loved her and how i would miss her. then we made the trip to the vet. while the vet gave the shot, i held her in my arms and whispered in her ear that all her pain would be gone soon. she gave one last sigh and then she was still. my heart was broken but my friend was at peace. i took her home and buried her in the backyard.

not a day goes by that i don't think of her but i know that it was the right decision to make.

my prayers are with you and your friend. i hope that you don't have to make the decision yet but if you do, i pray that God gives you peace with your decision and the knowledge that you and your friend will meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.
12/21/2004 09:11:17 PM · #10
You brought me to tears with your post, please know my thoughts are with you at this time. I was put in the same position 5 years ago with my beloved Buffy who was fallen by a sudden illness. I had 2 days to wrap my mind around what was happening and she was gone. I adamantly stated to our vet that I would never get another dog, he gently recommended, yes, I would but maybe would want to stay away from buff Cocker Spaniels. Five months later, Tucker came into my life. But you know not a day goes by that I don't think about Buffy or tell Tucker about how his "sister Buffy" would have liked him even though he'd have driven her crazy. It's a hard decision to make but know that in the end you will be making the right one for Wyndham even though it might not seem like the right one for you.
12/21/2004 11:39:08 PM · #11
What a touching post. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Wyndaham tonight. This is one of the hardest decisions any pet lover will ever have to make -- hopefully you'll get news in the morning that will delay making such a painful choice. My hope for you is that you won't beat yourself up for not recognizing the need to get him to the vets sooner. We all have should of, could of, might haves in our lives and as much as we might like to go back and change things -- we just can't. That little dog knows how much you love him and that's what matters most of all.

Peace be with you -- Debi
12/21/2004 11:59:07 PM · #12
JD,
If I can be of any help, please email me (dlanders@tampabay.rr.com) or PM me. I'm a vet, and I've had experience with treating both Lyme's and Lepto. Hope and prayers to you both.

DAL
12/22/2004 12:49:27 AM · #13
JD, I am so sorry to hear about your situation. When the challenge is over, come back and look at my entry. The animal in it is facing a similar situation after being hit by a car. I wouldn't want to say too much at this time because of anonymity (I don't think I spelled that right!). I wanted so badly to get a good photograph, but am so disappointed in the results. You'll be in my prayers tonight as well as your precious pet. Please let us know the update tomorrow.
12/22/2004 01:18:22 AM · #14
JD, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Wyndham.

sue
(and my four footed best friend, Bailey)
12/22/2004 01:28:26 AM · #15
Here's a wish that your dog will have a full recovery. Love can do that.
12/22/2004 02:58:54 AM · #16
hope to hear some good news in a day or two...
12/22/2004 04:11:17 AM · #17
This is so sad I feel like crying I love my dog and I can only imagine what you must be going through
My love and thoughts are with you
12/22/2004 10:34:20 AM · #18
any news?
12/22/2004 10:58:53 AM · #19
I will be saying a prayer for you and your pet. I also pray that David Landers (Sailingduck) is able to provide some help that will make things better.
12/22/2004 01:02:27 PM · #20
I have lost a good and very dear friend. It was hard to write last night about what I was feeling, harder too letting the reality sink in. I thank all of you for your support and kind words that helped me get through the night and to keep a resolve that today I knew I would have to face.

I will miss the hugs he lavished on me as I came in the door from work. I will miss his infallible ability to sense when I would lay down on the couch and he would come from the other side of the house to jump up and lay his head in the hollow of my neck. I will miss playing fetch with the only canine I have ever had return to have me throw again. He was a true friend and very much a child-like personality.

We spent time together today, but I knew that he too knew what needed to be done. The damage was too great to think he could live life without the need for dyalisis or extensive medication. He would not be home more than he would be under someone else's care. He would spend more time in a medical kennel, than curled up at my feet or playing with Toshiba.

If there is a doggie heaven, I hope he can find some of our friends who went before and someday I hope to see him again to hug him and let him know how much I miss him already.

Wyndham 2001-2004 - Rest in peace my bud.
12/22/2004 01:17:03 PM · #21
There is a doggy heaven JD, I truely believe there is. I am so sorry to hear about Wyndham. It's more than difficult when you lose your little mate, it's like you've lost a part of yourself. He's at peace now, he is not in pain. He'll be waiting, playing with his new friends, on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

my love and condolences
sue
12/22/2004 01:31:22 PM · #22
JD

Whatever sorrow you may feel will pass. The memories of you friend however will not and that is the beauty of dogs. They stay wit you forever. It's difficult. I know because I'm going thru it as I write this. Good luck and shed a tear because it means you are human.

12/22/2004 03:17:12 PM · #23
JD - I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. I have been through the decision to euthanize 3 times (2 cats and 1 dog), and the decision is never easy.

The Rainbow Bridge for pets was mentioned in the other thread discussing the loss of Jet. If it would help:

Rainbow Bridge web site

Linda
12/22/2004 04:29:49 PM · #24
JD - very sad news. My wife and I are 'dogless' at this time but a few years ago we had 2 dogs.

The first dog we had was from a dogs home. Cody was 7 years old when we had him. He was my constant companion and dearest friend. We would often go out very early (5am) in the morning in the summer time and spend hours walking by the river and through the fields near us. How I miss that so very much.
It must have been when Cody was about 14 when I had a phone call from my wife ''There is a 12 year old greyhound in the dogs home, and he needs a home badly'', How could we refuse. So we go down to look at this Greyhound and he is in an awful condition. He has been so badly negelected that most of his muscle from his back legs had gone. 'Harry' was a very large ex-racing Greyhound who had a pretty hard life racing and an even harder life when he was no longer any use as a racer. We took 'Harry' in to our lives and our hearts. Our first stop was to our vet - ''Do you know what you have taken on here?, he will never put on wait and his coat is so bad there is no chance of it growing back''. 'Harry' also had to have all his teeth removed except for the 4 main front teeth. We fed 'Harry' on Eukanuba dog food. We gave him our love and gradually he responded. Our walks with Cody and Harry were wonderful.

Harry lasted for 18 months with us - but a very happy 18 months - his back legs were failing him and despite our vet's excellent treatment we had to do what was best for Harry. It was a very, very painful time for us both.

We stil had Cody. He missed Harry very much, they looked so funny together - Cody being quite small and Harry being the size of a small pony!

Cody lasted until he was 17 years - his eyesight and his mind went, his quality of life was failing. We had promised we would make certain he would not suffer so we had to have him put to sleep.

What these two wonderful dogs gave to us cannot be measured.

I feel for you so much but you have such wonderful memories to cheerish.

Message edited by author 2004-12-22 16:34:57.
12/23/2004 02:27:08 AM · #25
Justin,
Read Beetle and Ray's posts, then read them again, then I suggest you read them again.
Learn some compassion, it's a good thing.
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