Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Heavy Heart


I am crying as I write this post.


Last night around dinner time is when it all began.

My black lab Miss Harley has NEVER not wanted her chow.

Having come from puppy prison (what we called the shelter from which I got her) she made sure when there was food she was always up front and center.


Harley had hip displaysia (sp?) and had been on prescription meds for the last 1-1/2 years. The hips were too far gone by the time she was diagnosed and the medicine was the only option. The meds worked well and she was able to go to the forest every day and function normally. One of the side effects of the meds is the possibility that they may affect the liver. Harley had seen the vet in May for her usual yearly check-up and the blood work was normal.


So, last night while we ate and Harley made no attempt to let us know of her presence for any handouts and the fact that she didn't even make a move to her bowl which was full of her once a day chow, we knew something was wrong.


Harley was listless and not at all interested in getting up off of the floor. Rick even tried leaving the house the back way and ringing the front doorbell. Harley did get up but then laid back down as soon as she knew who was at the door.


We called the vet and got an appointment. We got there just before 7pm. By 8pm my lovely, kind, wonderful dog had gone to the forest in the sky. She has joined my other dogs Buffy, Jodie, and Monster.


This has come as such a blow. We never expected this. We expected the decision would be made because of her hips and inability to move. The fact that what did my poor girl in was probably the medicine that gave her the mobility to live a normal life this past 1-1/2 years. Without an exploratory surgery (which the doc said she probably wouldn't have survived) he couldn't be sure exactly what happened. He suspected that she either had a ruptured liver or spleen. Her belly was bloated and when he stuck a needle in her stomach and drew blood she didn't even flinch. The blood that he drew out was not a deep thick healthy red, more of a diluted version of that. Since the doc felt that she wouldn't survive a surgery at her age the only option was to send her to heaven. I have had to make this decision 3 previous times and let me tell you that it NEVER is any easy one.


I know that this loss has deeply affected my brother. He remained very stoic last night but I knew when he said his good-byes last night that this was heart wretching for him. Rick was the one that took the wild puppy prison dog who was estimated to be 1 or 2 years old (the previous owners didn't have the decency to bring her into the shelter, instead they just tied her to the tree outside). Rick took this dog with a jumping problem and taught her to be the great dog that she was. He took her every day to the forest to let her run around and get out all of that energy so that she would be happy when she later had our small yard to play in. They bonded very tightly as they spent their days together.


I know that this loss is NOTHING compared to the loss of a child, but for me my dogs are my children and this is a very very sad time for me. May my sweet lovable girl have eternal rest.


7 comments:

SpAzzGiRL said...

Awwww Connie, so sad!! My heart is heavy for ya and I am sure your brother is hurtin' too.
Our thoughts are with you, rick and Gidget!

oceansidecindy said...

I was with my sister when we first met Harley. We had gone to a shelter out in Elgin or Bloomingdale. Connie had asked to see some dogs. They brought out all kinds of dogs and each one just was not the right one. We saw this black lab in an outside kennel. Jumping up and down almost able to clear the fence. We aked to see her, the immediate reaction by the personnel , was oh you can't handle this dog, it can jump off the fence and has no manners. Connie and I both saw past that. The potentional this young dog was there, it just needed a loving mom like Connie. Alsmost relunctanly they said Connie good adopt. They told her they were come to check the house out. They would have to make sure that "Connie" would be able to take care of this beautiful dog. After all the paperwork was signed we climbed into the car. I crawled in back to be with this big black lab. As we were driving home Connie kept worrying , what is Rick gonna do? was he going to be mad we had this wild dog? Since the previous owners did not have the decency to hand her over when the shelter was open. They had opted just to tie her sometime during the night to a tree. She had no name and as we drove home we kept trying names out. When we said the name "Harley" she actually perked up, and we both thought. Harley would be a great name and possibly win Rick over, since he is a "Harley Motorcycle guy. Well it seemed to help and in the first few months that Rick had his Harley, he actually started getting up early and tasking her to the forest for daily walks. It helped Rick as well as Harley.
Having worked in the Veterrinary field for the past year and a half, I have been the one to sort through the options for grieving owners. I try to remain controlled but I to hold the client's hand and use the kleenex to help wipe our tears. I wish I could have been there for Connie , Rick , and Harley. I loved her too and as I write I too am crying. At times I wish that humans that have terminal illiness could make the same decision for themselves. Connie I love you and I love ZRick and I am so very sorry. The Hacker family is going to have all of our dogs to play with when we get up to heaven.

oceansidecindy said...

I was with my sister when we first met Harley. We had gone to a shelter out in Elgin or Bloomingdale. Connie had asked to see some dogs. They brought out all kinds of dogs and each one just was not the right one. We saw this black lab in an outside kennel. Jumping up and down almost able to clear the fence. We aked to see her, the immediate reaction by the personnel , was oh you can't handle this dog, it can jump over the fence and has no manners. Connie and I both saw past that. The potentional this young dog was there, it just needed a loving mom like Connie. Alsmost relunctanly they said Connie good adopt. They told her they were come to check the house out. They would have to make sure that "Connie" would be able to take care of this beautiful dog. After all the paperwork was signed we climbed into the car. I crawled in back to be with this big black lab. As we were driving home Connie kept worrying , what is Rick gonna do? was he going to be mad we had this wild dog? Since the previous owners did not have the decency to hand her over when the shelter was open. They had opted just to tie her sometime during the night to a tree. She had no name and as we drove home we kept trying names out. When we said the name "Harley" she actually perked up, and we both thought. Harley would be a great name and possibly win Rick over, since he is a "Harley Motorcycle guy. Well it seemed to help and in the first few months that Rick had his Harley, he actually started getting up early and tasking her to the forest for daily walks. It helped Rick as well as Harley.
Having worked in the Veterrinary field for the past year and a half, I have been the one to sort through the options for grieving owners. I try to remain controlled but I to hold the client's hand and use the kleenex to help wipe our tears. I wish I could have been there for Connie , Rick , and Harley. I loved her too and as I write I too am crying. At times I wish that humans that have terminal illiness could make the same decision for themselves. Connie I love you and I love ZRick and I am so very sorry. The Hacker family is going to have all of our dogs to play with when we get up to heaven.

Michelle said...

I am SO SO sorry for you loss. It's so difficult losing a beloved pet. We JUST went through this with Nicki on Monday.
I really like the photo of Harley and the cat (?). He was a beautiful dog.
My thoughts are with you.

Stampin' D'Amour said...

I just read your BLOG--it is so sad to lose a pet, they become so special to us. :0(

I am so sorry to hear about it--I know how hard it must be. In time, your heart won't be as sad...take care! HUGS!!

-pamela :0)

Crafty Connie said...

Thank you for the kinds words Pamela!
Thanks too for visiting my blog.

Debbi (no 'e' on the end) said...

Connie....
This is my first time here but I am soooo very sorry to hear of your loss. I know we would be devastated if this happened to our dear Cocoa....sending hugs your way. Our thoughts & prayers are with your and your family.