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.