This was so amazing, and so touching. Thank you all so much. My boy couldn’t make the walk, but I felt like he was with us in spirit.
A Special Tripawds Thank You to Andrew Krichbaum, owner of Pet Necessities, an independent, family owned pet products store located at 4354 Johnson Avenue in Western Springs, Illinois (near the Western Springs train station). Andrew donated gift bags for the members of Team Tripawds participating in the Wheaton, IL PuppyUp Foundation walk this Saturday. (Yes, donated!) I have been a customer pretty much since he opened – although the store is smaller than the chains, he carries premium products and can order pretty much anything you need. I am a big supporter of small, independent businesses and think our communities really benefit from their presence. So, if you live in the area, please stop by Pet Necessities (www.petnecessities.net).
Tess has decided to take over this blog. She is hoping you won’t count her legs and see that there are four. After all, someone gave her this pretty pink bandana, so she must be a member of the Tripawd Nation, right?
It’s been a hard week. Otis had such a big personality that it filled the house. Not sure that the space can ever be filled. Tess is lonely, especially during the day when we are gone. When I am home, she follows me around the house like my shadow.
I am still deciding what stays and what goes. Yoga mats go, but the majority of the industrial floor mats will probably stay (remembering that Tess had cruciate repair – no reason for her to slip on the tile or wood). The bed will stay with just the box spring and mattress (no frame) for the same reason, and we are still gating off the upstairs during the day. I did have to pick up Otis’ food bowl, mainly because I kept accidentally almost filling it. And I realized that Tess was picking something up from my bedding – Otis spent a lot of those last 36 hours there – and washed it. Otis’ favorite bed is still sitting by the futon in the living room. Might stay there for a while.
We had to say goodbye to Otis last night. After he came home, he took a long nap laying next to me on the futon. He was so happy to see my daughter – tail going enthusiastically. My ex came over with his two dogs. And his last meal was kibble and something called Hunk of Beef by the Evangers dog food company. It really is a hunk of beef in a can. He used to love it when he was younger, and I had seen it on display in a pet store two weeks ago and picked up two cans. At around 5:30, he seemed to be breathing heavily, and the company left. By 7:30, it was obvious that I was seeing the same breathing pattern as the night before and we took him in. A final x-ray confirmed the build-up of air in his lungs. He transitioned peacefully, accompanied by me, my ex and a family friend.
I feel like some small part of my heart went with him last night. Not in a bad way, but as if it is flying free with him wherever he is now. There is definitely an absence in the house, but the two most important things to me where that the final decision would be clear (the last x-ray ensured that) and that he had a good quality of life up until the end (he did). I moved Tess’ favorite bed into my bedroom, but still have to decide what (or when) to deal with some of the things Tess will not use: his favorite bed, his baby pool in the backyard, his food dishes. And of the course, the industrial floor mats all over the house. For now, they all stay as is.
Thank you to everyone reading this – I know how hard it can be to read the endings. I truly appreciate the wonderful support from this community. It meant so much during the last two nights to have our members from the UK and Australia online with me all night. And the outpouring of support overall has been phenomenal.
After a harrowing night, Otis is home. About 7:00 p.m., his breathing became very heavy – not panting, just very labored. He wasn’t able to sleep, and at 1:30 a.m., I took him in. He had a “pneumothorax,” air built up caused by tears in the lungs resulting from the mets. The X-rays showed that it was pushing his heart out of position. The vet drained 2 liters of air from one lung, and one from the other. He is home now. Although there are more invasive surgeries that could seal the tears, in this case, it didn’t really seem worth it. He could have a few hours, or a few days before the air comes back. It was important, however, that my daughter and ex got to spend time with him. The vet gave us some clear signs to look for, and until then, he is going to enjoy time with his family. Cheeseburgers are on the way!