Sunday, March 10, 2013
On Tuesday we said goodbye to our beloved Indy dog. It happened hard and fast, but in the end we are thankful for that.
A little over two weeks ago Indy ate an entire chicken carcass that was bagged on our front porch and waiting for the trash. Yep, the whole thing...bones and all. It made him a little sick and we were worried for a bit but then he seemed fine. A week later Indy somehow got into our garden and was apparently eating from our compost pile for quite a while (what can I say...the dog liked to eat)! That afternoon he got really sick and was throwing up the rest of the afternoon. We assumed, logically, that he ate something bad in the garden. A day and a half later when he didn't want to eat Joe took him to the vet because we were still concerned from the chicken incident. But our vet, who is wonderful, wasn't concerned about anything being stuck and figured that Indy's stomach was just upset and gave us some medicine and put Indy on a bland diet. But just a day or two later Indy was hardly eating and he started having a really hard time breathing. Even at rest or nearly asleep he was working so hard to breath. Once again afraid that there might still be a chicken bone lingering in there somewhere Joe took him to the emergency vet that night. They did x-rays on his stomach and some blood work and found nothing. They assumed he was breathing so hard simply because his stomach was in pain.
I thought that made sense, but Joe wasn't really buying it. I guess it was just the optimist in me. Two days later and his breathing was just getting worse and he was refusing to eat anything and no matter how hard we tried we couldn't get him to take much of his medicine. We made an appointment with his regular vet for the next day. That was a rough night...he had such a hard time breathing and both Joe and I were up with him at different points throughout the night. I was trying to hold out hope, but even I knew it wasn't looking good. That morning before Joe left for the vet with him the kids and I all said our goodbyes...just in case. And I am so happy that we did because Joe called just a few hours later. The x-rays on his chest showed that he had cancer. His heart was nearly twice the normal size and his chest was full of tumors. We were shocked...until just days earlier he seemed completely healthy and there were no indications at all that he was sick. The doctor said that this sometimes happens with big, strong dogs like Indy...their body is able to compensate for the cancer and what's happening until one day their body just gives out all at once. It turns out it had nothing to do with anything he ate...it's just how it all happened.
Joe called with the news and we both knew right away that the decision was simple (though painful). There wasn't much they could do to treat the cancer, he was having such a hard time breathing, and he wasn't eating and drinking. The last thing we wanted was for him to suffer anymore so we made the decision to let him go. Joe was there with him and he went very peacefully.
To tell you the truth Joe and I are both pretty heart broken...and even 5 days later I am in tears as I write this.The kids were a bit sad the first day, but are doing quite well (they do ask about him everyday). Indy was ours for 9 years and he truly was our first baby and very much a part of our everyday life and family. Even with two little ones running around the house feels so lonely and quiet without his constant presence. Oh my he was a good dog...one of the best and we miss him incredibly.
I took these pictures last October when it seemed like we were just days away from loosing him. His leg was so bad then and he was in so much pain that we were totally amazed by his sudden (and nearly complete) recovery. The last five months with Indy were wonderful...he went for walks, played with toys like a puppy, snuggled on the couch, and even went sledding a few times with us. He didn't seem to be in any pain at all. I look back on it now and see it as a small gift to us...we didn't know that he was sick and all of us got to enjoy that time with him while he seemed at his best. I am so thankful for the 9 years we had with our Indy and especially for the last 5 months. We love you Indy and always will.