I know no one real read and even if they did, I doubt they would care, but I feel like I must write this. At 10:30pm on Saturday, January 26 2013 our dog was euthanized. Jake had a rough life, with his first owner leaving him outside for so long that his collar grew into his neck. He was eventually rescued, but he had a scar around his neck where hair would never grow. He was later adopted and returned because the new owner was allergic it seemed. My sister was his third owner and she loved him with all her heart. He was the happiest and friendliest dog I’ve ever known, perhaps to the point of liking strangers more than he did people he knew. With the start of the new year his health began to decline.
It started off with him having a severe limp to the point where he couldn’t walk. It than progressed to him vomiting every night. My sister brought him to a vet, where it was determined that a tumor was pressing onto his stomach, preventing food from being digested. My sister opted to have the tumor removed by surgery and have it biopsied, but in the course of the surgery the vet found many more tumors. His spleen was removed due to the amount of tumors, but two remained that the vet couldn’t reach. Chemo was too expensive, but hopefully the surgery bought him some time. A week later the biopsy results returned to show that it was testicular cancer, which is odd since he was neutered when my sister got him. A few days after surgery, he began vomiting again. It was determined that he now had pancreatitis, which would eventually go away with time. We continued giving him low fat food and all of his pills (antibiotics, pain relief, antacid, nausea medication, and stuff to help his stomach lining), but his pancreatitis grew worse. Instead of vomiting only at night, he opted to not eat anything. He would drink water only to spew right back out. After two days of this, my sister and I opted to have him put to sleep.
I think he knew it was time. Several days he would go out to the farthest point of the yard and lay down in the snow. He would look at us with worry in his eyes and wait by the front door. In the car ride he just laid down and watched out the window in serene peace. As he was being put down, he looked at me with fear in his eyes and I couldn’t help him. I wanted to push the vet aside and run out with the dog, but that would only add to his suffering. Instead, I watched as he fell asleep and died. I don’t think the memory of him lying on the bed in that room as I walked out will ever fade, but I hope to remember more of the good times we had. After all, this dog suffered a life worse than I could ever imagine and still greeted all with a wag of the tail and a furrowed brow, so in his memory I will try to press on with enthusiasm for life while trying to ignore the overwhelming evidence that life is inherently not fair for all.