Monday, November 10, 2014

Bye Buddy

Last month, on October 13th, 2014, we had to put down our biggest baby, our 100 lb. chocolate lab, Jonas. The month before, he had unexpectedly been sick as I was heading to work with the kids and I had to leave him as he was heaving, almost gagging, and wouldn't let me get near him (he wandered off into the back woods in our yard). I called David in tears and asked him to check on him, but I was fairly certain that whatever was happening wasn't good and it was possible that he was dying. David wasn't able to get home until later that morning and he found him barely able to move, but alive. He picked all 100 lbs of him up, loaded him in the back of the Xterra, and drove him to the doggy ER. There we learned that his stomach had flipped. He's a big dog, but this was not something that had ever been mentioned to us before (I had heard of it happening with Great Danes and other large breeds, but it wasn't on our radar for our own dog). I was at work, the kids at daycare and preschool, and David was at the vet. We went through the whole emotional roller coaster of debating between an expensive surgery and putting our dog down. We had made the decision to put him down, but then at the last minute, decided to do the surgery which would put his stomach back in place and tack it down so that it couldn't flip again. He made it through surgery with flying colors and was home a couple of days later.

As soon as he came home, we ended up running him back in to the ER as he started to physically blow up again (he was extremely bloated and not moving anything through his digestive system and thus, filling up with gas). They sent him home with some motility drugs in him and told us to give him some Gas X. He slowly recovered, enjoying an extended stay in the house and things appeared to be back to normal. However, just under a month later, we noticed that he didn't have much of an appetite and was getting lethargic. David took him back to the ER and they concluded that he must have an internal bleed somewhere and that there wasn't much they could do (they could have done transfusions for a few days and then try to open him back up to find the bleed, but it didn't sound like a good option). I ended up leaving work to meet him at the ER where we got to say good bye to our buddy of 8 and a half years.

The kids took it pretty hard (and we did, too - more so than we would have imagined!). Mia didn't sleep well for a week or so and Fynn still doesn't completely understand where Jonas went. We made a pet gravestone for him, which I think the kids enjoyed doing with me, and we have it back in the wooded area of our yard so we can 'visit' him.

It's still hard to believe that he's not hanging out in the backyard or isn't going to be there to greet me when I pull into the garage every night. He's not there to bark at the random people that walk by the house or howl at the train or emergency vehicles that go by. Or, you know, his random adventures in which he would get lost at the farm and disappear for days (weeks) at a time. He is greatly missed. Bye buddy.


Laura said...

It's so hard to lose a pet! Much more difficult than you would ever think. Jonas was such a great dog and will be missed by all of us. He was lucky to have such a great life with you guys!

Melissa said...

Jonas was one lucky dog! I can't imagine how missed he is by everyone. Pets are definitely part of the family. Love and miss you all!

Mandy said...

Thanks guys!