Hi guys. I just wanted to stop by to say a big thank you for all your help and support but I also wanted give you an update. It's with great sadness that I tell you we lost our beautiful little Maddie last Monday.
We took her for a second opinion to another practice and, after examining her, said it was most likely one of 3 three things. First was something called 'mega-colon', which is usually associated with cats but dogs can also come down with this. The muscles in the colon become weak and flacid and are unable to evacuate any stools effectively. Prognosis - no treatment.
Secondly she thought it may be colitis and could possibly be treated with steroids but even then there is a only a small chance that it may work effectively. The fact that she was on a course of Cartrophen meant the vet would need to check which steroids she could use alongside this, if any. Prognosis - slim to none.
Third was that it could also be tumours of some sort. Given how much weight she had lost, the vet said there was a realistic chance she may not even make it through the surgery. Prognosis - none, effectively.
I mulled this over and spoke to the other half saying I really couldn't see her go another week as she was. She was finding it difficult to lay down, as though any pressure on her tummy was too much. She'd lower herself down and then drop over on to her side. Even that morning she seemed reluctant to get out of her bed and she just didn't look happy. She'd always been a happy looking dog.
As heart breaking as it was, we decided to go down and see our vet Sunday morning to ask them.to come out. Unfortunately no one was available and, as upsetting as this was, it gave us another 24 hours with her and in that time we made sure she knew she was loved very much, including that night having a small roast dinner.
Monday morning she had her regular breakfast and then we took her for a longer walk than she'd done of late. Once home she had a scrambled egg.
We spent time with her, laying next to her and stroking her. Everything was just so calm and there was no stress for her, but I'm sure she knew something was different about this day. She didn't even get up when the vet and nurse arrived which was just not like her. Instead, she went over on to the dining room rug. The vet asked if we wanted her to be sedated which, after asking what the options and their potential effects would be, opted for it, even though it would make her wince a bit.
We gave her one last treat for being such a good and brave little girl and then, within a few minutes, she started to become unsteady on her feet so we laid her down on her favourite blanket.
Once the vet was happy she was properly sedated they shaved her front leg and inserted a cannula. All the time we were talking to her and retelling her of all the advetures she had been on.
The vet administered the required dose of solution/injection and then she was gone.
I have no doubt in my mind that it was the right decision as I really couldn't see go another week as she was. As painful as it was, I was so glad to have been with her at the end. To ensure she went calmly and peacefully and with no stress. It was the very least I could. The last act of unconditional love I could show her.
There is a saying that goes 'Real loss is only experienced after we have lost something that we have dared to love more than we love ourselves ', and it is so true.
Our vets have a Goodbye room and we went down the next to say a final farewell to her, picking a small posey of violets, primroses and a small sprig of May blossom to lay with her. Seeing her at rest was a great help.
We arranged for her to be cremated the next day and met the young man who was going to do it. We asked him to be gentle with her and he assured us he would. We then brought her home Thursday evening and she is in a small bronze urn on the side table next to where I sit.
I still say good morning and good night to her and kiss her on the head ( albeit the lid of the urn). I even still do the last walk at night and like to imagine she is with me but in truth, I hope she has gone to the light and is properly at rest.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, assuming you stuck with it all the way through.