This has been a horrible winter for me so far. Many things have gone bad for me this winter, making this the most depressed winter I've had in memory.
The absolutely worst part of the winter to date has been realizing my oldest dog, Hyde, a 13.5 year old, 95 lb. pitbull, was rapidly approaching his mortality. He has been living with me since he was an ten week puppy.
He was my son's dog, but he was way too old to take on the trip to Florida so he became my dog. I've been separated from him a total of 6 days of his life. These were for two hospital stays and 3 days last month for my son's wedding in Florida. I love Hyde as much as I love my son!
He was always a social dog. When he was 2, our neighbors got a dog, Casey, about the same age. They played together all the time until the neighbors had enough of Casey's constant running loose.
Hyde was loved by all whom knew him.
In early summer 2014, my 20 year old cat obviously sick. The cat was diagnosed with cancer and needed to be put to sleep. It was clearly time, no question. Despite the fact that the cat NEVER like him, Hyde got very depressed. My son and I worked different hours so He was only home alone for 2-4 hours per day, but that was too much alone time for such a social individual. I decided to had to get another dog to keep him company. I brought a rescue dog home. We named her Jackie.
From the moment they met, Hyde and Jackie were great friends. They did almost everything together. Until, that is, Hyde got too old to play. She still wanted him to play, but he became less capable as time went on. He still wanted to and tried to play with her, but it was more posturing than playing.
He had an x-ray of his hips in Dec 2017 because he had fallen while pooping. The x-rays revealed Hyde's hips to be worn out. But, Hyde continued to be himself and it was easy to forget he had physical problems, except when he had occasional need for help getting up on a couch of bed. I had taken the legs off of my 2 couches to make it easier for him to climb up himself. I also put a small foot locker at the foot of my bed so he can climb up there easier.
Lately he had had difficulty walking. He is losing control of his right foreleg in the respect that it kept sliding away from him while he ate or drank. He couldn't just pull it to where he wants it, he needed to move it to his rear before he could move it back forward where it belonged. His balance had been unsteady more often as his back legs were often too close together. He had been back to needing help getting onto furniture more often. Often when he climbed back down, his back legs hit each other and it made him fall.
He often moaned softly even when he was lying still.
I loved this old man dearly and I had been horribly emotional since I realized he was so close to the end. He still had had a good appetite so I didn't even want to think of ending his life, but I was afraid I was being selfish.
Hyde always got panicked when he went into the examining room, so I had talked to my vet about coming to my home to help Hyde to a better place. They no longer did that due to being down to a single doctor in the clinic because of a retirement and a maternity leave. They suggested "Pet Loss at Home".
I looked at PetLossAtHome.com. The website has caring vets in almost any area that will do a home visit. The site contains a lot of useful information like how to determine if an old pet is suffering. I became convinced my stoic friend was suffering, most likely from many sources of arithritis. It was time to end his suffering, but I was not yet ready to let go.
I spent a lot of time crying.
On January 26, Hyde's last day before he got his wings, I had a party for Hyde. All his human friends and a girlfriend, Kiki, came to say goodbye with his dad, sister, and granddadad.
Sarah arrived 1st with Kiki. Hyde acted 5 years younger. I was so caught up in how happy he was that for a few moments, I forgot to take pictures, so I missed capturing him posturing for her.
They played together for at least 10 minutes before he had to calm down a bit. That didn't stop him from being social though. He had to make the rounds with his human friends.
Later in the day, Cari and John arrived with their baby. Hyde has always loved babies. Our neighbors, Rick and Dawn arrived minutes after. Dawn hadn't yet recovered from their toy poodle, Jack, passing the day before Thanksgiving. Me and my dogs used to go visiting them and Jack frequently.
As the day neared the end, all the excitement and activity got to him and he had to take a break to rest for a while.
He even "saw" his stepmom on a video call.
It was a good day for him.
All the visitors left about a half hour before Dr. Monica arrived to relieve my old friend of his pains.
He got a shot to relax him. We got him up on a couch (with a pad under him) and he laid his head in his dad's lap.
When he was real calm, the doctor did what I could never do myself. I sat with him and his dad while he left us. We shed what I'd hoped, in vain, would be our last tears for the friend that had been such an important part of our lives for nearly 14 year.
We put him on a stretcher, all tucked in, for his final journey.
Now, with two weeks gone bye, I am able to finish this memorial to the dearest friend I've ever had. I hope these will be the last tears I have for him, I'm having trouble finding a dry spot on my pillow.
Goodbye, Big Guy, the little girl and I really miss you!
Thank you OverGrow for giving me a place to do this!