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Posts Tagged ‘loss’

On Dogs

A year ago on the 18th my nine-year-old pit bull, Wrinkles, passed away due to brain cancer. It moved quickly, two months before she had developed seizures. We took her to the vet who examined her, did blood work, took other samples and other than finding a benign tumor in the roof of her mouth pronounced her fit. It was one of the hottest Julys on record and he thought perhaps, despite the availability of water she had become dehydrated and this had led to the seizures. Greatly relieved we brought her home. Three weeks later the seizures began again and she was started on phenobarbitol.

Within a few weeks of this she started hanging her head when she walked and she developed a fear of going outside; thinking the phenobarbitol was to blame I weaned her off it but the symptoms got no better. After ten days she was back on the phenobarbitol as the seizures returned.

She rapidly went downhill from this point. She started walking into furniture and walls. She would get herself stuck in corners. I called our vet but they were on vacation for a week. I didn’t want anyone but our vet to see her so I waited out the week while Wrinkles grew steadily worse.

Finally, the week our vet returned I got an emergency visit. I took in Wrinkles only to discover that between her July visit and that one on September 18th she had gone totally blind. She was also nearly deaf. More tests were done and a large brain tumor was discovered that hadn’t been there just a few months previously. Wrinkles was dying, quickly, but painfully. After conferring with the vet it was decided that putting her to sleep was the best option. She went quickly and easily, as though she welcomed her release at last.

She had been my youngest son’s dog as well as mine. I had said my goodbyes at the vet’s office, but he would need the chance to say his goodbyes when he came home from work.

My brother came down and dug out half of the grave, between a peach tree and a tulip poplar. My brother had lost dogs himself and said that while having help was good, digging out the rest of the grave himself would be therapeutic for my son. It would give him a chance to work out his anger and cry while blaming it on sweat. When my son got home we left him alone to finish the grave and place Wrinkles in it. Then we all kept a moment of silence and my son filled in the grave and settled the rocks on it that serve as much to keep wildlife out, here in the mountains, as to serve as grave markers.

I sat in the house with my older children, and 17-year-old daughter and we did our crying. My son sat on the hillside above the grave till well after dark saying his goodbyes.

It is now nearly a year later and I can tell you while there are finally days I don’t think about her, there are never days when she isn’t missed. Goodbye Wrinkles. I love and miss you still.

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