Friday, October 1, 2010

What a Rotten Day

Cole has been having a rough time for over a month or two now. He wakes up many times at night licking and scratching, and I get up to stop him. He does this anytime we're not around, or at night when I'm sleeping. He has lived in a cone for almost two years whenever we leave the house, and again, at night when we can't supervise him. This is all because of his severe allergies that have been an on-going problem for years now.

Last night was a particularly bad night, so when Mike came home this morning, I told him we needed to talk about Cole. We have done everything we can for him, and he still continues to be miserable. (For the past few months, we cannot hardly touch him or he will go into itching fits) We have put thousands of dollars to try and help him, and nothing seems to work. We have had this conversation several times now, and we knew we would eventually need to let him go. He's miserable, making us miserable, a huge financial strain, and low quality of life. This was just another conversation to recognize the direction we were headed. This conversation kept getting interrupted because of Cole's scratching. We look closer at him, and he is covered in hives. His scratching has caused bleeding all over his back and sides, and we knew we were just given a big shove in the direction we weren't ready for.

We took him to the vet this morning and discussed options. She was incredibly supportive of whatever we decided, and reassured us that we have gone above-and-beyond for our dog. She said in all her years of veterinary care, he is, by far the worst case of severe canine allergies she has ever seen. At Mike's question, she said we could try to find a lab rescue group to take him, but even if they were able to place him with a super-wealthy family, it still probably wouldn't solve his allergy issues. He'd still be miserable and we knew the rest: away from his family and lonely. We took him home so we could talk and spend some time with him.

The problem with Cole's allergies is that we can't just give him some benadryl or a steroid treatment anymore. He has become so sensitive to those medications, they cause such a severe reaction that is much worse than the allergies themselves! We almost lost him several months ago because of this. Which means there are NO more simple treatment options left!

After heartbreaking discussion, and many tears, we decided to have him euthanized. We explained to Natalie that Cole is too sick for us to take care of anymore. We found someone who will take him and make him better, but we have to give him to them. (She understands death, but we both agreed euthanasia is not a topic for a 4-year-old) We went around the house in tears, gathering up all of Cole's toys and favorite things and put them in a bag to send with him. We explained that it's okay to be sad and cry, we're sad too. She gave him hugs and kisses and I took a few last pictures of them together.

Mike wanted to say his goodbyes here at the house. So that's what they did. I took Cole back over to the vet's office. They took him back, put a needle cath in his forearm, and brought him back to the room. They placed a comforter on the floor, and I sat down on it and they placed him right next to me. After a few minutes, when the sedative was working, the vet came in and started. I laid down next to him and held him in my arms and told him over and over how much we love him and what a good boy he is. Around 2:40 he took his final breaths and died peacefully in my arms.

We have already cried so many tears for Cole, and I can't stand not hearing his nails clicking on the floors. We feel this is all so unfair. He was such a good dog and didn't deserve to have these health issues, he was only going to be 6 years old at the end of this month! I am so sad he won't get to know this baby and protect her like he always has for Natalie. I am sad Natalie won't get to grow up with him like we always assumed she would. He has been a part of our family since six weeks after Mike and I married. So many events included him, and so many of my tears were cried into his fur, miscarriage after miscarriage. He was so much more than a pet. I can't wrap my mind around how we're still moving forward with life, and yet he's not here with us. It hurts to think about it. I'm grateful for the years we had him, all the fun times and memories together, and always having him by our side. I'm comforted by knowing he is no longer miserable, and letting him go was the last loving thing we did for him.

You will always be missed, Bubby.

1 comment:

Erin and Roger Bell said...

I'm crying reading this. So sad. We'll always miss and remember Cole. I'll be praying for you all that God comfort you and your family as you grieve the loss of Cole. I think you already know that you made the best decision for your family and Cole, and he is no longer miserable. Thanks for sharing this story, it was worded beautifully. Love you guys. Praying for you all.