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Rough couple of weeks

It's been an emotional roller coaster around here the past few weeks. If you follow me on twitter, then you already know this, but my dog Ernie who is about halfway past 18 years old now, quit eating and drinking after a tumble down some stairs. After many frantic trips to the vet, we discovered that his kidneys had failed. We had a couple of options. Aggressively treat it with a two day stay at the vets and an IV drip, or attempt to syringe feed him food and water and see if we couldn't get his kidneys going. If not... well, then we would have to let him go.

Look, logically, I know that all dogs die. But all dogs are not my Ernie. So I've honestly never really come to grips with the fact that someday I won't have my dog. When the vet told me that I may be facing the day that I had hoped would never come, I had a complete breakdown. I decided to give him the weekend with me syringe feeding him. Ernie HATES the vet, and I couldn't imagine leaving him at a strange place for an entire weekend.

By Sunday, Ernie was falling down when he tried to walk, couldn't really seem to move well at all on his own, and had no interest in food or water. I was like a zombie. Wasn't sleeping, when I did fall asleep I would wake up at the foot of the bed curled up with my dog and no memory of moving down there. After many tears I decided that we would probably have to put him down on Monday.

Decision made, I was holding Ern on my lap and picked up a vanilla Luna bar. Ernie perked up and looked at it. I offered him a bite and he started licking the icing. Then we started offering Ernie every bit of food in the house. He ended up eating a few strips of vegetarian bacon. The next morning when we got up, he started drinking water.

A couple weeks in and Ernie is drinking on his own, playing with his toys, though not really eating very much. (Though we've attributed that to a sore mouth and two loose teeth. No idea what to do about that, since I don't want to put him under to have them pulled)

Right now I'm supplementing by syringe feeding him soft food, though he'll eat some things on his own. Drinking is no problem, and this morning he chased a squirrel up a tree.

This whole situation has forced me to accept the fact that my dog is in fact, mortal, and someday I won't have him by my side. I'm just so, so, glad that today is not that day.

So that is the reason for my absence from this blog for a bit. Hopefully there are stress free weeks ahead with my little Ern, and I can get back to posting about the mountain of knitting that I am behind on! (Though as many of them are for books and projects due I can't post TOO many details)!

2 Responses to “Rough couple of weeks”

  1. Beautifully written post. It is the hard part about owning pets: realizing that they're mortal. When my first dog (who was ancient, with hip problems) had to be put to sleep -- I was a brave little mess. I think I was five. He was the only dog I'd ever known. I cried. A lot.

    It is, I guess, the price we pay for the awesomeness of having them in our lives.

    I am glad that you get to keep Ernie for a while longer, because he is one awesome dog. (And so cute!)

  2. Stick with him, Ernie will go when he's ready to go. My dog of 18 years died in my arms, it was both sad but beautiful, I literally saw him take his last breath, I was so glad that I was there to comfort him and hold him tight, he knew it too. Don't give up just yet and enjoy him even more now. There will be a hole for a while, but your memories will never die. Xx

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