Monday, December 22, 2008

Goodbye, My Friend

With good news comes bad news... with joy comes sadness: I finally put our oldest dog, Simba, to sleep this past weekend. He had been in poor health for several months. It all started when we couldn't pull him away from the water bowl. He had an insatiable thirst that resulted in him needing to go outside to urinate every half hour or so. Keeping up with his needs was exhausting. The vet ran tests, but ruled out all the obvious problems. Soon Simba stopped eating his dry food, so we fed him wet food. Despite feeding him any time we could get him to eat, his body couldn't process the food, so he was growing very skinny.

I almost put him to sleep in November when Simba collapsed onto the water bowl and could not get back up, but then after a night of sleep he was back to his usual self. He started eating a different brand of dry dog food and went back to drinking and peeing a normal amount, so we thought he might be fighting off whatever was killing him. He had a few good weeks and then started staggering around, not drinking water, and he appeared to be having seizures. He paced the house endlessly and got stuck in the loops like an Alzheimer's patient wandering that halls of a nursing home. We had to coerce him into lying down so that we could get some sleep ourselves.

He appeared so have suffered a stroke and everything just kept going downhill. We felt it was time to euthanize him when he started walking into objects and continued walking as if he was totally unaware that something was blocking his path. I had to pick him up off the floor of the vet hospital waiting area to get him into the examining room. The vet tried walking him out of the examining room with an abdominal sling, but Simba just collapsed face first into the floor. It was as if he knew it was time to give up and he made up his mind that he didn't need to walk anymore. At that point I felt totally confident that I made the right choice.

That night I saw his spirit trail in the sky flying over the house of the neighbor who brought him to us when he was a puppy...

Goodbye, my friend.

20 comments:

GS Performance Horses said...

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your canine family member! It is great that he said goodbye in style =)

Jenn said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Euthanasia is a tough, but kind, choice to make. You made his last moments painless and dignified, and that is the best gift we can give the animals who give so much of themselves to us during their lives.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to make that decision for my old guy sooner rather than later. He's just not doing as well as he should be. Old age sucks.

Train Wreck said...

Oh bless you Simba, May your days be filled with running with no more pain.
I am so sorry for your loss.Dogs are such great family members. They bring such love and joy to our lives.My thoughts are with you during this hard time.((hugs)) my sad friend.

Grey Horse Matters said...

So sorry to hear about your dog Simba. He sounds like a wonderful companion. It's sad to have to put any animal down, but it seems it was his time and you made the right decision. Great picture of his spirit leaving for carefree days ahead romping like a little pup again.

fernvalley01 said...

So sorry for your loss. And bless Simba for giving you such a beautiful goodbye.They do take a piece of our hearts, but leave us forever changed for the better.

Vaquerogirl said...

Zoom! It looks like Simba had an important place to be- he had taught you all he could and it was time for his spirit to rest.
Sorry for your loss:(

Andrea said...

Oh poor Simba, he sure was a handsome fellow. He reminds me of my dear sweet Bear. I love his face. So sweet. I am so sorry for your loss, but I am sure he is now running free and having a wonderful time. You made a tuff but right choice.

Mrs Mom said...

Thinking of you all in this time. Thank you for being good owners, and not leaving him somewhere or ignoring his needs.

Saying a prayer for all of you, from our little corner of the Southland.

Merry Christmas NM.

Latigo Liz said...

So sorry for your loss.

Reddunappy said...

Sorry for the loss of Sima, its a hard thing to do.

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

So sorry about Simba, it's so hard to loose the ones we love:-( He looked like a very sweet boy. Hugs.

Rising Rainbow said...

Sorry to hear about your dog. I hate watching an animal I care for going downhill. It must have been tough on you.

Leah Fry said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. No need to say you did the right thing, because you know you did.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words.

sue said...

now that I am done sobbing!!! just wanted to ad my words of sorrow to your blog... losing a dog is one of the hardest things in my life!!! and yet it is the true test of love... knowing when to let them go... I loved the picture of the "spirit trail"... that just topped it all off... my sincere best wishes...

Shirley said...

So sorry to hear that you had to lose Simba, especially at this time of year.

coymackerel said...

Aw, he looks like such a sweetheart. I'm sorry you lost him.

K T Sparks said...

I am sorry for your loss of your darling Simba. He looked to be a very loyal and wonderful friend and valued family member. I went through the same with my 2 dogs this past year. It hurts horribly and I am sorry. i

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm so sorry, NM. Simba was lucky to live with you and your family. You didn't fail him, not even at the end.
Beautiful spirit trail photo, too.

~Lisa
NM

AnnL said...

Oh, I'm just reading this now. I'm so sorry. It's the hardest decision we ever have to make, but as animal caretakers, it's one of the most important. It is a blessing, in the end, to help them pass on without pain. Hugs to you and your family.