I remember when my family dog had to be put down. My whole family went to be there for each other because he was not just a dog, he was our family. He was the first dog I had ever had and I knew he would be my parent's last. This story was shared on our Storyblend Facebook Group and it was relatable to so many people, even in the sense of Covid-19. Our Storyblender went through a lot with her dog who was diagnosed with Cushings Disease. Oddly enough, my dog also had the same so I knew first hand how hard the struggle was for our dear member. But unlike my family, our Storyblender had to take her dog to be put to rest alone because of the pandemic safety restrictions. Our lives are all impacted differently and the harder times are often made harder right now. But her heartfelt story about her dog brought tears to my eyes, and if you're a dog lover I know they will touch a place in your heart too.
"I don’t think I’ve fully had enough time to process the events of yesterday. I knew Monday we needed to prepare our goodbyes for Butters.
When I took him in for his yearly check up late February/early March, his blood work came back showing his cortisol was high. His exam also revealed he had a heart murmur and an enlarged liver. The vet diagnosed him with Cushings Disease, and said with medication he could still live a meaningful life for a few more years.
We were hopeful, even though it was expensive. His medication was sent to the specialty pharmacy and we had to do blood draws to check his cortisol levels to make sure the meds were working. It started with a blood draw at 10 days, then at 30 days, and again at 90 days. Poor Butters never made it to a 90 day blood draw, he maybe made it to 30 days twice. The meds worked for a little while but then his levels kept going up, to the point where his meds were at the highest dose for his size. My alarm was set for 7:30 am/pm to give him his meds.
The Cushings caused Butters to have many accidents in the house, I tried to let him out every 30-45 minutes so he wouldn’t have an accident. I made sure to read the signs of him needing to go out, even though he was house trained, he wasn’t the best about asking to go outside. He guzzled water and was anxious about being fed. He’s wake one of us up at 2,3,4,5 in the morning because he wanted to eat. (Most of the time My husband got up since I was usually exhausted from one of the kids getting up over night.) He lost lots of fur and it had stopped growing since the last time he went to the groomers, he had dark patches of dry skin which was related to the Cushings.
Monday, I looked at him and decided enough was enough. I was done putting him through the stress of blood draws and trying to sell the house probably hasn’t helped. I watched him tense up in his sleep, and knew it was time. I talked to my husband that night and we agreed that it was time. Butters has been clingy to us and wanting more cuddles. He’s been sleeping by me more, which he never did. He used to sleep between us or right next to My husband. Butters slept for about 85% of the day, and either peed, ate or drank the rest of the time.
Yesterday morning I called the vet, canceled his blood draw scheduled for 10:30 am and made the appointment. No sense in prolonging the inevitable. My son and I took him to Starbucks for a pupachino, he napped by my feet with my daughter and me. He ate a hot dog for lunch, sunned himself on the deck, and we cuddled on the bean bag before our journey to the vet.
I sobbed in the parking lot as I called to let them know I was there. Due to COVID only one person is allowed to be in the room. I told me husband I wanted to do it. Selfishly, I wanted to say good bye to Butters and be the last one with him. He was after all super attached to me. We went into the room and I was already sobbing. I waited for the vet to come in and she gave him the sedative. Butters laid in my arms and for the first time in a long while he was relaxed. He snored like the old man he was. They came in and asked if I was ready, I said yes. The procedure was quick, I stayed with him awhile after. I gave him kisses, told him he was a good boy, and I loved him. I asked that his bow tie be cremated with him. Butters was known to wear his fancy bow ties. When I was finally ready to leave, I gave him a kiss good bye.
Grief is a struggle. I know I will remember the good, but it will be hard when he isn’t waking us up for breakfast, barking at the people on the sidewalk, or greeting us at the door.
Butters was more than just pet. We’ve lost a part of our family, he was there for me in sad times. His cuddles were the best. He motivated me to go for walks, and he made us laugh. We will miss you Butters."