I had this long post all prepared yesterday to talk about Julie and my weekend in Napa, but that is going to have to wait. Tonight at 11pm, we had to put Tomo to sleep. But let me start at the beginning. About a week and a half ago, while I was away with Eli at a cub scout overnight, Julie was at home with Isaac and the pets, and Tomo started barfing repeatedly all night long, and got really sick. We’d seen her do something like this once before several weeks prior, but she got over it, so we didn’t think anything of it. However, this time, Tomo was really weak and wasn’t getting any better. We took her in to the emergency vet, and after a fairly expensive test battery, they determined/surmised that she had a stomach torsion – which is when the belly flips over on itself inside the abdominal cavity, cutting off the ins and outs of the stomach, and evidently the only treatment is surgery or it can be fatal. We opted for the surgery, and Tomo has been recovering all week long. A few days ago, however, she started looking really bad, and we took her into the vet, who did another set of highly expensive tests that were ultimately inconclusive. We brought her home, and earlier today she slipped back into looking really bad, so Julie brought her into the emergency vet, and they took a look at her. They did a battery of tests, and all the while her condition rapidly worsened, including very labored breathing. As it turns out, she had fluid inside and around the lungs, and they determined the most likely cause was cancer, and this was probably related to / the cause of the bloating that led to the stomach torsion. The condition is terminal (I’m not up to doggie chemo), and her condition was really really bad, so we opted to say goodbye and let her go in dignity, with both her mommy and daddy with her, giving her love. She was in a lot of pain, so they had her doped up and sadly she wasn’t all that present, but perhaps that’s also for the best.
I’m still a little numb around it all, and feeling the loss deep inside but I’m not letting it overwhelm me just yet. We spent almost a dozen years with that puppy, and it’s a lot to grapple with in saying goodbye. Memories, regrets, happy times and hard ones – she was a joy and a pain in the butt, so very smart and so very dumb at the same time, but always loving. Right now I just miss the way she’d follow me around the house and lay down near where I was at any given time, just to be near her alpha male. I’ll never hear her snore or watch her bark at dream doggies ever again. No more face licks and stinky breath. No more tug-of-wars, and tripping over her all the time. And now, when food hits the floor – I have to clean it up by hand.
My only wish is that these last few days weren’t so very hard on her, with shoving pills down her throat, watching her be in pain and lose control of her bladder, and really to have her fall apart in such a short and dramatic way. At least she didn’t suffer over too long a period.
Tomo, we’ll miss you.