Thursday, February 16, 2012


Thursday night the 2nd, I took several pics of G'kar, knowing it was the last night we would have with him.

Poor old man tried to turn around and couldn't stay standing.  I remember him as a young pup, so full of life with laughing eyes.  So much has passed since then.  The twelve years we lived in North Carolina, he grew up a southern husky.  We used to call him 'Iron Gut' to honor the day he stole a whole pan of brownies off the counter and ate them all with no noticeable side effects besides a slightly softer stool than normal.  G'kar loved bread, and we always had to hide it in the fridge or inside cupboards, because if we left it out, he would eat it, even a whole loaf still unopened in the wrapper.  Still, he was a very healthy and fit dog, agile as a cat, and could jump like nobody's business.  To his credit, though he could jump the 6' fence, he never did.  He much rather stay by us at our home, and accompany me on many walks rather than take excursions on his own.  But no fence or barrier would ever come between him and me. 

He jumped boxes, tore up crates, soared over baby gates, tore down wood doors to be at my side.  He was my shadow in more ways than one.  He was always at my side even though he was supposed to be my husband's dog.  He slept by my bed, followed me anytime I left the room, and pined for me while I was away at work.  When I would come home he would greet me at the door with "herrrrooow!"  If he could talk, he would have, and tried to on many occasions.  He was my buddy through thick and thin, and I miss him terribly.

Jim went out and bought him a 12oz sirloin, and I heated it in the toaster oven to 180 degrees, chopped it in to bite size pieces and fed him.  He happily gobbled down the gormet offering, and let me hug him and pet him for a while.  When I let him go, he resumed his awful pain-filled pacing, his eyes glazing over again.  We gave him a full dog-aspirin, and got him to lay down after it began to take effect.  He fell immediately asleep.

At 10am I carried a distressed G'kar out to the truck.  A cranky and fussy old man to the last, not happy with the undignified means of transport, but he was in so much pain all he could do was fuss.  When I got in beside him, he did not want to sit still, but as he tried to move around in the back of our expedition, he was unable to keep to his feet.  Each time he lost control of his back legs, he screamed in agony, and I couldn't help the tears.  It tore at my very soul to feel his agony.  I managed to get him to kind of stay on the seat beside me so I could hold up his back end and relieve some of his pain.  But the corners were unkind to him, and each time he lost his footing he would scream, not a howl or yip, but a true scream.  If there was any way I could have spared him the agony kindly, I would have.  I longed for the vet we had in NC who would have come to the house, but we have no such luxury here.  Our vet here has been wonderful, don't get me wrong, and they have been very good with our pack, but they are daytime only and too many clients for housecalls.  At least they were able to fit us in with their busy schedule, and for that I was grateful.

The girls at the office were kind and sympathetic, they've known G'kar for the three years we have been here and they remarked how much he changed over the last six months since they'd seen him.  It was apparent he didn't recognize any of them, or even where he was.  The journey had taken the last out of him.  We said our goodbyes, and I lifted him on to the waiting blanket.  I stroked his head as I cried and let him know I loved him as he quickly and peacefully succumbed to the euthanizing drug.  Just as we had the responsibility to care for him in his life, we had the responsibility to ensure a peaceful ending to his suffering. 

I do believe that animals have souls, and maybe it was my imagination, or maybe it was real, but on my way home, I felt a cold touch on the side of my face.  The touch of an ethereal husky tongue, and a warm feeling came over me as if his spirit came to me and thanked me for letting him go.  At that moment, I was at peace, and began to remember the good times.  He was a wonderful dog, companion, shadow, fuzzy kid, and I had no regrets except that his life was shorter than mine.

As if the stress I was feeling was contagious, during the night at about 1:30am Sunday night/Monday morning, Bandit had his first seizure in 7 months. It was a full grand mal. It was mild, considering the GM's he had in July, with only minor head shaking progressing in to stiff arching, paddling, and teeth chomping for less than 30 seconds. Ictal was a short 2 minutes. Ice cream administered and rescue remedy after I found it. We immediately gave him an extra 60mg Pheno pill and watched him carefully. At least this ...answered the question regarding the cause of his seizures. Though the jerky treats may have been reponsible for the onset of the seizures, it is now obvious they are not responsible for his continued condition. This also answers the question of whether or not exercise has been a trigger. I had been sick the past week so had not taken them out running.

Bandit may have had another seizure Tuesday morning, but unfortunately he was outside and I found him near a wet spot that looked like it might have been his saliva.  Other than that, there were no signs and I could not be sure he actually had one, but with his medication level back up, he hasn't had a problem since.  Though we may never get all of the old Bandit back, I am thankful we have a small bit of him back.  He has become more loving and less of the drunk and disorderly overgrown 4 month old puppy.  He and the new puppy Ghost are becoming pals.

Sunday the 12th, I finally felt well enough to take the team back out for some much needed exercise.  Princess did not want to turn around when I asked Freya to come around.  This resulted in a bit of a battle of wills and a lot of untangling, but I finally managed to get her to realize that she wouldn't get any fish unless she went back to the house.  When she got it, we were hell bent for leather back towards the house. 

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