September 12, 2012 § 2 Comments
I’m devastated by the loss of my sweet baby Otis. The events surrounding his death were unexpected. It was a typical Sunday. We played catch/fetch with the ball. He asked me for treats. He kept me on schedule. I worked out and was cleaning because we were having a friend over for dinner. Around 3 in the afternoon Jeremy came home after golfing with said friend. I was bitchy. We were arguing. Otis rang the bell to go out as he often did when we argued. Jeremy let him out.
Minutes later Jeremy called to me to come outside. Said it was Otis. I couldn’t have moved faster. I opened the door to bright red blood all over the patio and deck. Otis seemed fine. I looked him over and found no injuries. We hoped he’d caught a bunny or squirrel, but found no evidence of fur or guts. I brought Otis inside. He went to his rug in the living room. I heard him cough. He got up and came to me in the kitchen and coughed up bright red blood. A lot of it. We went outside and he continued to cough up a lot of blood all over the back yard while Jeremy searched for an emergency vet.
We immediately hauled him off to the nearest emergency vet. It was Sunday, so our regular vet was unavailable. As we waited to see the vet, Otis coughed up more blood, first in the waiting area and again in two different exam rooms. The vet did some tests and an X-ray. He rambled far too long about what Otis didn’t have, then said this was an emergent situation and we needed to get to a specialist. So, we headed an hour further north to the best in the Chicago area. The weather was horrible, the entire drive was through a downpour. Otis sat in the back seat, rested his head on the back head rest and looked out the window. He had a few coughing fits on the way.
At the specialist’s, they basically ran the same tests and more X-rays. The vet told us to prepare ourselves and that Otis would likely not make it through the night and if he did, he’d not make it to the end of the week. She didn’t exactly come out and say that though. I basically had to ask “are you telling us that Otis is going to die?” During this time Jeremy and I were waiting in an exam room while Otis was somewhere in the back. We cried and cried and cried. We wanted to take him home with us, but he would have likely choked to death on his own blood and we wouldn’t have been able to do anything to help him. Finally, we made the decision to let Otis go peacefully and humanely with us by his side to the end. We took him outside the facility for a little walk in the misty rain. We came back inside and cuddled and talked to him. He was normal. He was perfect Otis. They moved us to a private room. We cuddled and talked more. Me spooning my big dog. Otis pawing at Jeremy to keep rubbing him. He was himself. He didn’t cough up blood the entire time. I asked the vet again if she was sure? She shook her head yes. Otis gave her a kiss.
After hours of cuddling and loving him we gave the specialist the approval to administer his drugs. I wasn’t ready to let him go! He became drowsy from the sedative, then she began the lethal injection and there was no turning back. She listened for his heartbeat and said he’s gone. Oh my baby Otis! He looked peaceful, like he was asleep. I held him tight. He was heavy and solid. Such a big and beautiful beast. I wasn’t ready to let him go. He was only 9.
My body and chest ache only a little less today. I cry hard for him every day. I miss him dearly. My heart broken yet again this long, hot summer and my best friend is no longer here to guide me through the pain.