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.
April 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
I write really well in my head when I’m away from paper and pen or computer. I also write really well in my head when I’m tossing and turning. When I used to keep paper and pen by bed, I didn’t use it. It’s always when you don’t have it near you that you need it, never when organized and ready for it.
All of the things (along with crazy pregnancy hormones) that helped create my grumpy mood of yesterday are less an issue today. Worries that I gave my very expensive bridesmaids dress to some seamstress who may very well hack the thing apart leaving nothing left but a rag, worries that I won’t fit in said “altered” dress come May 12th, worried about my future, money, career or lack of career and worried that I’m never going to have fun in life again or that haven’t yet had fun in life. None of these worries are really that worrisome.
I gave Otis a big cuddle which always helps. He told me to chill. Reminded me that I freaked out when I brought him home the first time. He sat at the edge of the rug in our big apartment in Chicago and we stared at each other, like now what? He became a fun little hooligan to train. I was actually unemployed then too. It was 2003 and the pr firm I worked for was having another round of layoffs, this time I was cut. It became their norm after 9/11 to cut people annually. I think they continue to nearly do it quarterly over there to this day. They sucked anyway and wouldn’t let me grow. I need growth to be happy.
Back to Otis. He put me at ease, reminded me that I fell in love with him easily and that I’ll fall in love with the-baby-on-the-way just the same, maybe more. He made a few Rottweiler purring noises and groans and grunts to really get his point across. Then, French kissed me with his powerful lick that opens my mouth up (by accident) when he does it just right with his passionate intensity. Then, the mail came and he helped recycle the junk. It’s his latest cool trick. He’s very helpful.
Otis as a puppy.
These are scanned photos, so quality doesn’t look as great.