Friday, August 01, 2008

Her Last Ride


Tuffy arrives at the vet's for the last time.


It's over.

Contrary to last night's wishful thinking, Tuffy was doing very badly by the time we came home from work tonight. So we took her to the emergency vet on site where the oncologist works.

We knew what the outcome was likely to be. We weren't wrong.


Tuffy investigates a smell before her last ride.

She was struggling to breathe, and it wasn't going to get better. Prednisone might have bought her a few days, but the emergency vet didn't think it was likely. Looking at her disease-damaged body - ears with half the hair gone, the swollen neck, the flaky skin and a new symptom in a drooping mouth - was almost as painful as listening to her puffing and wheezing. We could not put her through another hour of it, let alone an entire weekend.


Another dog collar retired, with honors.

In the end, she had to wait another hour anyway, not counting the 25-minute drive over there. First there was an examination, and some attempt to force some air into her lungs, which we didn't see (or authorize, but that's okay). Then there was the inevitable discussion, in which we quickly made it clear that we weren't going to prolong her suffering, with no real prospect of her getting any better. The tumor that was on one side three weeks ago was surrounding her esophagus and trachea. No wonder she couldn't eat. She had an IV put in, which took forever because a dog named Diesel was brought in in critical condition, and Tuffy had to wait. Then she was brought back into the room for a chance to say goodbye, which also took forever for the same reason. I hope Diesel made it.

The actual end took only a moment. She stopped breathing immediately, and the heart stopped too. It was easier than Noodle, who took awhile to die.

No more suffering, no more worrying over options and possibilities, no more second-guessing ourselves. We absolutely did the right thing. But as John said, "Knowing it's the right thing doesn't make it easy."

We intend to adopt another dog tomorrow. I don't know when the ashes will reach us.


Tuffy in July, 2007

Karen

17 comments:

TJ said...

Ohhh! That is tuff duty. I have only experienced this once but once was enough to know that moment and remember it well.
I HATE goodbyes.
Sending a hug your way.
Love TJ

DesLily said...

very sorry about Tuffy Karen.. I know it's not easy, even when you know it's coming. Hugs to you.

Florinda said...

I'm so sorry about Tuffy...even though you saw it coming, that doesn't help. We'll miss her around here.

Paul said...

I'm very sorry, Karen.

Shelly said...

Aw, sorry to hear that.

Carly said...

Hi Karen

:( I am so sorry. {{weep}} Do your best to remember the silly, happy dog times. The times she made you smile. She will always be only a smile away.

-Carly

barrettmanor said...

I sent you a possibly incoherent email in the night (sinus meds. I apologize), but I do want you to know that we're thinking about you guys. Wherever she is, there is an endless supply of cheese.

Mike said...

Sorry to hear about Tuffy. I know it is hard no matter if you knew it was coming of not.

Astaryth said...

So sorry about Tuffy... even knowing that it's the best thing never makes it any easier.....

applebonkers said...

Thank you so much for sharing Tuffy with us over the years. She was a class act of a dog, and she was lucky to be in your caring family.

Becky said...

*hugs* I'm glad you were such a doggy blogger and I got to know Tuffy over the years.

Sandcastle Momma said...

I'm so sorry about Tuffy. It's so hard to lose a true friend. John's words were wise but it's still hard. Our thoughts and prayers are with you tonight.

Kiva said...

I never know what to say when this happens. Making that decision is the worst part of being a pet owner. You know it's for the best, but on the other hand, you're always thinking "what if." You did the right thing. She couldn't suffer any more. I'll miss her not being constantly in your blog, but I bet you'll mention her off and on. Every time you do, I'll wipe a tear from my eye and say, yep, that was our Tuffy. What a great dog.

bea said...

Well, Karen... you know how I feel about Tuffy. We experienced those same thoughts and feelings in June with our Misty. I thought I had laid her to rest in my mind, although she has yet to visit me. Max has already appeared in a dream, but not Misty. I was thinking "if only I knew she'd been having seizures this past year, maybe I could have had her under treatment.." "If only I had taken her for walks on her leash rather than letting her run around the woods, then I would have seen them happen..." This entry makes me sad for your loss.. but I know New Dog will help. We have not been looking for dogs... and our house is very quiet. I miss them the most at night. I am sorry for yours and John's loss, and feel relief that your baby is no longer in pain. Perhaps she'll meet Max and Misty soon! bea

Jama said...

So sorry to hear of your loss, Karen. At least there's no more suffering for him.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about Tuffy, at least she isn't suffering, not that that helps with you missing her. I hope you enjoy your new dog.
Barbara (Beckerb6@aol.com)

Steven said...

Thank you for sharing Tuffy, I'm glad to have known her. She was a great dog right through to the end. So sorry to know she's gone.