I can’t believe that today, 1 month since Mya died, I am sitting down to tell you why Khia died. Why I am now the mother of 1 dog instead of 2, and after just being the mother of 3 a short while ago.
Yes, I know I’m still their mother but my children are gone. They are not in a better place because when you’re with the ones you love, there is no better place.
I got the call at 5:08 pm Friday. Dr.C: “The ultrasound report came back. It’s not good.” Khia had a tumor in her spleen and effectively her spleen WAS the tumor.
We were given 3 options:
1) Take her home with pain pills and wait for the inevitable bleed out.
2) Attempt surgery for a splenectomy where she possibly wouldn’t even make it because the amount of blood being removed with her spleen would have been so massive. Dr. C: “The splenectomy would be purely palliative, not curative. If she even makes it through the surgery, the cancer will come back and I can’t guarantee how long she would have.” Not to mention the pain of recovery.
I quickly relayed all of the information to Greg’s daughter, the vet tech, who relayed it to her 2 doctors who were Khia’s vets as a pup. Unanimously, they informed us that they would go with option 3 – the pain and suffering Khia was going through, and would continue to go through, was beyond conprehension.
Greg’s daughter was the one to get Khia as a 6 week old puppy. She has an emotional attachment to Khia just like us. She said she’s never seen a good outcome when it comes to the spleen.
So not only did we have 4 medical opinions (Dr. C, Dr. L, and Khia’s 2 old vets), we also had 1 medical/emotional opinion (Greg’s daughter). I trusted her opinion above all others.
So off we went to play God. A role far too powerful my liking.
We got there and were brought into the back where we sat with her in a large kennel because she couldn’t walk. When we walked in she was in an irregular sitting position – legs kind of splayed. Semi-zoned out. No tail wagging. None of her normal elation at seeing us. She probably thought we were there to bring her home.
Dr. C came in and went over everything again and left us for awhile to talk things over. There was no talking. I told Greg he had to make this decision. I absolutely could not do it – whether it was the obvious decision or not. We just held her, cried and told her how great of a dog she was. The whole time, she wouldn’t give me a single kiss. I was devastated. My dog was going to die and I was never going to get a last kiss. Greg got a kiss, why not me?
Around 6:20, they came in and gave her shot #1 – the sedative. It took 25 minutes to start working. 25 of the longest minutes of my life. With Mya, she was in full seizure and the sedative was almost enough to stop her heart. Not Khia. Not my strong girl. No. She fought every second of it. Finally, I got my kiss, her breathing regulated and that loud, ridiculous snore that I will miss so much took over.
Dr. C came in and I laid my head on her side, Greg held her head in his hands, and that ugly, pink death cocktail was administered. It was so much worse than with Mya. The very second that final injection hit Mya’s bloodstream, she was gone – no distress. Khia breathed much longer than I expected (45 seconds to a minute) and I felt her breathing became rapid and somewhat distressed for a second before she took one last inhale and my head didn’t fall/raise with her side again. 6:54 pm and my baby was gone.
Just like that, I killed my dog. I killed Noodle’s best friend and protector. How the HELL was I supposed to face him? To walk through the door without Khia and continue to live life.
At 7:20, we pulled into the driveway and there he was staring out the window, clearly waiting to see Khia come out of the car. Once he left the window, we stood outside getting our last heavy sobs out before facing him. I have never seen a dog feed off of sadness and emotions as much as Noodle. So, on went the fake “everything-is-okay” face and we opened the door. He ran to the gate and looked for her.
A day and a half later, he is still running to the gate every time he goes outside. He has chewed himself until he bleeds. He sleeps…a lot. He is my shadow.
We took him to Petsmart yesterday and I think he thought that maybe we were going to get her when we got in the car. The whole time we were out I could imagine him thinking that he couldn’t wait to tell her all about his adventure. When we got home, you could tell he had been thinking that because he ran forward a few steps, backward, forward, and backward again before looking at us like, “Mom? Dad?”
During the evening, Noodle went out to “guard the yard” because he heard the neighbors up at the drug house. Greg and I were on the back porch talking and all of a sudden a firework went off in the sky right above our heads and scared the crap out of us. The poor dog’s day wasn’t already bad enough, right? I jumped up ready for my boy to come running. Noodle flew onto the porch, tail between his legs, and right in through the door that I was holding open for him. I followed him in and tried to “celebrate” and not feed the fear. No, he was having none of that. He jumped in my arms, crying, and holding on for dear life. Finally, after 2 more fireworks, all of us sat down, within the safety of the house, on the floor behind the screen door. I held him in my lap as we “oohed” and “aahed” over the fireworks. He stopped shaking. When they were done, I put him down and he “hid” by the front door because I guess in his mind, the other side of the house didn’t have that noise.
At that point, I decided he needed to be sedated. The day was just too much for him and this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We have Nutri-Vet Pet Ease calming treats – milkbone-looking treats that have a natural calming blend inlcluding chamomile and tryptophan in them. You give them 1 for every 10 lbs (not to exceed 6 per day). I gave him his 2 and within minutes he was sound alseep.
I didn’t cry hardly at all yesterday because I can’t cry in front of him and as I said, he is my shadow. That is until we went to bed. The lights went out and there was way too much room in the bed. I had too much comforter and yet I was freezing without my big dog. The silence was deafening without her snoring. Then it started. The sobs. The tears that couldn’t stop. The feeling of my heart ripping over and over and over again. It didn’t matter that Noodle was laying on my back or that I knew I woke Greg even though he didn’t say a word. I couldn’t put on a strong face for either of them.
I am a mom of 1 dog – 1 tiny, devastated dog.
I have always been a firm believer in karma. After this, I no longer believe in it. If karma were real, Khia would still be here because she didn’t ever do anything to deserve the end she got and we surely didn’t do anything to deserve losing her. Bad things just happen to everyone and if you’re lucky, you experience good in between.
I also questioned God for the first time in my entire life. Although I am not a very religious person, I do believe in God and always tell people He has a reason for everything. I initially blamed the fact that I haven’t been observing any of the Jewish religion as of late – I haven’t observed the High Holy Days and I haven’t been to temple in who knows how long. So this was God’s payback. Then my dad told me that God doesn’t retaliate and He is not confined to the walls of a temple. He is everywhere and He didn’t abandon me. When my dad said that, I decided on believing that God was busy when this happened – busy saving a human baby. I have to keep telling myself that “story”.
So. That’s it.
Thank you for being there for us. Your comments and emails have made all the difference in the world. As much as I would like to, I simply cannot respond to them individually though. Not this time. Please know that they have all been read, re-read, and re-read again. I truly find comfort in them.
Noodle’s blog will continue. I hope he will return to his happy self and we can fill the posts with things to smile about. Regardless, you will all be kept in the loop because we know that you truly care.