Well, a week ago today we had to put our eight year old Chow/lab mix down. He started off last Wednesday with a strange looking eye, but was acting fine. By Thursday morning he was pretty much out of it (throwing up blood, dizzy, panting in 30 degree weather). His eye was red where the white should be and there was blood coming from “somewhere” in his mouth.

Took him in at 8:00 am to have the vet look him over. He thought perhaps he’d had a seizure and bit his tongue. Yet, he couldn’t find where the blood was coming from. He told me to take him home and watch him close. First, he wanted to get some blood from him so he took him in the back. A few minutes later he brought me back into the room and had Judge lay on his side. You could see on the pink parts of his belly he was starting to bruise for no reason. The vet wanted to keep him there and run some tests so I left. I hadn’t thought it would be TO bad, I figured there was something easy they could do and I’d be bringing him home later that day.

The vet called me at home about an hour later. Said he did a quick check of his blood and found that his platelet count was down around 9,000. It should have been up into the 400,000 range. He had no reason to why or how. He wanted to do some more research and started him on an IV with steroids.

When Adam came home around 5:00 pm that night we went up to see him. We took a flannel blanket with us so he’d be able to smell us and hopefully wouldn’t be so scared if he had to stay the night. The vet tech took us back to the kennels and there he was laying on the floor with blood STILL drooling out of his mouth. He was pretty much unconscious and not responsive to anything. That has to be the worst site (next to watching my Mother slowly die from ALS) that I’d ever seen.

The vet suggested we give him until morning, but couldn’t assure us he’d even live through the night. After crying and holding him. We decided it would be best to not make him suffer anymore. The vet quickly agreed (which made us feel a little better knowing the vet knew he was in bad shape) and got the “stuff”. We were able to hold him (with more crying) until he was gone. My sister and nephew were able to be there with him and us also.

That has to be one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. He was like a kid to us, we’d had him and his sister (Brinlee, who’s now the center of attention) since he was six weeks old. We’d actually had contact with him since the day he was born. He came from Adam’s brothers yellow lab that lives next door.

The vet was speechless as are we. We have no clue what caused it. Perhaps he’d had something wrong with him for years that we were unaware of.

He was the most loving little thing in the world. He was around 100 pounds and was a total lap dog. He loved to sit between your legs when you were sitting on the floor. He was our “boy”.

I’m finally to the point where I don’t “totally” breakdown into tears when I think or talk about him. It’s been hard, but has gotten easier over time. This is the first animal either of us had every had to put to sleep, so it’s been a heartbreaking experience.

December 1999 – April 2007

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