I've spoken of my friend Sue often here in my posts. Isabella was her dog, a Dachschund. Beautiful long haired standard with the most unique Mahogany coat with black dusting's on her feathering.
Bella was rushed into the Emergency Clinic last Sunday night because of paralysis in her back legs. It was determined that she had a herniated disk and had emergency surgery in the middle of the night. During the week she developed an infection in a kidney which the Surgeon administered antibiotics for. As each day passed we all waited for her to show signs of getting better…even just a little bit. We would take her out for short little walks with a sling under her backside as she was still paralyzed in the back end. Eventually, the surgeon decided it was time for her to go home. That was this Sunday. Sue took her home and spent the night curled up with Bella on the bed.
By yesterday morning she had gotten so depressed she wouldn't eat, drink or show any signs of sparkle of her normal self. Her spinal chord had deteriorated at the disk site and the worst news was delivered by my Dr boss yesterday. Her spinal chord was turning to "mush" in BOTH directions. By the time Sue got her to my hospital she had lost use of a front leg and had no pain sensation around the shoulder area. Dr Boss determinded that it had invaded her brain stem. He said that shortly it would affect her ability to breathe. There was no fixing this amazing and wonderful dog.
I could feel the huge lump forming in my throat, hear Sue start to sob and then my tears flowed. We deal with the death of pets a lot, it's the shitty part of the job. But we've all been there and understand the hurt. It's different when you have a personal relationship with them though. Not to mention watching a cherished friend fall apart at the same time.
Interestingly ~ I noticed something about Dr Boss while he was telling Sue that there was no saving her precious girl. He started to sound funny, his voice was cracking and he was taking big breaths while he was talking. Holding the edges of the table as if he needed to do that to stay "professional" and calm. Like he was holding himself up. Now, I've known this man for 20 years, been in many euthanasia procedures with him, I've NEVER seen him show this much emotion with a client. Ever.
As much as he can be a wound up, big mouthed pain in the ass…..he is deep down a mush. I've always known that about him because I pay attention. I understand him for the most part. I think part of it was looking at Bella on his table. Knowing what she had been through and seeing her in the condition she was in. And I know for a fact that he was furious with the Emergency Clinic and the Surgeon. Why? Because they sent Bella home with Sue on Sunday morning and wouldn't take her back when Sue called them later that day to tell them that Bella was failing. To us that is an unspeakable crime.
But it's over and done. I stayed with Bella and Sue while she took her last breath in Sue's arms. I stayed with Bella while Sue left the room and then the hosptial. I took care of her after care and will be there today when the Pet Cemetary comes to pick her up.
My heart is heavy and I just can't stop crying.