Monday, December 27, 2010

Sometimes life is just the worst.

On Friday I found a pinkish puddle on our kitchen tile. I decided it was due to the red in Max's dog food. A few hours later I found a dark red puddle, and I called the vet. We sat and watched while Max was examined, while he cried when they took his temperature, and while they gave us his first dose of antibiotics to administer at home. A few hours later Max threw up. Then he stopped eating and drinking. And then he continually tried to urinate, crouching down and flexing every muscle in his body, and never succeeding. We called Urgent Care. They said it was normal. All night he tossed and turned while we hald him in our bed. Christmas day he lay listless on the carpet. We drove 90 miles an hour from Centerville to Orem and rushed into Urgent care. They put him on an IV and more antibiotics. We called that night to check on him. They said his white blood cell count was really high, which meant an infection, and that he was on the right medicine to take care of it and he was going to be ok. We were so relieved. And after church yesterday we couldn't wait to go visit Max. We expected to see our puppy sitting up and eating and nipping at fingers. I brought his stuffed raccoon so he would have something to play with. When we arrived at the clinic the nurse told us to have a seat and the doctor would be right in to talk with us. Ten minutes later a frazzled woman asked exactly what had happened to our dog. She left the room, then returned in another ten minutes with our puppy. When we said his name he cracked an ete open, then closed it again out of exhaustion. Frazzled doctor then explained that Max was leaking fluid, that they couldn't get a cathater in, that he probably has a shunt, and that if something wasn't done immediately our puppy was going to die. So we rushed to Salt Lake, where a woman who has to be the greatest dog doctor in the entire world took really great care of Max. She gave him an ultra sound, she wrapped him in a blanket, and she brought him into the room where we waited to hear her diagnosis. And then it broke our hearts when she confirmed everything we had heard an hour before. That Max had three separate and serious issues. A shunt in the liver, a tear in the urethra and urinate stones in the bladder. Each needed to be taken care of with separate surgery. And when we asked her the likelihood of Max ever being a happy puppy again, she told us what I think we really needed to hear. That God made puppies to have happy little lives. And that puppies only know the present. And that all Max would know for a long time is pain. And that if it were her puppy, she would have a really hard time moving forward with surgery. When we asked her what the humane thing to do would be, she said it would probably be to say good bye. And so we sat in a room with our perfect puppy lying on my lap, and every once in a while he would wake from his nap and stare at me with his ears perked up and wonder why I was sobbing. But then he would quickly fall back asleep and Max was gone again. We knew we would probably never have the Max we loved so dearly back. And so we cried and cried and told him how much we love him and said our good byes and then Stephen held him as they administered the euthenazia and our little sweet puppy was gone.
And now we're back in our apartment with a basketfull of puppy toys and some towels with little bite marks and remnants of puppy kibble on the floor. It's a little too much to handle and we're not really sure what to do with ourselves. And everytime I close my eyes I see his little face and hear his tiny bark and remember him crawling into my lap for an afternoon nap.


  1. i am so sorry to hear that. i am a big animal lover and i love them as much as people sometimes and i think that it's even harder to say goodbye to pets because they live so much shorter than humans, and you know that when you get them but you get them anyway. anyway, this post breaks my heart. i'm glad that you got a little time with him though.

  2. Oh meg! I'm so sorry! I only met him briefly, but could tell he was a sweet puppy. I'm so sad for you and steven.

  3. That is so awful. I hope you guys are doing alright.

  4. Oh no Meg, that's terrible news. I think that even though your puppy had a short life it was the happiest life ever.

  5. Meg that is so sad! I'm so sorry, but also glad that I was able to meet him before he left. He really was the greatest puppy ever and he inspired me to get a dog of my own. He will be missed.

  6. Meg!!! I hate that you used your writing talent to compose such a sad story. That hurt to read, especially with the pic of Max and your devotion to him over your unborn children just a few mouse scrolls down my page.

    I've held my dog while it was euthanized. It was terrible. But, I like to think it made things just a little easier on him. Max was loved and cared for better than most humans on the planet. That means you did good by him. Hope you feel better soon.


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