An ending …

October 12, 2007

Today I had to put my much-loved dog Spenser down. He had been with me 10 1/2 years. Within a few days of his 10th birthday, I took him to the vet for a slight tilt of his head. As time went by, this ear infection progressed through the cranial nerve and into his skull in spite of numerous antibiotics, steroids, creams and ointments, a CT scan, and finally, surgery to open his ear canals so we could get medication directly into the middle ear. The last few months have been a roller coaster for him, and everyone involved. We had legitimate and high hopes that he would come through as he always did, his buffalo body and his big moose heart pushing him along, but this ridiculously stupid thing is what finally what took him down.

He began to have periodic trouble keeping his balance. He grew very wobbly and tired the past few days, but got the sutures out yesterday and seemed better. We began another phase in his treatment, with a couple of new antibiotics. But last night he had a particularly bad episode, and could not right himself after he laid down. He struggled and thrashed about as I held him. I took him to the vet for an emergency call late last night. The vet pumped him full of steroids, and this morning I was told that, while he was better now and could walk by himself, it wasn’t going to get better.

I promised him a long time ago that I would not let him suffer, and I hope I did not. He was miserable sometimes towards the end, but I don’t think he suffered until last night. Right before the bad episode, I told him that he had to let me know when it was time, because I couldn’t be sure. I told him that he had to help me, and I think he did.

This morning, I whispered in his ear, “I love you, Spennie.” I think he knew that. And I know he loved me too.

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