It’s been about 2.5 months since Bo earned his wings. That is almost as long as we had with him post-amp. I don’t know where the time this year has gone. I think my brain is still stuck in April when Bo first started limping. But, here we are in November…the weather is beautiful, the holidays are coming, the house is clean…free of dog hair for the first time ever. (I miss the dog hair.) I feel the need to move forward, but I need to write about the last part of Bo’s journey first.
*The following has details of Bo’s death. It’s not too graphic, but it is detailed. I hope I do not offend anyone, but I do need to write this.*
Bo died on September 4th…the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. That Thursday, I knew that it was time, but Lee was not there with me yet. I asked Lee over the phone to take a real look at Bo…a look at him without the hopes of him getting better. He did and for the first time we actually discussed setting Bo free. Bo was still happy; tail wagging, grass rolling, bed snuggling. But, he had practically stopped eating. He was on a low dose of Prednisone at that point, so the reduced appetite was a real red flag. The coughing had become increasingly frequent too.
Saturday morning I let Bo out to potty and drink my coffee on the porch. He rolled in the grass and snapped at a few bugs, but he just wasn’t the same. He was tired. I helped him up the porch steps and I felt a big knot on the inside of his right hind leg. Lee and I decided to call our vet and have her make a house call. Well, when we called the vet office…they were closed! Labor Day weekend… I remembered when Bo had his surgery, our vet said that if we needed anything after hours, to call the emergency vet and they could contact her. We decided to give it a shot, so we called. The emergency vet folks said that they didn’t have that info, yada yada…we told them what our vet said and they told us they would see what they could do. Our amazing vet called us within 20 minutes. We told her what was going on. She said that she would come the next day and assess Bo and that if it was time, she would bring what she needed to set him free.
After I hung up with the vet, I looked Bo straight in the eyes and told him, “You have to show me that you are sick, or I will not be able to go through with this.” I guess he really heard me because during the next 12 hours, Bo showed us that he was truly in pain and was ready to go. We got him his favorite hamburgers for dinner, but he did not eat. He jumped up in bed with me one final time on Saturday night. In bed he looked up at the ceiling, nostrils spread as wide as they could get, and labored to get air. I asked him for a kiss and he turned his tired face to mine and laid one smack dab in the middle of my face. Bless his heart.
I woke up early on Sunday (surprised I slept at all!). I let Bo out to go potty…he went and laid down in the grass. He never came back in the house. I got my coffee and laid with him in the grass for hours. I told him how much he meant to me, how thankful I was for him, what a good dog he was…even though he got into everything he could stick his nose into. I told him that when we have babies, they will hear about all of the wild stories about crazy Bo. It started to rain a little bit and I finally coaxed Bo onto the porch. Lee got up and we savored every last moment we had with him.
Our vet called in a sedative to give him before she came. When she got there, Bo lifted his head up and wagged his tail. Happy ’til the end. 🙂 He started coughing right away and the vet said that we were right. It was time.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about our vet. She made the entire process very peaceful. She explained what she was going to do and what to expect. Bo was given a second sedative and we were given as much time as we needed to say goodbye. We knew once she started the euthanasia shot, we only had about a minute left. Bo was not scared. He was ready to be set free. The vet started the shot in his hind leg. About half way through the injection, she had to stop and switch legs. Bo had another tumor in the leg she was using and it was blocking the vein. She did this calmly and professionally. Bo died peacefully in our arms. A huge gust of wind blew by shortly after he passed. I thought I was imagining it, but I looked at Lee and he felt it too. It started pouring rain and we sat and chatted with the vet for a few minutes.
She had us bring Belle outside to see Bo. She said that Belle probably already knew, but it would be closure for her to know that her friend was not just disappearing, that he had died. Belle was hiding under the bed, which she NEVER does, so we figured she did already know. Nevertheless, it did bring closure to us for her to say goodbye.
We said our goodbyes to Bo and helped our vet load Bo into her car. We were strong for Bo until the very end, but she drove away, we crumbled. We drove around for a few hours. We bought a plant that we later planted in the back yard in Bo’s memory. The second night after Bo passed, at 2:00 AM the fire alarm let out 5 quick, loud beeps. Lee and I fell out of bed…startled and disoriented. There was no fire, there are no batteries in the alarm, so it was not a low battery. I started laughing because I knew that Bo sent us a sign…”I’m here. I’m ok. Stop worrying.”
We went to group pet grief counseling…that is a separate post in itself. Let’s just say, I felt way more “normal” after it.
It is really hard losing a pet because they are not just a pet. They are a friend, a family member, a “person” that you see and love every day. We are adjusting to life without Bo. His memories and his stories still make us laugh. His memories and his stories still make us cry. I will never, ever forget Bo. I will always love him. I am ready to lock his memory in my heart and move forward. I needed to write this to be able to do that.