Yesterday on July 16th. My wife and I had to say good-bye to our best friend, our dog Kaz. He was 10 1/2 years old Husky with the most beautiful blue eyes, and the most loyal of hearts. It was the most gut wrenching experience I have ever been through and has left me shattered.
I post this here as some form of therapy to get all my feelings out and feel like I've told the world how amazingly special my dog was, Please take some time today give your dogs some extra love and affection and think about how special they are, and thank them for all that they give to us.
The Story of Kaz,
Kaz had come from a some what terrible condition spending the first 2 years of his life living in a crate on his owners apartment balcony, word has it that his first owners were crackheads and did not take very good care of him. A co-worker of my mother, rescued him and ask my mother to foster him for the time being. The first time I seen this dog I was blown away, he was so friendly and loving, and we were drawn to each other immediately. He would take toys and toss them high into the air and chase them down. Playing catch with himself. I thought to myself, maybe one day this dog will be mine. I couldn't take him then because I lived in a one bed room apartment that did not allow larger dogs, and I really wasn't making the type of money where I felt like i could care for him. For the next year I remember visiting my mother every week or so just to visit with Kaz. I moved back into my mom's place for 6 months to save up money to buy a house of my own. That is when Kaz and I became joined at the hip. My mother was moving to Michigan temporarily for a job and could not take Kaz with her to the apartment complex. She was going to rent out the house to the same guy who rescued Kaz in the first place and he expressed interest in keeping Kaz. I told her that is not an option and that Kaz is apart of this family and that he will remain apart of this family. I remember my mother proudly nodding in approval of her son.
Kaz has been with me ever since for the last 6years or so. I always say that this dog was the best thing to ever happen to me. He made me shape up my life and go find a better job, save up money to buy a house, and it was all so that I could take care of him. But perhaps the most wonderful thing Kaz gave me, is my wife. (Married last October!) When I seen how much she loved Kaz and how much affection she had for him and how easily she put Kaz's well being and happiness before her own. I knew that I had amazing woman.
For the past year Kaz has been set back from host of medical issues. He started having seizures, rarely happened but would strike without warning and scare the living daylights out of all 3 of us. The seizures were not frequent enough to start him on medication though, but you could tell they were taking their toll on him, his last seizure made him almost blind for a whole day until he snapped out of it. I've had that feeling for awhile now that my Journey with Kaz could be coming to and end and that we might be lucky to get another year with him. About 3 months ago we think Kaz had a seizure and fell of the couch or some how injured his back as he came up lame one day on a walk around the block. Limping on one of his hind legs and eventually in enough pain that he had to lay down. The next day he could only make it half way down the block before his limping returned. THe vet diagnosed a combination of arthritis and some slipped discs in his back. He was put on a combination of anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxers, and told that he needed to rest all the time and allow his spine to decompress and heal up, only allowed out in the yard to use the bathroom. Or otherwise face the possibility of expensive surgery that may or may not work. His treatment appeared to be working, we got him a ramp for stairs (to which he defiantly learned to use) and you could tell that his limp was fading and that he could spend more time in the yard with out it returning.
July 5th was to be the test as to whether or not he could start exercising again as he was scheduled to return to the vet for his yearly shots and exams. We figured if he could go through that entire trip and vet visit with out developing the limp, that we would then start to return him to exercise and walks and hopefully a more exciting doggy life. The night before Kaz had shunned his normal dog food and did not want to eat anything. We figured that this was because of the 4th of July and that he was just upset at the fireworks in the our neighborhood, and that he just had a tummy ache for being so stressed out by them. The next day at the vet he also shunned any sort of treats during his visit, but we still just chalked it up to an upset tummy. But he passed all his tests and that it was time to start exercise. That evening he still turned away his normal dog food and would only eat treats or pieces of bread. He threw-up in the kitchen one day while we were at work, and it was nothing but Bile. We finally got him to eat some normal dog food and we thought okay this is encouraging. But the next morning he still turned away his breakfast. I made an appointment to see the vet on Saturday morning. In that time we got him to eat some boiled chicken and rice, and he did not throw it up. He was also still very regular in his bowel movement. So we were still encouraged, because at no time in this week did he seem like he was ill, he behaved like his normal self, just didnt want to eat his dog food. The vet ran some tests and did a physical exam and Kaz had revealed that his abdomen was very tender. His blood tests revealed elevated pancreas levels, and his urine test reveled that his kidney levels were up as well. The doctor admitted him to the clinic where they began fluid treatment for his kidneys and pancreatitis. His first 2 days were up and down, he was trotting around the yard at the clinic. He was also drugged up on various anti-nausea meds and pain killers, and so when we seen him he was quite relaxed and drugged up. His last 2 days in the clinic were very different. The vet said that his Kidney levels still had not come down and that he still shunned food. On our Monday visit, he could barely walk but he still recognized us and still wagged his tail when we spoke to him and petted him. But he displayed signs of jitters. They kind that reminded us of his seizures. But we thought his spark was still there. That evening I made some chicken and rice, knowing that he would eat this, just get something in his stomach to give him energy. I dropped it off at the vet Tuesday morning. They called me later that morning and said that the increased fluid levels did not have an effect and that his Kidney values had increased over night. Also they thought he had a seizure as his cage was a mess and he was very unresponsive and could not lift his head. His kidneys were failing him and he was mentally shot from the seizure.
They advised us to see him ASAP. Our hope was that we would be able take him home for the afternoon and try to spoil him and let him be in a comfortable surrounding for atleast bit. When we got there and took one look at him we could see how bad a shape he was in and we knew what had to be done. We got him into a private room, on his bed from home. He looked lost, he looked confused. But we could tell he knew we were there. His breathing was labored and we could here a whimper with every breath. Our touches seemed to sooth him. With no other options left, all we had to give him was mercy. He is at peace now. No more suffering. I could see his brief moment of relaxation as he passed.
All I know is that I believe he was waiting for us, holding on as long has he could, because as they carried him into that room and he looked me right in the eye. His eyes grew wide as to say thank goodness you are here!