Last night we had to have Abner put down.
I went downstairs to let both dogs out yesterday morning and Abner was sluggish and reluctant to get up. He wouldn’t eat and just sat around all day at home. After I got home from work I took him to the vet. Dr. Ziess said that it felt like there was a large tumor on Abner’s spleen and that it had ruptured, filling his belly with blood. He drew a syringe full of blood to confirm it. I asked about treatment options but none of the options provided him with more than a matter of months to live. At ten years old I didn’t think that putting him through all that surgery and discomfort was worth just a few more months.
Traci dropped the kids off at the neighbor’s house and rushed over to the vet as soon as I broke the news to her. We stayed with him while Dr Ziess administered an overdose of barbiturates; Abner quickly fell asleep, placing his head on his paws, like I’ve seen him do hundreds of times before. Within seconds he simply stopped breathing and it was all over. It was very painless and very peaceful, if that’s any consolation.
Needless to say I’m pretty bummed. What made it even worse was after we got home I brought the empty dog carrier in and Orson wanted to see Abner. We explained to him that Abner wasn’t coming back but didn’t go into the details. There’s only so much a three year old understands. He seemed to take it well, much better than Daisy. She seems lost and confused right now.
It happened very quickly; we didn’t have much time to plan anything. Apparently sometime during the night the tumor ruptured so he went to bed seemingly healthy as ever, only to awake terminally ill. We never even knew he had it; it was completely hidden from us. Kinda makes you think twice again about our own mortality and how quickly it can all be taken away. He was the best dog I’ve ever had and I’ll miss him terribly.
Overall this is pretty sucky but I’m sure in time it’ll get easier. Of course that’s little consolation now. But that’s life and life is hard. I’m glad we had the seven and a half years that we did have with him. He had meningitis a little over two years ago but was saved by our vet, Jay King. That gave us a little over two additional years so I’m thankful for that, at least.
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