Friday, 22 January 2016

A Sad Day and A Happy Day

Last year, on Sunday the 18th of January at around 5 pm, I was in the kitchen cooking and Pluto, my little Daschund came into the kitchen and drank water. He drank and drank and drank and just carried on drinking water non-stop for an abnormally long time. A huge amount of water for a little dog and then he collapsed. I got such a fright and I called Mark and Chad and then he seemed OK. He used to have epileptic fits and they were very bad after Clint died and then they stopped and he didn't have one for about two years, so I thought he might have had a fit. I carried him to his bed and then put his bed in Clint's room so that he could lie quietly without the other dogs worrying him. I sat by him and whenever I left the room when he was sleeping, he would wake up and try and walk to wherever I was, but I would find him by the door just lying down.

I slept in Clint's room, but barely slept and then took him to the vet first thing in the morning. The vet did blood tests and there was no infection, but his bladder was distended and he had not urinated at all from before the huge amount of water he drank. The vet wanted to keep him at the clinic and do more tests and I was very reluctant to leave him because I kept thinking he would die all alone in a cage and I didn't want that to happen. We had just recently started going to that Veterinary Clinic - well we had only gone there a few months previously for their annual injections after ending the relationship with our other vet after many many years of his bad attitude and moodiness. After going to this new vet, which is within walking distance of our house, we read somewhere online that someone took their sick old dog there and the vet on duty gave the dog an injection, before asking the owner what was wrong and had actually euthanised the dog without permission.

Whether that was the whole story or even the truth, it was at the back of our minds and Mark did not believe that Pluto was very ill, because not even an hour before Pluto collapsed, he went running to the car when Mark and Chad came home from the shops or wherever they had been. It made no difference to Pluto if we had gone out for two minutes; two hours; two days or two weeks, when we came home he went crazy like he hadn't seen us for months. He ran those little legs almost right off. It also made no difference if one of us came home or all of us. He was ecstatic to see us.

I voiced some of my concerns to the vet about Pluto dying alone in a cage and instead of leaving him there could we try medication and instead of being monitored in a cage, could I monitor him at home and bring him back in the afternoon. He was given a strong dose of a diuretic because he had to pass water. I was convinced he would die in a cage, for one he would stress because I left him. I stayed at home and stayed with him in Clint's room the whole day and each time he stirred, I carried him outside to urinate, but he couldn't and his stomach got more and more distended.

Mark said we must take him for a second opinion, each time I sent a photo of him to Mark at work. Mark was told about this very good Vet, that was a "dog whisperer" was not in it for the money and could heal any animal. Mark said we should take Pluto there because he didn't trust what this other vet said and the medication was not working he was getting worse. After Mark came home we went to this vet on the other side of the world and when we got to this place, we should have turned around straight away. The guy was not a qualified vet, he wasn't a vet at all,  he was a con artist (after searching him online I found this out), who did not know what he was doing and the situation was getting quite volatile and to be honest, we were lucky we left when we did. He put my poor little dog through so much pain Ă«xamining him and trying to catheterize him and who knows what else. Poor Pluto did not make a sound and Chad and I were rubbing him and tears ran out of his eyes silently, pleading with us to help him, he did not even whimper from the pain and then I said we are going. Mark paid him and we left. Mark was surprised that I even went in there, but he always tells me I judge people before I even know them so I thought, this time, I wouldn't... and I am ALWAYS right when I judge people on first impressions.

Looking Out For Her Best Friend

We were going to take him to the emergency vet after that, but I knew Pluto was going to die. I have no idea why but I just knew he was going to die. After a long night of researching vets and keeping one eye open watching Pluto and having nightmares about the situation we put not only ourselves in, but also and most especially my poor dog, I decided to go to another vet my mother suggested. I spent most of the night on Google - not Googling Pluto's symptoms but complaints about vets. We decided to forget we ever met the con artist because of the possible repercussions for the person who recommended him to us.

On Tuesday morning, I took Pluto to Radiokop Veterinary Clinic, I told them the whole story and they were so kind and compassionate and the vet told me Pluto would have to stay there so they could do tests. That night after work, we went to see him and he was so perky and he started his excited crying and barking long before he saw us - he just heard our voices. The vet had catheterized him and he emptied his bladder, put him on a drip and gave him antibiotics and pain medication intravenously. He wouldn't eat and they said I must come in the morning and bring him some chicken and everything looked so good. He had a collapsed lung and an infection, but medication would heal it and they would monitor the lung

Before I even left home in the morning, the vet phoned with bad news. He decided to do a scan before he went home the night before, just because something was bothering him and Pluto had a massive tumor in his stomach, which the X-rays from the day before hadn't picked up. The prognosis was not good and he didn't believe Pluto would survive an operation with a collapsed lung and the tumour was really very large and we had to decide if euthanasia was the best thing for Pluto and the vet's advice was euthanasia.

I asked the Vet if I could take him home - I still believed he would die at home - so that his last smells and memories would be of his home and not the smells of the vet and the trauma he had been through. Also Chad was at school and couldn't say bye to him. Pluto and Chad were not that close, but Pluto had been in Chad's life from when he was two or three - it was his whole life. The vet obviously didn't want to seem insensitive, but obviously thought I had plans to not pay and take Pluto without paying, so he phoned Mark to make arrangements for the payment. Mark met me at the vet, they got Pluto all ready to be euthanised so all I had to do was come at 2 and go straight in and give him the injection. The cannula was inserted already. As soon as we paid they brought him out to me.

I took him home in his bed and lay on Clint's bed with him in his bed on Clint's bed the whole morning. He just lay there sleeping or looking at me as if he knew. I wanted Chad to come home early and even his one teacher asked him why he was so quiet and he said  because our dog was dying she said why don't you phone your mom and tell her to fetch you and he said it was ok.

About 30 minutes before it was time for Chad to finish school, Pluto cried for the first time through the whole ordeal and I sent Chad a message to say if he cried again, I will just have to go to the vet without him. He cried once in the car on the way to fetch Chad from school ( he didn't have his license or car then only learners). We got to the Vet and a different Vet, also very kind and compassionate was all prepared and ready for us, the other vet told me he would not be there in the afternoon, but it was my choice.

It was so sad, but all done very compassionately and the main thing was that he was in my arms when he died and not lying alone in a cage and his last memories would be of home, Clinty's room, the other dogs and us - not a strange cage with strange smells. Reading this may seem as if we treated Pluto in a cruel way, but that was never the case, not even the bad judgement call going to the person who was not a vet. There was absolutely no sign that Pluto was ill or in pain until the day he collapsed, which is why Mark did not believe that he was very ill and I have honestly no idea why I thought he was going to die. He slept more deeply for some time and I often wrote about it on my blog. I wrote in this post in December that I worry that Pluto and Garfield will die in their sleep and that I often think Pluto is dead when he sleeps. Other than that there was no indication that he would die. All I know is that when Jingles and Garfield get sick or collapse, I am going to euthanise them and not try and save them and put them through all that trauma and pain. Garfield will be 18 in July - that is really old and this year she is starting to show her age.

Anyway, when we left the Vet, after saying good bye to Pluto, Chad did not stay for the injection part, he waited in the car and then drove so I didn't have to. After a respectable moment, he said, mom I know this is a very sad day and I feel really bad, but I have some news - good news and he proceeded to tell me about this girl. They were friends on Facebook for a couple of months, but as facebook goes, half the friends on it don't even know you in real life or they walk past you and don't even know you. Well, the day Pluto died was the day that JD and Chad started their romance, whatever you want to call the beginnings of their relationship. There were loads of ups and downs and Chad actually forgot that the 21st was an aniversarry of sorts until I reminded him the other day. So Pluto's death date will always be a reminder of Chad's romance date.

JD has not been here since Saturday, because school started on Monday, but today, because it was their first anniversary, but not the official anniversary, Chad fetched her from school and they went to lunch and when they came home, she sat in the lounge and Spike saw her and went jumping across the furniture and jumped all over her and wouldn't stop licking her and barking his excited bark. He loves her so much and has missed not having her here.

Healthier Times

Always comforting and loving

A Year Before

My Beautiful Dog

Another coincidence, I wrote this post about the Animal Cruelty Leauge Diary, I never ordered last year and I was thinking about it after leaving the vet with Pluto's ashes last year and then they phoned the following night out of the blue to ask if I would please order one as they have so many left over because of the postal strike, so I bought one. Well, this year I ordered one in October and still had not received it in December. I tried phoning to enquire about it and couldn't get to speak to anyone. I went to the Post Box often to look out for it, because I gave my postal address and a postal slip always goes to our Post Box and you then have to fetch it from the Post Office. Today I came home from work and there was my diary on the dining room table. It was delivered by the postman to our home adress - so it turns out they used my physical address and not my postal address, but what a coincidence that it arrived today on Pluto's death anniversary.

The Perfect Pillow

Dealing with Pluto's death was made easier knowing that he would be with Clint and if anyone believes that there are no animals in heaven, then heaven must be a terrible place with only humans and no animals. If there is life after death - then Pluto is with Clinty that I know.

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