Friday, April 6, 2012


I know I promised to continue this narrative yesterday but I just couldn't bring myself to do so; this is the hardest post I've had to write.  Here are the events that transpired after we made our decision.  

Dr. Young and Dr. Klein partnered in Buddy's care and Monday was Dr. Klein's day in the office.  We called to make the appointment.  Not 10 minutes after our initial call, the phone rang.  It was Dr. Young.  She happened to be at the office for a meeting, checked the daily calendar and saw we were on it.  We talked a while about what was happening with Buddy. Dr. Young was very supportive, telling us we did a great job caring for Buddy and had been 'spot-on' with all our decisions.  Afterwards, my brother and I felt more at peace with 'letting him go'.

The remainder of the morning was spent with Buddy and Annie.  Finally, it was time to leave for our appointment.  This is Brooklyn and nothing ever goes smoothly.  Because of difficulties getting car service, we arrived for our appointment late.  When Buddy was first diagnosed as 'terminal', we discussed our wish to have Annie present if we needed to euthanize Buddy.  We all agreed it would help her to know he was finally gone.

In our family we can never deal with one medical issue at a time - we had noticed the open sore on Annie's hind paw was back.  It had started to heal after we originally saw it.  Then, sometime during February, we saw it had returned.  It appeared to be healing but now it was worse.  We decided to have Annie examined first knowing we would be too upset to deal with any other issues after letting go of Buddy.

Annie loves everyone at Hope Vet but she is particularly attached to Dr. Young and absolutely crazy about Dr. Klein.  During her exam, Annie showered Dr. Klein with kisses and, without prompting, ran through her entire repertoire of tricks for him because he had treats.  Diagnosis: most likely a lick granuloma BUT a biopsy was recommended to make sure it isn't cancer.  Annie is getting tartar on her teeth and she has a tab growing on one leg.  She also has what appear to be some very small fatty tumors.  We will keep checking the tumors for increase in size.  In the meantime, Annie is taking a round of antibiotic for her paw.  Next month, she will go for a dental scaling, biopsy (which entails a removal of some tissue and some stitches) and removal of the tab.

All during Annie's exam, Buddy rested quietly first in my brother's arms then mine.  Now it was time, so we all moved from the examining room to an office with a couch and some chairs.

Dr. Klein explained the process to us, told us what to expect and when we were ready he began.  Two injections of medicines to relax Buddy.  Sometimes the initial meds are enough to stop the heart so we needed to watch Buddy's breathing.  His breathing became more even but it didn't stop.  After a time, a Vet Tech opened a line in Buddy's front paw.  Dr. Klein removed Buddy's collar and gave it to us.  Three more injections followed - a medicine to put Buddy into a deep sleep, some water to clear the line and finally the medicine that would stop his heart.

The first two injections were administered.  We waited  and Buddy did go into a very deep sleep.  Dr. Klein asked us if we were ready for him to administer the final shot.  We were; he did and after a short time, Buddy stopped breathing.

Dr. Klein told us to stay as long as we wanted then he left us alone with Buddy.  We tried to get Annie to focus on him but she wouldn't smell him or stay near him.  All she did was stand by the door and cry.  After we finished saying our goodbyes to Buddy, we took Annie and left.

We stepped out into the bright sunshine of an unseasonably warm day.  It struck me how we always have beautiful days when we have to let our pets go.  It is a reminder that life goes on except from now on it will just be me, my brother and Annie.


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