This last week he hadn't been eating all that great, but every once in a while he'd go through those phases so I didn't think too much of it. Same with treats, he would go through times where he's super picky. Wednesday he hardly ate at all and I had to hand feed him a container of yogurt so he could take his meds. He was pretty weak and having a very hard time walking so I moved the black mats back into the kitchen for him. I talked to Dr. Bill about 9 that night and we decided to give him one of his pain meds to see if it would help him any.
Usually during the night he would overflow two of the tinkle pads but when I got up for his meds Thursday morning they were still dry. I got him to eat a little but he had very little interest. When I came home from lunch he had vomitted his food back undigested - pretty much everything from the past day. At that point he was barely able to make it up to get outside with assistance...and showed almost no interest in anything at all. Very weak and tired plus he couldn't keep any meds down which is a huge problem for him since they're crucial to control his seizures. We decided with Dr. Bill to bring him in that afternoon.
By the time 3:00 came around I think his body had pretty much began to really shut down, he felt dehydrated and was listless. Larry, San and I had to carry him to the car and get him settled in the backseat as he couldn't lift his weight to stand. I sat in the backseat with him where he didn't move except to hold his head in my lap. Once we got there we lifted him out to let him lie outside for a minute where it was nice and cold thinking maybe it would perk him up some but he was just too weak. We carried him into the office and Angie got him a blanket to lie on, he barely had the strength to lift his head.
I knew it was time and the moment Dr. Bill walked in he knew too. When he came back in with the meds Thrawn pulled himself so his head was up and I was able to hold his head with my face against his. He crossed the bridge very quickly and peacefully...I couldn't even tell the difference in the weight of his face in my hands. He was so close on his own I think but I didn't want to take the risk that he would be uncomfortable or in pain. I hope he heard me talking in his ear before he passed, I wanted him to hear again how much I loved him and that it would be ok. I just couldn't kiss his face enough, it was always our "thing" to tell him I wanted Husky Love and to smoosh his face for kisses. I think half the time it irritated him but he tolerated it anyway. I'm thankful I was able to lie on the ground with him those last few minutes with my nose against his.
I'm thankful for several things, the most being that through all his health issues he was able to be in my life for over 8 years. Since he was at least a couple years old when I found him he was able to live an extraordinarily long life taking into account his health. I firmly believe that this was due to the unfaltering care he received from Dr. Bill and Angie since the day I found him. They went above and beyond to make sure everything possible could be done for him and there aren't enough thank you's in the world. I am extremely grateful that he crossed the Bridge when they could help him - one of my biggest fears was that we would be in an emergency situation at the unfamiliar ER clinic. (I'm also grateful for the years of middle-of-the-night calls to help me out with him.)
I'm thankful I've been in the position to provide him the care he needed. I second guessed myself a lot with him, especially now that he's gone. I wonder if I had done things differently how it would have changed his life but I'm trying not to as I'm just going to drive myself mad. Afterwards I asked Dr. Bill what he thought finally caused it and he said what I believed too, his body just finally wore out. It's a double edged sword - he needed the medications all these years and it's likely that eventually it was just too much. The seizures, the Cushings, the neurological issues, his loss of strength in his limbs, the tumor in his liver, the list goes on and on. I'm sure his poor body was just tired out.
Everyone always says that an animal would "let you know" when it was time....to be honest I always chalked that up as being a bunch of hooey. A good friend told me again that day and I really hoped it was true at that point. I have to say that he told me - as clearly as if he had spoken it out loud. I could feel how tired and worn out he was, I honestly felt he was ready to give up the fight. I will never feel like he gave up anything - his spirit and will is what kept him alive these past years, he was strength (and stubborness) personified. He was a fighter - as Dr. Bill told him that day he was tough old sled dog. To see him so weak that day was just heartbreaking and I knew it wasn't him or what he would like to be.
On Thursday I spent some time on some of our friends blogs....those that have gone to the Bridge before him. I knew what was coming and I wanted to prepare myself somehow by reading about your experiences. There is no way to really be prepared but it did help me so thank you. I knew it was looming, I've known for the past couple years we were on borrowed time. Every night I would make sure that I took a couple minutes to lie on the floor with him kissing him and telling him how much I loved him...just in case. When Dakota passed away in March and Thrawn got so sick I remember begging in my head for it not to be right then, to give me at least six more months with him. Mostly for selfish reasons...I couldn't bear the thought of losing him and Dakota so close together. My wishes were granted and I had another nine months with him in my life. Now I wish I had asked for years.
Thrawn was what you would consider an "odd duck", he was a loner at heart and he had the personality of a wolf. Besides myself there were very few that were able to get close emotionally to him (in real life). While Dakota dying suddenly put me in a position of asking why so soon, losing Thrawn has just left a gaping hole in my heart. I can't get past the fact he's not here, I'm still waking up at 6:05 each morning and the last two days it's taken me getting to the kitchen for his meds before I realize he's gone. If I'm away from the house I still worry that he's ok and my internal clock reminding me I need to be there at certain times for meds. The kitchen and mystery room were "his" and they seem so empty now. I know it will fade with time but there will always be a piece of me missing.
The rest of the pack is ok...Bear and Tucker showing the most acknowledgement he's gone. Bear had gotten very close to him - he wouldn't want to be locked out of the kitchen during the day so I let him stay with him. When Thrawn was sick he would stick close - just like Dakota always did. When I leave the house he's still going to Thrawn's area to stay and if I can't find him around the house that's usually where he's at. I'm trying to keep things as normal as possible to avoid them going through the problems like after Dakota.
Lastly (and I'm sorry for going on so long) I am extremely thankful for the community here. You guys have really made me feel so much better with your support. I know this is something we all dread but you can all take a little peace in knowing you will have a huge support system from your friends here when that time does come. Hug your furkids every chance you get because it's never long enough.
Thank you again, if there is EVER anything I can do for any of you please don't hesitate to ask.
A few memories from this last year...
(I'm glad I have this since both he and Dakota's voices are in it)
I wish I had taken more pics with both he and Dakota with me...I'm going to make sure I do with the rest of the Pack. I remember he was getting so irritated at me that day after about the 20th shot so I just gave up. :)
...and doing his favorite thing....
I hope he and Dakota are having the time of their lives together, pain free and healthy.
PS Google Video is giving me problems, I'll try to fix in a bit. Sorry :(
*I'm going to post the Santa Paws contest info tomorrow, I'm sorry for the delay.*