Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thank you.

First I want to tell everyone thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't tell you how much help it's been to recieve the emails and posts. I've gotten a lot of questions about what happened since he seemed to have been doing better lately. (which he had been)

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 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.*


Tatum Tot said...

I'm new to your blog but I feel your pain and I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

Lisa said...

That first video has got to be one of my all time favorite videos. I'll never forget playing it and how Scully reacted looking for the dogs. Remember I posted her reaction on my blog? I just played it again and cried, then laughed because not only Scully, but Leo and Sammy came running in here like WHERE ARE THE D-O-G-S! :) It's natural to second guess yourself, but you did everything you could for Thrawn and he fought the good fight.

Pugsley, Buster, Cricket & Daisy said...

Thanks for sharing what happened. We sat and cried our eyes out reading it. Maybe Thrawn and Dakota will find our sister, Chloe, at the Rainbow Bridge.

Four Pugz and mom, Catherine

Pugsley, Buster, Cricket & Daisy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Opy - the Original GruffPuppy said...

Our hearts are breaking for you...but we did manage a smile at the video :-) Thrawn sure is vocal :-)

Opy & her mum

Roxie, Sammy and Andy said...

We are having trouble accepting it; we can't even imagine what a challenge it is for you. You are in our prayers.

Roxie, Sammy, Andy & the Dachsies' Mom

Two Wild and Crazy Guyz said...

It would be so great if they could just be with us forever. Sometimes I get sad just thinking about it. Rocky has seizures and takes 45 mgs of Phenobarbitol 2x a day. He is still very young (3) and I worry about the toll the meds and seizures are probably already having on him. They become so much a part of everything we do. You schedule your life around the medication. I've had to say goodbye to fur babies before, but I don't think it will ever get easier. But I could never imagine my life without a dog. They are such good friends and listeners. Thanks so much for sharing Thrawn with all of us. He will be missed.

Holly said...

We have been in tears every time we read about Thrawn. I think this post was the hardest, so I can only imagine how your tears were flowing as you wrote it. They leave a hole in our lives when they leave it, but fill our heart with so much love, that knowing we did everything we could for them, and sharing the time and memories we have, certainly does heal the emptiness we feel. My prayers will be with you at this time of sorrow. And know that if there is anything YOU need, we are all here for YOU too.

Jan and Holly

Toby said...

As I read your post, I could feel the pain and sadness you are going through. You and the rest of the pack are in our thoughts.

The first video did make me smile though. What a voice...

Toby & Joyce

Herbie said...

Take care, reading your post touched such a raw spot and I can understand the grief you're going through, and the 'what ifs'. Tears welled up as I thought of what you've gone through and of my own herbie.

Their time with us is never enough, but at least we know that they have been loved and have love.

Herbie & Helio's M

CoCo said...


We are new to blogspot, and found you via our friend Sparky the Puggle. We are sorry for your loss and feel that you have been a super strong person. I absolutely cried my eyes out reading about Thrawn, and cannot imagine how painful it is to lose a best friend. Best wishes to you and the Brat Pack!

CoCo's Mom

Girl Girl Hamster said...

I'm missing Thrawn already.
Take care

~ Girl girl

Maggie & Mitch said...

We couldn't get through your post without many, many tears! You're in our hearts and prayers, Maryann!

Love ya lots,
Maggie, Mitch and Sue

Huskee Boy said...

Dear Maryann,
Reading what you have written brought tears to my eyes... Thraw is a majestic looking boy and I am sure he tried to hang on for as long as he possibly could. I am dreading the day when it's Huskee's time to cross over the Rainbow Bridge and I guess I am trying to put myself in 'denial' that it wouldn't come so soon. But like you said, it'll never be long enough.
My heart is aching for you.. if there is anything I/ we can do for you, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Huskee's mama

PerfectTosca said...

I am so sorry about Thrawn. I have been where you are and my heart breaks for you. They take a piece of us with them when they have to leave us, don't they? But gratefully, they also leave a piece of themselves behind in our hearts.

Rest well Thrawn.

2shibas said...

A little piece of you will always be missing without your Thrawn. But that just means that he's holding it onto it for you until you meet again.

You're in our thoughts and prayers.

With love,
Wiley & Fievel (and our mom, too!)

Jasmine, BamBam & Eski said...

we know it's much easier to be said than done... but please know that we'll always be here to share your tears & laughter.

you've done all you could for Thrawn and he's definitely grateful to have met you.

you gave him the meaning of life.
please be strong for the rest of the pack. we miss you all.

Ruby Bleu said...

Hi Maryann...
Thanks for sharing the those pups can sing!!!

Keep remembering the good times and how he and Dakota are happy together again!

Love, Michele & Ruby

-The Mullin Clan's Mommy- said...

Oh Maryann, I'm crying as I read your blog while I am at work. When I looked into Shanna's eyes last Dec. when she hurt her other leg all I saw was pain. I had to let her go. You did everything possible to give Thrawn a great life, love & to take care of him through all of his medical problems. And, believe me, I feel that they do appreciate what we do for them. Yes, it hurts to let them go, but knowing that Shanna was finally pain-free helped me through it. With me, that was the first time that I did not have a furry companion help me through when we had to say good-bye to another. I was devastated 'cause in all of my 50 years I have never been alone in the house without a 4-legged companion. If you need to vent or just to talk at any time, please email me at
Take care,

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

I hope you're doing okay. I just can't imagine what you're going through. I was really mad at Steve and Kat today for dragging me down the sidewalk, but after reading your post, I went and made up with them. I can only hope that I can be as good of a mom to them as you were to Thrawn. You did a great job and went above and beyond for the pup you loved. I hope it gets a little easier every day for you and if you ever need anything, let me know.


Sitka and Tia's BLAWG! said...

Hey Maryann, What a heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience with us. I had tears streaming down my face the whole time. They really do have a way of grabbing our heartstrings, don't they. Our thoughts and prayers are still with you. And yes, I have always believed that they will tell you when it is time to go. I have had three tell me that before and it is like a knife stabbing you. But, you know it is what they want. The best thing is to be there with them and for them.

Hugs and love,
Shelli (Sitka and Tia, too)

Lady Kaos said...

You have gone threw the thing we all dread the most and you did it twice in one year. Don't think it was selfish of you to ask for 6 more months. You and Thrawn both needed that time together. It's nice you have Dr. Bill, but you are a big reason for Thrawn living so long with you, too. There are very few people that would go through both the expense and the work you have. Your entire pack is extremly lucky to have you. I first started reading your blog right before Dakota passed and I couldn't believe I cried so hard over a dog I barely knew. Right now I'm doing the same, only there's more tears because I know you and the pack now. It just shows that we belong to a caring group that understands what we go through for our furkids and the bonds that we have with them. I had a coworker that lost her dog and she took it really hard because her dog and her cat were her babies and some other coworkers kept telling her it was "just a dog." It's hard talking to people like that after loosing a pet. They don't understand the bond. When I'm upset I turn to my dogs for comfort and support before I call a friend. Thrawn knows how much you loved him just like the rest of the pack knows how much you love them. Dakota and Thrawn are watching over you and the pack and having a ton of fun together.
We love you guys! Let us know if you need ANYTHING!!
Hilary & Kaos
PS Don't worry about he Christmas letters. Get to that when you're ready. We all totally understand.

Kerrio said...


thankyou for sharing this with us...

Big hugs to you all from all of us.

Kerrio & co

Ferndoggle said...

Damn you eye makeup looked particularily good today.

Thanks for letting us know what happened. I am so glad you were with him when he passed. That is one of my biggest of my pups will be alone & afraid when their time comes. As hard as it will be...

Hugs & sloppy kisses to you and the whole pack. You've been on our mind all weekend.


Randi said...

Hi Maryann - I think I may need a new keyboard ...there's been a tear jerking flood & now my fingers are making splashes as I type. Wow...I'm still sobbing actually...I can truly say that that could have been me writing that post in the weeks prior to Dublin's passing. The worries about medicine times, the worries about making it to the vet & not having him leave us in an ER situation...everything is so similar....I just want you to know that you & your family are in everyone's thoughts & prayers from here forward....its not fair or even realistic to think you'll lose two of your babies so close to each other...I will hug my Randi Sue & kiss her even more after reading this...they don't stay with us long enough & we must figure out the rest after they've gone...Our love to Thrawn & Dakota - I know they are causing trouble at the Bridge with Dublin...& extra special kisses & hugs to Tucker, Dot-Spot, Samantha & Bear...

Love & Licks,
Randi's mom

Mack said...

Hello hound dogs,
My sympathies to your family at this hard time. Just remember Thrawn will be at that Rainbow Bridge waiting for you. Bye for now,
Mack T. Beans

wally said...

That was a really beautiful post, fitting for such a wonderful dog. I know he will love playing my sissy Morgan (though don't try to steal her kong, man!) I am so glad he got to be with you, I'm sure that was a great comfort for him and I know he would want to make as painless as possible for you. True love is hard to find but it sure is fantastic when you do!


Summit the Super Mal said...

OK...I couldn't post this morning because when I saw his picture it was a little too eerie for me. He and my Denali could have been brothers. I will give him extra hugs and kisses tonight in honor of handsome Thrawn. Your post was so very touching and open. I'm sure everyone who reads it wants to give you a hug....I know I do! My wish for you is that you find a way to let go of your questions. You LOVED him and he knew that!!
The strength it takes to let them go is hard to find but there because it is the last loving thing we can do and we somehow manage to find it. May comfort find its way to you and your family.
Hugs from Iowa:
Shelly with the Iowa Crew
Denali, Kiana, Echo, Kaynh and Summit the Super Mal

Lacy said...

woofies Mary Ann and the pack!! i read ur post yesterday i think it was, and couldnt comment till now...That is the most unbareable pain is knowing when to let go..u keep thinking mayb if i did this or mayb if i did that, but only u know when its time to let them go..nothing anybody can say will mend that hole in ur heart right now, only time can ease it...they all take a little piece of it, with them when they go..and i have heard "its only a dog", but its more than that to us, its our much a part of the family as anybody else...and it is such a hard decision...thankfully i have been spared that decision (just one time in my life i had to make it)... but i came very close a few times...i wish u peace in knowing u gave Thrawn a life he woulda never had, had it not been for u and ur love...

b safe,

Kapp pack said...

We will check back to see the video. We will always treasure the holiday pic we have a Thrawn on your Christmas card!

Sad wooos, Kelsey Ann

Izzie said...

Thank you for posting that story. It must have been had to type it. But it actually helped me to realize that I'm not the only one who worries about the dog when I'm not home, and that I'm not the only one second guessing my decisions for him. Izzie isn't a very social dog, either. When I find myself second-guessing myself, I remember that he didn't use to come to me for petting, and the fact that he now does tells me he trusts me. Therefore, I must be doing something right by him. And for Thrawn to lift his head to you in the midst of all his pain was for Thrawn to tell you that you did right by him. {{{}}} These are hugs from Izzie and me.

Lorenza said...

Hi, Maryann
Thanks for sharing what happened with us. Sure it was painful.
We all know how much you love Thrawn.
Dakota, Thrawn, the pack and you are in our prayers.
Have a good night

Luckie Girl said...

I still have a hard time accepting that he is gone. But I know it's for the better at least we know he will no longer be suffering. Life is that unpredicable sometimes. We know you did your best Maryann, and that's what matters in the end. We feel you pain.
Luckie & Her Mom.

Sophie Brador said...

Maryann, I'm so glad you have the rest of the gang to comfort you through all of this. Thrawn was definitely a special guy.


cyber-sibes said...

We are wooing sadly for Thrawn. We've visited him here on your blog off & on, and he was such a stunning old gent. It's hard to let them go, even when you know it's the right thing & the right time. We just lost our Sherman this past July, so we know how sad you are all feeling.

Star & Jack

Orion and Cassie said...

It took us a long time to make it through this post because our eyes kept filling up with tears. We are so glad that you have people (and doggies!) to help you through this rough time. Our hearts are still going out to you and the gang. Thanks for sharing that video, too!

Love and woo-wooofs,
Orion, Cassie, and the Human Mom.

The Daily Echo said...

That was so beautifully written. You've done everything perfectly, even this post. God Bless you! All of your dogs are so lucky to have you.

Johann The Dog said...

I just love that video - everyone talking and singing, what a great thing to have! And I absolutely love the picture of you two.

We are thinking of you, and sending you strength....I just can't imagine what you are feeling. But I am so glad that Thrawn had you....

Bama said...

My daughter was admiring all our Christmas cards last night and I was showing her all of the friends we'd made through blogging, when I got to The Brat Pack's card, I just broke down crying again, for you, for your pups, and for a beautiful soul who's gone on without us. We had just gotten the card a couple of days before we read your post that he was gone, and it was almost as big a blow as if it were one of our own, but then in our little ciber-world he was one of our own. We lost Starr in March of last year, she was almost 17, and our Ice followed behind her within 3 weeks, he was almost 16 and seems to have had many of the same final symptoms that Thrawn had, but we knew his heart was broken & he just wanted to be with his Starr again. Both of them told us very clearly when it was time, and we're so thankful that we were able to spend our final minutes with them, and reassure them of how much they were loved. Please don't ever question or second guess yourself, you did the absolute kindest and most selfless act you can do for another living being, you gave him his dignity and peace knowing he was loved. Our hearts & prayers are with you and the pack daily, stay strong. You'll never stop missing him, but the pain will ease & be replaced with all the good memories you shared.
5 huge hugs from the River Hill Pack huskies & their mom

Kirby said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with us all. It must have been so hard, but I'm relieved to see Thrawn went painlessly and with you at his side. I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted to go any other way. Thrawn is still in our thoughts and prayers and will remain so in the coming days.

The video was great. It is wonderful that we have these memories we can look back at and smile. Thrawn certainly was a vocal guy. What a howl!

Your pal,

Bella said...

I have just found out that Thraw has crossed the rainbow bridge and our heartfelt sympathies go to you & the whole pack. You are such an amazingly trong faimly/pack to have to deal with such sadenss in your lives so recently after Dakota passed.
Love to you & yours & Thraw will have taken your love with him.

Jake of Florida said...

Just when I had dissolved in tears reading your account of Thrawn's last days, and your love for him, I came to your Dogs Left Alone video and found myself laughing in the midst of the tears. Jake and Just Harry came over to see what all the ruckus was -- and looked very puzzled.

I regret that we didn't get to know your pack better before Thrawn left us; but your tales have given me some idea of what a unique creature he was.

Thank you for sharing in the midst of your grief!

Joan, Mom to the Barkalot Boyz -- Jake and Just Harry -- who for all their barking experience could never emulate those amazing sounds!!!

Mud Monster & DWB said...

Hey Maryann,
I think it goes without saying -- It's hard to read posts like this without tears streaming down my face. I found myself remembering the moment my Nanook crossed over the bridge. As hard as it was it did bring a little peace to my heart to know she wasnt in pain or suffering anymore. I am sure much like you felt with your sweet boy. Time does heal all wounds but you will never forget him. Nor will any of us. You are a beautiful person who did everything and anything for your pack.

It has been over 10 years since my parents huskys have crossed the bridge. An I still find myself "stepping over them" when I spend nights there. Same thing with my Nanook right after she crossed I found myself going out back looking for her. I would wake up ready to do our normal routine and find myself in tears.

My heart goes out to you and your pack Maryann. I may not have known you or Thrawn as well as some of the other DWB bloggers. But it still feels like I lost a loved one too. If there is anything at all Quincy, Tristin or myself can do please DON'T hesitate to ask us.

Dana, Quincy & Tristin

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

Well, it has taken ME a few days to be able to read this -

And as expected, the tears are here - or as Ryan Adams terms it, I'm a woman that rains -

What a wonderful tribute to a very special dog by a very special woman -

I've shared the 'Dogs Don't Have Souls' piece with someone in my office - she is close to needing to make THAT decision soon - and it will crush her as Thrawn's passing as affected you - I will share this with her as well -

As difficult a decision it is, we do owe it to them -

After all, it is our last expression of love for all they gave us over the years -

Your heart will never completely heal but it is stronger from your use of it for him and your others -

Warm wags and wuv from York PA,

Khyra and her hu-mom Phyll

Murphey said...

Wow, thank you for telling your story, it brought tears to my eyes, it was exactly the same as my beloved Boo's passing. They do let us know and yet we still second guess ourselves. My heart goes out to you,

Murph's lady Kathleen

THE ZOO said...

we're so sorry fore your loss. we lost 2 last year at the age of 19. we still have our 2 younger dogs. its amazing how perceptive the others are to sick dogs. our jd took care of selena after malcolm died in last feuruary until she died last august. gussie left her to be, he let her get by with alot and left her alone. we feel your pain.

IndyPindy said...

Thrawn has such a beautiful deep voice, like an Irish tenor!

Great tribute. Can't wait to see the other 2 videos after they are fixed. My mom says she feels your pain, and sends you hugs. I send you Husky kisses. If you ever want to hear a Husky voice you can call me and I'll talk to you on the phone!


Katherine and Pippa, said...

What a post to manage to write. We have hardly visited our friends since we read about Thrawn and only started commenting again today.

Dogblogging is great but sometimes it is hard too. We struggle to write comments when we read about our poorly friends or those who go to the bridge.

Like Lady Kaos, we started reading your blog just before Dakota died, and didn't really know what to say at the time. We were so upset too about a dog we had only just "virtually" met. Now we've read about the Brat Pack for months and with Thrawn it is so much harder. Reading about our friends all the time, we actually feel that we do know them, and the regret and sadness is huge. We all go through the same grief with our own dogs, so I guess that's why we empathise so much. It never gets any easier.

Mistress was upset when she read the previous post because she thought she had sent our sympathies days ago but couldn't find them, so then she cried all over again, and today we have written a new comment. I don't know what she did wrong. Too many tears on the keyboard in my opinion - couldn't see what she was doing. Silly mistress.

Sorry about that and hope you don't think it showed any lack of respect. Hope Bear is well, 'cos we know that Thrawn looked after him. We'll try and read the rest of your blog now.

We're still so very sorry. Guess you know that though because you visited my blog. Just wanted you to know we thought we had left a comment earlier than today.

Pippa, Kate and Adrian.

Frasier said...

We are so late but we had to drop by with hugs and prayers.we are so sorry for your loss
Frasier and mommy