I can't think of another word to describe how I'm feeling, other than heartbroken. I posted a lot on Facebook yesterday, but if you haven't heard, Joe and I had to put our sweet Charlie to sleep. Its sad to see that just 2 posts ago I was bragging about how incredible Charlie's recovery has been and how nice its was to see his bright, fun personality come back. It just makes me sad reading over it, knowing that just a few weeks later we flipped a 180.
Charlie started showing signs of back problems again this past Wednesday evening. (3/14/12) We limited his activity all day Thursday, even gave him a pain pill to give him a little comfort. But unfortunately Thursday evening he was barely walking on his own. First thing Friday morning we noticed he was no longer able to move the lower half of his body. No walking, no potty breaks...nothing. I even tried a pinch test on this legs & tail and it didn't even phase him. We were warned before his surgery in January that if his back problems got worse, paralysis can happen over night. I'm guessing whatever was going on with him on Wednesday, was our early sign of paralysis. But we hesitated on taking him in, hoping it was just a sour muscle or over exertion.
After an emergency run to the animal hospital yesterday afternoon, we found out through x-ray that the bottom half of his spine was collapsing. (Not the section originally operated on.) Talking with the doctors, Joe found out its was possible Charlie was born with this condition. That his back never gained full strength or his disks were either very unstable or thin. Whatever the reasons were, surgery was needed yet again. Not only were we worried of the cost, but the doctor said Charlie was very weak and he might pull through surgery or ever fully recover. Which that, just broke my heart even more!! My poor Charlie. Only 5 years old and look at what he's had to go through.
We made the tough decision to put him down after weighing all the odds. Unfortunately I was unable to leave work and Joe had to do all this on his own. (Luckily I was able to give him goodbye loves, just in case this was the outcome) Joe held him, snuggling him and gave him kissed until his last breath. The hospital was so accommodating and Joe was even able to stick around 10 or so minutes after just to recoup.
I'm past the crying point. Again with me working yesterday, I really didn't have the time to 'feel' or cry. I guess I should be grateful for that. I did break down as soon as I got home and again when we headed to bed. Charlie was a huge nuzzler and he loved sleeping up near my head so he could be near me. I don't have tears for it anymore. I mean, life moves on. I have 2 other dogs that need my attention, a job I still have to go to and a life we still have to live. But I'm not going to lie, I'm severely depressed about it. I keep wondering if I loved him enough, or if he knew how much we loved him. Was there anything I could have done differently? Should we have kept him in a bubble until he was fully healed from surgery? Should I have left him in his kennel all day instead of out in the dog run with our other dogs?
I know I'll get over the sadness and depression. Time heals all wounds. Plus its a dog. My life can easily go on without being hugely effected. But right now I'm just grieving. Grieve hardcore. My heart just constantly aches and my stomach turns every time I think about what Joe had to do at the hospital. Plus I really want to break down and cry when I see his chew toy, his blanket, the holes he dug out in our backyard...even the empty spot where he slept.
Again, I know I'll be feeling better soon. But I at least wanted to document this and always remember the wonderful things about Charlie, in the short 6 months he was in our lives. Out of all my dogs, he was the most calm, even tempered and loving. My favorite things. I'm gonna miss that cute cuddle bug. He was a perfect lap dog. Lazy, cuddly, lap dog.
Thanks for reading. Ugh. I'm anxious for the saddness to pass.