Sunday, May 12, 2013
Oh friends. Our dear Shmoops, my sweet old boy, has left us. It's only been a few days, and while his decline was slow and we knew what was ultimately coming, I wasn't prepared.
The house feels so empty. I still find myself glancing to where his bed was, never realizing until now that for the last 14 years, I looked at him probably hundreds of times a day. Just little looks to see what he was doing, to oogle at his cuteness, to make funny faces at him. That's been the hardest part for me, that split-second glance, forgetting that's he's not there, and then remembering.
But with all the sadness J and I are feeling, there is tremendous happiness. We have such wonderful memories of our lives with him, and have such funny stories he's the star of. He had so much personality, and touched so many people's hearts, most of whom only ever knew him through this blog or my Facebook or Instagram posts. We've been looking through pictures the last few days and laughing more than crying, which feels right.
In the end, Degenerative Myelopothy robbed him of his ability to walk more than a few steps on his own without falling over. This cruel, unfair condition left him with a sharp mind but a body that would no longer listen. He was not in pain, but his unpredictable mobility confused him and shook his confidence, and that broke my heart. We made the incredibly difficult decision to end things while he was still in good spirits and still had some semblance of his dignity left.
We did what we could to make his last few days awesome. We took naps in the sunshine and up on the couch, we ate everything in sight (lots of french fries and pizza), and we had a big living room camp-out on an air mattress, all of us together in a big snuggly pile of blankets and pillows. It was the best.
When we took him to the vet Friday morning, about a dozen staff members packed into the room to say tearful goodbyes. It felt good to know how much they loved him; that I wasn't imagining how special he was. His favorite gal, Nicole, heard he was coming in that morning and bought him a box of Krispy Kremes. Glazed ones, creme-filled, raspberry filled, CHOCOLATE! All of us laughed and cried as he happily devoured the entire box, surrounded by love and compassion and his harem of ladies. It was such a kind and thoughtful gesture that changed the mood from gloom to celebration. I'm so incredibly thankful to her for that. When he left us he was happy and relaxed, which is all we wanted.
A big thank you to the staff at Elliott Bay Animal Hospital, you all made him love going to the vet more than anywhere else, and for a dog who had to go to the vet fairly often, you made my life easier. To the doctors who treated his bevy of health problems over the years, thank you thank you, but especially to Dr. Crow, who was so invested in Makai's health and happiness, and went above and beyond when treating him, right up until the end.
Thank you friends, for letting me share his adventures with you here the last few years. I'm certain this won't be the last post about our boy Makai, there are plenty of lost pictures and stories to share.
And finally, thank you, my Shmoopy Doo, for everything. No more itchies. I love you. High five.