...On the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
Today we took Shadow to our vet. She only had to take a cursory look at him to know he was in trouble. And with his advanced age and the fact he'd basically been down for two days already (though this deterioration originally must've started weeks ago at least) she was pretty sure he was in the late stages of kidney failure.
I hadn't noticed, till she looked at them, how pale his gums were. By the time we'd gotten him there this afternoon (they had to squeeze us in) he had what I can only call a 'death rattle' in his chest. I guess fluid buildup. She did offer us the opportunity to try some bloodwork and therapy, but didn't have a good prognosis for him in the state he was in. She gave him a few weeks to a month at best, to a few days at worst.
So we agreed it was time. She shaved his rear leg, she inserted the needle (twice, there was hardly any blood pressure-he was so dehydrated) and asked if we were ready. After we said yes and then began our goodbyes, I don't think even 30 seconds passed before he went limp. It was so quick! He was ready...but I know we really were not. Had he fought it, like Taiku did for half an hour, it would've been a disaster. As it was, you could tell...this was what he needed more than anything.
I'm not in here for more than this tonight. I just can't even deal with this right now. I have no idea where his poem is I wrote for him last year. It was hard enough to see him go so fast, knowing if we'd acted earlier there may have been a different outcome, but still only another month or two...and now he's in the ground in our back yard with Taiku, Dusty, Willow and Kimba. Just shy of spring...but it was still a bright and sunny day and I think he was happy with the car ride...something else we didn't do enough of with him.
Their family is back together again. But our human family is broken.
I kept feeling like there was joy though. It wasn't just me imagining it because I usually imagine the worst. I kept seeing Shadow's face beaming at me. Happy and young again...his big old tongue hanging out in the sunshine.
It was a beautiful day today. The kind of day he would've wanted to run in. I know we handed him directly from our arms into the Lord's. He's got a really good dog up there with him now....the best.
We're missing him so much. I feel so lost. I cut a lock of his fur from his shoulders, his ear and his beautiful feet, and in return gave him a lock of mine. My hair is 6 inches shorter now.
I forgot to take off his collar. I wanted to really free him. But we put him in a warm brown fleece blanket I couldn't get soft enough for the bed that had running wolves imprinted in white all over it. He's okay now. I know he is. But I won't be for awhile.
Thank you to everyone who lent their prayers and kind words and wishes for his recovery. Rest assured, they were heard and answered.
I may not be on for a few days or more. When I come back, I'll try to add a better pic and the poem for his tribute. Right now...I just can't stop crying.
Thank you Jesus for the time we had with this special boy. I know you'll take good care of him until we meet again.
It's not goodbye, Shadow. We will be together again, dear one! Find that beach, boy...you never got to go to the ocean. I'll see you there, someday.
Taken Feb. 2004 ~ This is the face I can see in my mind's eye.