Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Getting Personal: Spencer's Last Day


Normally I keep things on my blog light and funny. I don't share much outside of our family's crafty adventures. Today we had a hard day. We put our 14 year old yorkie/silkie mix to sleep this evening. We have talked about putting him down several times over the past couple of months. He was losing weight and struggling with digestive and neurological issues. Every time we thought it was time to make that decision, he would rally and perk up. My husband is a vet and kept a close eye on him.

However, this last time he wasn't getting better. After he refused to eat anything, including cake and bacon, we knew that the time was here. His labs had been questionable for a while. Two days ago he got lost, and I found him curled up in a ball covered in cockleburs in a corn field. He just was so tired and listless after that. Last night we made the hard decision. I decided to take the day today making sure he got to experience all the things he could still do that he loved. I took photographs so I could remember this special time we spent together.

We started out the morning with a bath. Spencer actually enjoyed getting baths and haircuts. He would always prance around the house after he went to the groomers. I also found something therapeutic about giving him a bath.

After our bath and haircut, he got a blow dry and snuggles while I got ready for the day.

It was time to run some errands. Spencer loved rides. I used to take him around with me anytime I had to run around town. I took him with today and turned on the seat heater. He fell asleep quickly.

Spencer is a typical dog and loved to stick his head out the car window. His legs hurt bad enough as of late that he couldn't reach up to the window. I put in on my lap and stuck his head out and cruised around.

Spencer tagged along as I picked up the kids from daycare. My husband and I decided not to tell our children about putting Spencer down until afterwards. I did make sure they got a lot of cuddles, kisses and hugs in before it was time to say good bye.

The one tough thing was telling the children. We chose to put Spencer to sleep at home so he wouldn't be scared about being in the vet clinic. The kids spent that time at their grandparents house. We told them about Spencer passing after we picked them up. Our son is too little to understand, but our daughter immediately started crying. We explained that Spencer was in pain and old. We tried to explain he's in heaven now and being taken care by mommy and daddy's grandpas. That seemed to help. She told me at bedtime that when Spencer died, Jesus drove to our house in a car and picked him up and took him to heaven. When we prayed that night, she asked God to make sure that he gave Spencer a lot of treats, played with him, let him out to go potty and made sure he rested so he wouldn't get too tired. She also has stated several times that she's sad that Spencer won't be around to play with her or cuddle him. It's heartbreaking to see her pain, but I'm glad she understands what happened.

Our daughter decided he needed to play a little dress up. He was always such a good sport about being part of the kids games.

We tried to give Spencer some chocolate cake as a little treat. He wasn't interested, but Lila sat on the floor and ate the cake and cuddled him. He probably appreciated the cuddles more anyways.

The real shame with dogs is that their lives are so short. Our Spencer was supposed to be put asleep at a shelter the day I got him. An independent rescue worker came to the shelter to drop off a food donation and saw him in a kennel. I had been in contact with the rescue for a couple of months asking for a small dog. She remembered me and asked if she could take him so he wouldn't be put down (it's a long story on why the shelter had to put him down). She called me and asked if I wanted to meet him and adopt him, but told me I needed to do it that day since she was already fostering 13 small dogs and didn't have room for another. I picked him up an hour later on 5-5-2005. He always had an attitude, but was nothing but loving around our children. He slept under their baby swings, tried to give them kisses the day we brought them home from the hospital and greeted them everyday after daycare. He really was a fantastic dog, and he is already missed by everyone in our family. I hope he's running around somewhere else, happy to finally be without pain.


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