About a Boy and His Dog

Yodi came into my life in 2002. He was the pick of the litter, and I pretty much picked him out when he was 2 weeks old. His owner brought out the puppies in his litter for us to meet one at a time, in the order that they were born. Since he had been the first in the litter, he was the first puppy that I met. He sat happily on my chest while I met, pet, and handled all of his brothers and sisters.

When Yodi was 9 months old, he was attacked by my parents' neighbor's pit bull. What we went through was devastating, but after having blood transfusions, skin grafts, and an amputation - he bounced back as good as new. Yodi was a "tripawd" for pretty much his whole life.

In 2012, when I moved from Florida to Virginia, Yodi stayed behind with my parents. I wasn't sure that he would do well in the cold up north, plus my husband's townhouse had open stairs and two cats. I wasn't sure how a three-legged dog would handle any of that. As much as I hated to be without Yodi, I figured it was for the best, and I hoped that he would enjoy spending his "retirement years" with my parents in their big house and big backyard.

Just recently, my parents decided to move back to Pennsylvania where we're all from. Since they were moving north again anyway, we decided it was time for Yodi to come and live with me. I wasn't sure how it would work with two cats and a baby, but we have a bigger split-level house with entry to the outside downstairs, so I figured Yodi could just be a downstairs dog. He and the cats didn't really get along - any time a cat saw or heard Yodi, they'd bolt. But thankfully, we never had any problems.

I was just glad to have my dog with me again.
And in the short time that they had together, Yodi and Jacob seemed to love each other.

Yodi was always by Jacob's side. He was curious about diaper changes, food time in the high chair, and naptime in the pack 'n play. He liked to give Jacob kisses and didn't seem to mind when Jacob would pet him or grab an ear or a handful of fur.

But Yodi wasn't doing well. At over thirteen years old, it was painfully obvious to me that he had slowed down a lot. After a few trips to the vet it was determined that Yodi would need most of his teeth removed, but the vet heard a heart murmur so a trip to the cardiologist was in order. The cardiologist said he should be fine with the dental surgery, but of course, there are still risks involved with any surgery, especially with a senior dog. I wasn't sure that I wanted to put Yodi through all that. In addition to those issues, Yodi also seemed to be suffering from what the vet described as canine cognitive dysfunction - basically, the doggie version of Alzheimer's. He would sleep all day, was shaky and tired, didn't like to be left alone, and would sometimes throw up or have accidents in the house. Sometimes he'd have difficulty trying to get to his feet, like his back legs weren't working properly. I watched him wobble, stumble, and fall numerous times.

Because he didn't like to be left alone, I ended up spending a few weeks sleeping on a mattress downstairs with him. Just like old times, we'd cuddle under the covers. It had been years since I'd been able to cuddle with Yodi in bed because he'd no longer been able to jump on and off the bed.

But I was afraid. I hated seeing him so worn down, and possibly in pain. I talked with the vet, my husband, and several close friends and family members. I worried and cried about it over and over again until I finally decided that it was time to put him to rest. I knew that saying goodbye would be hard, but it was also so hard to watch him struggle every day.

The vet reassured me that saying goodbye was the most selfless act of love that I could do for Yodi. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I know that it was the right thing. I held Yodi in my arms the whole time and thanked him for being such a good dog.

I'm just so happy that my baby got to meet my fur baby, even if it was only for a little while.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting!