21. April 2014 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
Howie lying in the snow, one of his favorite places to be. This was taken on April 13th. The last picture I took of him.

Howie lying in the snow on our back deck, one of his favorite places to be. This was taken on April 13th. The last picture I took of him.

This past weekend was very sad for our family. We lost our beloved family dog, Howie. He had developed a liver tumor that grew incredibly quickly. We first discovered it in February while he was getting pre-dental blood work done. On Saturday morning, after 36-48 hours of not eating, he had grown so weak he needed immediate medical attention. Our vet was open on Saturday mornings, and she was able to quickly take an x-ray and determined that the tumor had completely overtaken Howie’s liver, and was pressing his lungs, stomach, and intestines up against his abdominal cavity.

It had to be so painful for him.

He seemed okay last Wednesday night, walking around, taking the stairs, and even playing with his stuffed animals with Dave and the boys. This all happened so quickly.

The vet didn’t think Howie would make it through the weekend, so we elected to put him down peacefully. I shudder at the thought of him dying alone while the boys were at school or we were all at baseball practice while Dave was at work. On Saturday morning the boys and I were at a chess tournament up the street, and we immediately left the event to sit with Howie at the vet for his final minutes. It was very quiet and peaceful for him, although we humans were making quite a racket of bawling our eyes out.

We are still pretty grief-stricken, but don’t regret our decision. We’re slowly putting our game faces back on, but it’s been tough. Seeing the boys so sad just compounds Dave’s and my own grief. Today I had to make phone calls to cancel his June kennel visits, and his surgical consultation scheduled for the end of the month up in Denver. We put away his beds, blankets, toys, and feeding supplies, and I’m working on donating some of those items to the kennel, who fosters dogs from the Humane Society routinely.

I have so much I want to write about, but for now I just wanted to share his last photo, which is so cute.

We are comforted to know that Howie is waiting for us on the Rainbow Bridge, wagging his tail, with both knees in tact so he can chase all the squirrels and rabbits he wants. I’m sure over time we will remember him with smiles instead of tears, but for now, thank heavens for Costco-sized multi packs of Kleenex.