Nothing in the entire world can ever prepare you for that dreadful day that you have to say goodbye.
I was so hopeful. So optimistic. I thought that if I could care for my dog well then his life would somehow be lengthened, spared or he would be magically healed.
But that day came. The day I had to say goodbye.
It come much too soon.
Austin didn’t make is much longer than my original post when I shared his tumor diagnosis. It has actually been a little over one month since I was forced to let him go. Today, I am finally writing about it because in this past month I just had not found the guts, the energy, or the strength to talk about it much. The thought of it. The thought of him still brings tears to my eyes. Every time.
I last shared with you in the previous post that Austin was taking a human antidepressant to stimulate his appetite. As I stated in that blog post, it didn’t work for long. I tried the medicine. I tried every single human food possible. I even tried McDonalds and Taco Cabana in hopes that those would entice him to eat. But no. My Austin was done. I could tell, although I didn’t want to admit it, that he knew he was at the end of his life and no longer had any use for nutrition.
Austin had 10o percent completely stopped eating. Not a taste on this earth would bring his appetite back.
If you know me, you know that I’m persistent. I’m the type of person that will never give up. I syringe fed him. I picked up a prescription dog food for him. He ate it. Not necessarily because he wanted it, but because he knew that I, his mommy, really wanted him to eat. He was still drinking water all on his own which his veterinarian said was good.
Then… a respiratory tract infection. His nose was stuffed. He had green mucous coming from his nasal passages which was something I have never experienced with him or any other dog. He breathing became labored. I thought he got over it. During the day he sounded normal, but once night rolled around, he became stuffy again.
On Halloween morning, I awoke early to tend to his needs as I always did. That night before was miserable for both of us. He slept in my bed so I could keep a close eye. His breathing was worse than ever. In the morning, I took him out for his morning walk and one close look at him told me that today was the day he needed to see the veterinarian. His breathing had become so labored that I could physically see his little cheeks filling with air like little balloons then contracting into his face as he tried to breath.
“Wake up”, I told my my husband. “We need to go to the vet”.
And off we went. He took his very last car ride. He asked for the window to be rolled down to stick his little head out that window as he loved to do just one last time. He curled in my lap, crying. Never once have I heard a dog cry. It wasn’t the normal dog whine or whimper. It sounded much like a human sobbing.
The vet completed the exam. She said she’d give him a third round of antibiotic if I wanted, but also gave me her honest opinion that this was it. She strongly believed that Austin’s disease had effected his immune system so deeply, so harshly that there was really no remedy. His immune system was too weak that he could no longer fight off disease. If he managed to fight off the respiratory infection with the help of the antibiotic, then it would just be a matter of days before another infection appeared.
And that’s the point where I was forced to say goodbye. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. As I write this post, I’m in tears.
The only thing I can say is that no one can ever prepare enough to say goodbye. It hurts. And I expect that it will continue to hurt for a while. He is missed everyday.
I will never forget my little boy. He has forever changed me and my heart.
Never once did I image I’d be the owner of a pit bull. However, I am proud to say that it is because of him that I have gained a great understanding and deep love for the pit bull breed. And in the future it will be because of Austin that once I am ready to adopt again, I will save another pit bull’s life. Because of Austin, I am committed to saving and adopting pit bulls. A breed of dog that is greatly misunderstood.
A piece of my heart is in heaven, or at the rainbow bridge, should I say. There he patiently awaits my arrival. And when I too pass, we will be together again. Forever.