Goodbye to Elway
I know we dropped off the bloggingsphere for awhile, but you know the story: blah blah blah, life, blah blah blah no time. But we had a major life event happen, and I felt the need to blog about it.
We had to put our Elway puppy down on Tuesday, December 3rd. Late Sunday night he had a seizure. It was scary. I didn’t expect to be so distraught witnessing one. He was just so helpless and out of it. We stayed with him for a while, and he seemed fine, so we went to bed, but I could hear him having another one later in the night. Jeff took care of him and in the morning we ended up taking him to the Emergency Hospital. He continued having seizures. After 36 hours and four different anti-seizure medications, they still couldn’t make the seizures stop. At this point, the vet’s best guess was a brain tumor and the next step would be to see a neurologist. We had already discussed this option, and we knew we would not be going that route. We put Elway down on Tuesday night, surrounded by friends and family.
It was a hard choice. It feels awful to decide to end a living creature’s life. But after the doctor expressed concern about brain damage and the cause of the seizures, there really was nothing we could do.
But that doesn’t stop the guilt of course. And most certainly not the sorrow. He was our first baby. And even though he was a pain in the ass more often than not, we loved him.
It was really hard making it through Tuesday. We made the decision in the morning, but the procedure wouldn’t be done until that evening. We went about our day as usual. Or tried to at least. I didn’t tell anyone at work because I couldn’t say it out loud without breaking down. I felt like a liar when I replied “good” when people asked the traditional “hi! How are you?” I kept tearing up at school, but I didn’t cry. Still, the kids knew something was wrong. One of the tough boys, who never shows or wants affection, asked me to hold his hand as we walked to the park. Without using words, the kids just kept touching me, just a brush on my leg as they walked by or a hand on my shoulder as they stood next to me. It was all very sweet. But by lunch time, I could barely hold myself together. I couldn’t swallow down my lunch. My throat was so tight. I took a break, only to find Jeffry heading towards the school. He needed to be with his family. He couldn’t function. He had already cleared my absence with my director, who so generously allowed me to leave. We went and picked up our son. And we ate lunch with him, and told him what was happening with Elway. At first he chuckled, thinking we were playing a joke on him and said “No, they wouldn’t do that.” Then when it sunk in he said “well, I’ll get my chores done faster, I’ll only have one dog bed to move and one dog to let out in the morning. I’ll get to watch my screen time faster.” Our little optimist! Max wanted to make Elway a picture, like he did when Daddy was sick. And he wanted to take him his bed and a blanket so he would be more comfortable.
We took Max to a movie, Frozen, and it was nice to sit there for two hours and not think about what was going to happen. It was the first movie Jeff and I have ever taken him too, and I’ll know we’ll remember it. It allowed us to calm down and reset and just be numb for a little bit. When we left the theatre it was almost like nothing was wrong. Until Max asked if we were going to go visit Elway now and reality came crashing back. We went home, and got Elway’s bed, just like Max wanted. And finally, we went to see Elway.
When they brought him in, Elway was circling and clumsy. He just kept hopping in circles and was not interested in us. The vet said they didn’t know if his behavior was because of the meds or brain damage. But either way, it was hard to watch. An hour later, Bob, Connie, Stephanie and Jamie were all there to say good bye and support us. The Mundles all had to say good bye from afar, as my mom was out of town, Megan’s in Portland, and my dad was watching Abby. We were thankful for the support from everyone. Jeff stayed to comfort Elway as he was put to sleep. Max was just excited to go home and have mac and cheese. Oh to be a kid.
I know nearly every family has this story. It is not original. Or even interesting. But it is now part of our story. And even though I went through pretty much the same story with Chaz, 6 years ago, it was a lot harder when I was the grown up making The Decision.
We miss Elway every day. Angel is taking it a lot harder than I ever imagined she would. She keeps wandering around the house, like she’s looking for something (and maybe she is). She’s whining when she’s in the house, which is unusual, she only usually whines to be let in.
Max keeps saying that dogs come back to life, but not humans. And we have to keep correcting him. So that’s hard. But it’s getting easier every day. A huge thank you to all our friends and family out there who offered kind words and hugs and beautiful cards. We have the best people around.