Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Dewey

He slept in his usual spot last night - at the top of the stairs up against the wall, on his back.  I must have checked on him a thousand times.  As I sit and write this now, he is right by my side.  He knows I know,  and all he is trying to do is comfort me and all I am trying to do is comfort him.  I love to stroke his velvety belly, freshly shaved from the ultrasound that sealed his fate.  When I stop petting, he gives me the nudge - his nose to my hand.  He doesn't want me to stop.  I cry.  He just stares at me.  I cry some more. He must be so tired and so hungry.

All he can "eat" is peanut butter.  I give him a finger full every few hours.  The tumor is blocking the path from his stomach to his small intestines.  Almost nothing can get through.  I can't bring myself to give him his meds this morning.  The pills don't go down easily, and he clenches his jaw when I try to pry it open.  No more today.  Only peanut butter licks.

Few things perk him up now.  The crinkle of a food wrapper will get his attention for a moment, but he won't move to investigate further.  He only moves if I move.  And I don't want to make him move, so I've been trying to sit still.  His eyes light up if I ask "Where's the kitty?"  But he doesn't patrol the house to find the kitty anymore.  He just looks around checks to see if I move, then drops his head back to the ground.

I reached out to Dewey's breeder last night to give her the news.  I was surprised to hear that 1 of his 11 litter mates just died a few months ago of lymphoma.  And his mother, Valy, died of lymphoma at age 7. Dewey just turned 8.  He looked just like his mother.  His dad, Obi, lived to be 13.  We declined any further diagnostics on the tumor to spare him the procedures that would likely be painful and uncomfortable and have little or no upside as his prognosis even with the most aggressive treatment was likely a year or less.  And since he can't eat, he would have to be on supportive care in other day or so.  Also his tumor looked like it was starting to ulcerate, which means he's at a risk for perforation, hemorrhage, and possibly a very sudden and painful death.  Not on my watch.

Today is his last day with us.  I wanted him to have one last "normal" day.  I didn't want his last day to be 7 hours away from home, 2 very long car rides (he hates the car) and strange sounds, smells, dogs and the like.  So Dash will get to torture him for one more day.  The kids and I will just snuggle with him all day.  He'll get to sit in the snow and cool off his belly for one more day.  Maybe he'll even bark at the mailman. I'm so grateful to have this day to say goodbye.  I realize many don't get this opportunity.  Today is just as much for me as it is for him.  I hope he doesn't suffer too much in the few hours he has left.

I have never witnessed the euthanasia of any of my pets before.  I have had several "put down"  Cats and dogs.  I will be there holding his giant paw later today, stroking his velvety belly, kissing his cheek.  He's done so much for me and my family.  It's the least I can do for him.

We love you Dewey.  You'll find your kitty up there.  I promise.


  1. Thinking of you guys today. What a Lucky Dewey!

  2. I'm so sorry. There's no pain like this pain. The love of a dog or cat is so unconditional and they hold a high place in the family for the genuine gifts of joy and love. I wish I could help make it better. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers today and tonight. Love and hugs... Wendy Eastburn-Teal

  3. This was a beautifully written piece about your very loved Dewey. It was so touching and you can tell how much love you have for him just by reading the words on the screen. I hope you can find comfort through your happy memories and family during this difficult time.