Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Difficult Farewell

After three agonizing days, my ten year old golden retriever, Berkeley passed away.

I was away visiting my sister last weekend, and Arielle called to tell me he was acting strange. I arrived home on a late flight the next day and took him to the vet the following morning. An xray revealed coins in his intestines, and they did surgery that day to remove them.

But, they also discovered an abnormality with his spleen and removed that as well.

Post op, they were concerned about heart arythmias and about low red blood cell count. He was transferred to an animal ICU where he could get transfusions.

This is a long drawn out story of 48 hours of phone updates, worry and stress. Here, I'll share a short version.

Yesterday, it was suggested that they xray his lungs to see if he had any evidence of cancer. If so, we could assume that the spleen biopsy would come back to confirm it. He did have nodules in his lungs and his heart was slightly enlarged.


I visited him there yesterday morning. He walked into the visiting room on his own. We sat on the floor and he pressed his head into my chest like he always does to get his ears and neck scratched. But he wore out clickly and slid to the floor. I laid with him for awhile, then asked them to move him back where he could be reattached to his monitor and IVs.

Arielle and I went back to see him last night. He seemed like maybe he had turned a corner. He was upright and interacted with us, even though it was somewhat lethargic. He had not been willing to eat but I was able to coax him into taking a little cheese. Our plan was to not think about the cancer right now, but to try and get him recovered from the surgery and hopefully have a little quality time with him at home. I could tell the doctors were not optimistic, but I was feeling hopeful because he was doing so much better than he was in the morning.

I got a call in the middle of the night to tell me he was crashing. I was in a stupor. They asked me if I wanted to come down but I knew I couldn't safely drive myself there. Aaron was out of town so I would have to drive myself. They suggested another xray to see if he was bleeding out, but they were also leaving the door wide open for me to let them put him down. I couldn't give up, I ok'd the xray.

But he was under too much stress and he was experiencing arythmias....they called me 30 minutes later and said he was in cardiac arrest. They attempted about 5 minutes of cpr while I was on the phone, and then I told them to stop. Berkeley is gone.

I have a very heavy heart today. He has been my constant companion...my shadow for his entire life. He was my walking buddy, my fuzzball, and one of my babies. It all happened so fast and now, our whole family is in shock.

22 comments:

Robin said...

I am so sorry, Kat.

Lisa :-] said...

This is terrible, Kat! My heart goes out to you and your family. I know how much it hurts to lose a beloved "fuzzball" baby.

BosieLadie said...

(((((((((((Kat)))))))))))
My heart goes out to you. I totally understand how you feel losing such a great companion as Berkley. You're both in my thoughts tonight.
Cheryl

BosieLadie said...

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

BosieLadie said...

Kat, here's what I've been looking for....
http://www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html
Take care,
Cheryl

Robbie said...

My sympathies to you and your family Kat. It's never easy to say goodbye and even harder when it is so unexpected.

HillareeDay said...

I am glad I found you again! I haven't been to my blog since I moved over from J-land and was able to find you on my page.
I am SO very sorry about Berkeley. Our pets are never with us quite long enough. I remember you speaking of him often on your walking/photography explorations. I hope you all feel better soon. It is a very tough thing to go through.
Hugs,
Angie
(aka Hillareeday)

V said...

I'm so sorry, Kat.

kath said...

I'm so sorry about your dog. It's so painful to lose a pet, especially one you've had for a long time. You're in my thoughts. RIP Berkley.
katcorr

- The Virgin Author! said...

Losing a pet, is always, very sad. I hope you get over it!

Sonya said...

I am so sorry for the loss. A pet is truly a family member and your sweet memories will sustain you. I am sure he had a good home and a good owner. I am visiting your blog from another friend "Boisielady".

marigolds2 said...

I know this is so very late - and I learned of your darling dog's death somewhere else already- but I am so sorry. I understand how hard and painful it is. I'm glad you had him for ten good years.

Connie said...

Awww- may he rest in peace and no more pain.Savor the memories and all the sweet times you shared.No matter how long it's been the thought of a passed pet brings tears to your eyes.But he knew you loved him and did all that you could.He's watching from heaven till he can meet you there and run and let you once again rub his ears.

LivingSimply47 said...

Kat,
I haven't spoken to you in over a year since I was last in Manhattan. I have been thinking about you but things have just been so crazy hectic that I haven't even written in my own blog for forever. But that is not important. What is important is that I want to express my sympathies to you regarding Berkeley. I am so, very, very, sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that I have you in my thoughts and am sending heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. Please take care of yourself,
Rose

hip-chick said...

I'm sorry.

Jo said...

Oh I am SO sorry, Kat. I popped over here from your kind visit and comment on my blog. And I find you in grief. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I see another reader has told you about Rainbow Bridge. Take heart in this, my friend. I've had to when losing a dear pet,friend,shadow,companion such as Berkley was to you. You can see it on Internet. Ah, I see BosieLady has given you the link. Visit there and be comforted in this terrible time. I send you cyber (((hugs))) Blessings from Jo, South Africa

Lainey Laine said...

Oh Kat, Im so sorry, Ive only just read your entry about your dear lovely "fuzzball" baby. My heart goes out to you. I dont know if you remember but I have a Goldie named Oscar and he is very similar to Berkeley.

My Oscar is nearly 9 and he has just had a big operation on his leg. He had torn a cruciate ligament and needed the bone cut and a plate put in. He is doing really well.

Thank you for visiting me. Im so sorry I havent been around. your comments mean alot. Im feeling pretty scared at the moment. I dont know why!

Fotobloggen 2010 said...

always a tough and sad desicion that, made it myself a year ago and sometimes it still hurts, so used to the fourlegged companion as we get

thanks for the comment on my blog!

christina, sweden

Celeste said...

(((((((Kat))))))) Hey Girlie... It's been a very long time... I'm sorry to see your loss. I hope ALL has been improving since this entry. Celeste (gdireneoe)

VaishVijay said...

You've done so much for yr pet! I'm so sorry to hear about Berkeley.

Shifan said...

Thanks for visiting http://wwwmysrilanka.blogspot.com. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Oh gosh! I'm so sorry. There are not words to comfort you at a time like this. Just try and remember the good times. We lost our first furbaby in February. He lived a good long life too...doesn't make it any easier.

Big hugs heading your way!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com