Wednesday, April 4, 2012

From five to four...

How to write this? Where to start?

March 6th Sherman, our first and most obnoxiously loving and high strung and determined and crazy puppy, got sick. He threw up about 15 times, mostly all over our area rug (which has since been disposed of). The next day he was in the vet, and they thought it was a virus. By Monday March 12 he was no better and we were back to the vet. Blood tests were taken and an infection was found and we started treating that. And Sherman was doing so well. He was eating (small amounts) again and happy and loving. But once the  antiobiotics were done, he started getting worse again. On March 29th we went back to the vet and had blood and urine and an ultrasound done. And they found foreign objects in his stomach and surgery was booked the next day at another clinic. We had this diagnosed and we had a plan.

And then it all fell apart.

Friday morning the vet opened Shermo up and found the foreign objects (thought to be beads) were just undigested chick peas. The problem was in his small intestines. There was an obstruction and it caused the small intestine to go necrotic.

Backtracking, Sherman has ALWAYS been an exuberant chewer. Pearls, walls, cabinets, baseboards, mouth splint, undies, kleenex, paper, toilet paper, the toilet paper holder, Neil's rug from Morocco, the frame of Neil's BA, rose bush branches with thorns, an entire couch (well, loveseat)... the list goes on. Sherman felt anything was fair game to chew. He also felt that toys were only given to him as a challenge - to see how long it toook him to tear it all apart. One toy, a green dino cuz rubber toy, had been in the rotation for a few years. It was missing pieces, but doing ok. Sometime in the last few months Sherman must have chewed off a chunk and swallowed it. This time it didn't just pass through.

By the time it was removed it had expanded to many times it's original thickness. And it was stuck. There were small abrasions leading up to the piece, where it managed to squish through his intestines and did some damage (which was being fixed by the antibiotics).

The vet removed a large section of Sherm's intestine and reconnected the healthy parts. We were given warnings about it taking 72 hours for confirmation that the edges would reconnect. And if it didn't reconnect there was the chance of hemorrhaging. And that some bile went into his throat and may have caused scarring but they treated that. They said he should be ok.

That afternoon I went and saw him for about 20 minutes. He was so so so out of it, drugged to prevent him from moving and opening the incision. I petted him and kissed his floppy jowls and promised him he'd be ok. We fixed this. And he'd be coming home tomorrow. And then life took hold of me and I left to get dinner and do all those things I "needed" to do.

At about 730pm the phone rang. It was the vet. Sherman had stopped breathing.

I panicked. I screamed for Neil, downstairs, and passed the phone to him. And I crumpled to the floor and cried. Bawled. My Sherman...

It's all a blur, but Neil talked to the vet. They said if they couldn't get him breathing on his own soon, the prognosis was very poor. And they couldn't.

And he died.

On Saturday we went and paid the vet (just materials, she donated her time) and the cremation and picked out the box he'll come home in... and then spent a lot of time crying and trying to fill the absolute silence he left. Even with a toddler our house feels empty.

Sherman was such a special dog. He lived life to the fullest and was so happy and strong and loving. Oh so loving! So much licking from a smelly, smelly mouth loving. He was into everything and loved everyone. He always believed he knew what was needed (many kisses). He never stayed still, he never slept until he was sure he wouldn't miss anything (which meant being kenneled). He was willing to chew anything. And annoy his brother in any way possible. He was an anxious and high strung dog too, and we knew it aged him. But he lived life completely and loved with abandon and never held a grudge. And we had plans for many many more years of play and kisses and happiness...

The vet thinks that his body went into shock from the surgery and the extent of his injuries. She assures us that he didn't suffer. And it helps me to know that he wasn't alone. He didn't die alone... there were people with him who in the short time they knew him already loved him. That, I think, is what makes it almost bearable. Almost.

We love you Sherman. And we miss you so much... It wasn't supposed to end this way. And yet it has.

And now we have to figure out life as four.

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