Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Sad Farewell

I've been watching my oldest dog, Wren, decline for a month or two and knew that the end was approaching. Yet she still seemed happy and participated in all the activities with the other dogs. That's little Wren just recently, snoozing near my computer with the other dogs. She's the little brown dog in the upper right:

Wren was a generally happy dog, though her age and weight kept her from running and playing like the youngsters, she was quite happy to lounge about the floor, adding both love and beauty to the household:

When I left the house for work or any reason, Wren used to stay upstairs in my bedroom with her buddy, Winky. Both were former foster dogs from my days volunteering at the Shelter. I was walking dogs there one day when a friend sought me out to tell me there was a small old dog who was just my type and I should come see her right away. I arrived just as the vet (widely known to the volunteers as Dr. Death) was leading her toward the back to be put down. He said her test for Cushings Disease was inconclusive, but he figured she had it. I took her on the spot and she's lived happily with me and the other dogs ever since:

This picture was taken up at the farm and shows both Wren and Casey early this year, now both gone:

Wren could not go up or down stairs without assistance, and required increasingly more assistance as she aged. Here she is with Winky at the top of the stairs in my house just a few months ago. That's the happy, smiling dog I remember:

Over the last month or so Wren became more listless and needed more and more assistance. She slept a lot and I began carrying her up and down stairs:

And yet she seemed to truly enjoy our trips through the Adirondacks:

When the time finally came that I thought she should be put to sleep, I took Wren to the vet. He advised taking blood tests to check for kidney function and I agreed. He gave her fluids and some pills to help with vomiting and diarrhea and I brought her back home with me (these photos are from happier, healthier times):

But the next day the vet called with the results of the blood test to say they were much worse than he'd imagined and showed that her kidneys had shut down and her liver was probably doing likewise:

But she appeared to be in no distress, so I continued to give her as much care as I could. When she could no longer hold down food or water, and when she no longer had any control of her bowels, I knew it was time:

Wren came to the Shelter because her owner had died and no relative cared enough to take her. I've known that she was elderly from the day I met her and cherished the time she lived with me. I've always known the time would come for her to return to her original owner. Yet I'm sure she'll look me up when I too pass that way:

One last photo of Wren in my computer room with a couple of the other dogs. She was a blessing wherever she went and will continue to live in my heart. I will miss her happy face and wagging tail:

No comments:

Post a Comment