I went to check on my sweet old girl this morning, with a cooked marrow bone (she LOVED them and always wanted a few when I'd get "altered" so she could party to excess with Dad) but she had been in total renal failure for 36 hours....not a drop of urine entered the catheter bag. The vet agreed with what I realized last night....even IF we got past the kidney failure, she'd be in chronic pain from arthritis and severe hip dysplasia, which, thankfully, had suddenly become severe just two weeks ago. And the drugs that could possibly address both conditions attack the stomach lining, liver and kidney...so the only option other than the euthanasia I chose was to have an immobile dog pooping and peeing daily on her sleeping towels as she had started to do a few days ago, while on high doses of pain killer. That would not be living.
She went quickly and peacefully around noon, and I cried more than I thought I would as she had been my first "aloof" dog compared to her two male predecessors who'd been the classic "best friend" kind of dog. She stopped breathing maybe 10 seconds after the shot entered the catheter in her foreleg. When I got her from the Denver Dumb Friends League in December 1997 she was a year old, had been abandoned on a Denver street in a blizzard, and had very clearly been abused...it took me over a year to make her realize she was safe and loved in my household.
My Siamese cat, Luvyu, is in for a shock as when I adopted him feral in 1998 from a Denver cat rescue organization he'd been in 5 foster homes in 4 months after being found abandoned in a meadow with his sister, also in winter....as SOON as he saw Sweety that day he bonded INSTANTLY to her, glued to her side every chance he'd get all these years since. So I would not be surprised if he starts howling and looking for Sweety as my last cat, Lovely, did when Sergeant died. Maybe my other cat, Angel, whom I got the fall of 1998, will give him some comfort.
Sweety and I had 13 good years together to help make up for her first horrible year with that abusive family that dumped her on a brutal Denver winter day, especially since 2003 when I stopped landscaping to stay home and work on all my various projects vs. her being a alone alot like when I put in LONG days working in people's yards. So we've had MANY MANY trips to her favorite place in the world, Picnic Island Beach, her last one maybe 5 days ago. Plus she liked her road trips to Mom and Dad's 3 acres where she could run and chase wild rabbits.
I am glad that her illnesses escalated rather quickly vs. a sad slow lingering decline, and that her last 36 hours were pain free due to being on very high doses of pain killer. She truly was a sweet sweet dog and I will always miss her and be glad I got her. I've long known that I'd want my next dog to be a Border Collie mix like she was (the rest was Chow) and her much smaller predecessors were. So I will, when I am ready, ask the Universe that a great Border Collie mutt type puppy that needs a good loving home come into my life at the right time.
Thanks to everyone for your kind words and wishes for us both. John