Sunday, February 24, 2013

Goodbye Sweet Spanky

This is a post that I'm not very excited to write.  As you probably know, our oldest dog, Spanky, had struggled with health issues (ear infections, seizures) his whole life, and recently, his health had severely deteriorated.  He hadn't been eating, his ear infection was so severe his face was swollen, he had a hard time getting up the stairs, and he very rarely wanted to play.  Last week we got a few tail wags from him, and he ate a few bowls of food, but it was a 50-50 chance that he would actually keep the food down.

On Thursday, we made the decision that if he wasn't any better by this weekend, we were going to put him down.  I know Scott didn't want to make that decision as Spanky was a very special dog to him - he truly was his little buddy, following him around everywhere, wanting to be wherever Scott was, and howling his sadness whenever Scott would leave him.

Throughout Friday night, it became clear that Spanky wasn't going to have a miraculous recovery, so Scott made an 8am appointment with the vet for Saturday morning.  The countdown to when they had to leave was horrible.  Knowing that we were going to send him off, and never see him again was so hard to accept.  Ava and I stayed at home so Scott could say goodbye to Spanky on his own.  Scott was holding him when his heart stopped - that's an image that will stay with him forever.  In addition to feeling immense sadness, Scott's also feeling guilty...did he make the right decision?  Was there something else that we could have done to keep Spanky with us longer?  So many what ifs...

But it was the humane thing to do.

Ava was very concerned that Lucky would no longer have her father with her.  But, she was happy to hear that Spanky is now running and barking with all of the other dogs who have passed on.  We've had a lot of talks about death lately, but she keeps asking if we're going to see him again.  Sigh... :(

Even though Darla and Lucky are still with us, the house feels oddly empty.  And quiet.  It's not even like Spanky added that much extra noise to the house, but it feels like there is a hole with something missing.  Lucky has caught Scott off guard a few times where she's popped out from behind a corner, and he thought she was Spanky.  Double sigh.

Spanky's first day with Scott

So much love

Lookin' good!

And then there were two...Spanky was always watching Darla!

Spanky tolerated Darla cuddling in his bed

Fast forward many years...the gray has set in, and he is an old man

This was from last December - before his face swelled up and he became almost unrecognizable.
And this is about as much as I can write without breaking down, so...more to come next week.


Lisa said...

I'm trying to type this through tears... I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye to Spanky. My heart goes out to Scott- I held Chewy as he went and it was SO HARD, but you want to be with them in those last moments. Tell Scott he DID make the right, humane, decision. Spanky isn't suffering anymore and you gave him a wonderful life. Darla and Lucky will probably be pretty sad in the weeks to come. Give them lots of love. Hugs to all of you, friend.

Megan said...

So sad :( I think Spanky had a lot of the same personality traits as Scott :) It must have been a horrible decision to make but I agree it was the right thing to do. What a great companion. Everyone will miss him.