Thursday, April 29, 2010

Here's what happened

Sadie had recently been vomiting violently for several days; we kept thinking whatever was wrong with her would run it's course.  She seemed to feel perfectly fine when she wasn't vomiting.  Finally, a week ago Monday, we took her to the vet.  She had no other obvious signs of problems; the doctor gave her a shot to stop the vomiting and some antibiotics, and she did not vomit once after that.  I was so relieved.  
There was a lot of barbecuing here last weekend, and somebody who didn't know about my rule against feeding Sadie pork bones, gave her some.  Actually, my reason for the rule was that she once became violently ill after eating pork bones.  Little did I know there were other dangers.  
Sunday Sadie started puking again; I had heard about her being fed pork bones and figured that was what had sent her back into the digestive trouble she'd had the previous week.  I kept giving her the antibiotic pills and waited.  
Monday she got worse as the day progressed, and Tuesday morning I called my son-in-law and asked him if he would take us to the vet, figuring the doc would give her another anti-vomit pill and she'd be fine.  She was drooling at this point, and moaning with every breath.  
The vet took us right in, and I told him about the pork bones; he made a disapproving sound and shook his head.  Xrays showed a bone lodged in Sadie's esophagus, and I could tell the vet didn't have much confidence that he could fix the situation.  There was no encouragement in his tone.  He told me that he could sedate her and attempt to reach the bone and remove it; if he couldn't, then Sadie was doomed.  He still did not sound encouraging.
I knew the procedure was taking too long.  Another vet went in and tried, with no success.  Finally the original doc came out and told us he wasn't able to get the bone, and he had a suspicion it had perforated something or other.  He said he could do exploratory surgery, but again, his tone didn't offer much hope.  
"Does that involve a lot of money?"  I asked.  
"Yes, it does."  
Now understand, if I had thought there was a 75% chance of the surgery working, I would have gone ahead.  But I could tell it was just a last-ditch effort that probably wouldn't help.  
"Then go ahead and put her to sleep," I told him through my tears.  
A lady at the front desk had me sign a paper saying it was OK to put Sadie down, and said, "Do you want us to dispose of the body, or do you want to take her home?"  
"I'll take her home," I said, knowing immediately where I would bury her.  
My son-in-law, Kevin, went to the car and got the quilt I had taken with us, and they wrapped Sadie's body in that.  
Once home, Kevin offered to dig a grave for Sadie, but I needed to do that myself.  
I came inside and saw it was time to wake Cliff; I made his coffee and awakened him with the horrible news.  
After breakfast, I got Sadie's body out of the car, still wrapped in the quilt my mother made in 1987, and laid it near where I was going to bury her so I'd be sure and make the grave long and wide enough.  

In this picture, I had laid out the edges of the grave. Sadie is in quilt: the pretty part is against her, and the brown lining is what shows.  The blue throw is what I always put on my lap for Sadie to lay on so she wouldn't get so much hair on me.  I wrapped her in that to bury her.      
Some good can come out of this if someone can learn from my mistake.  First of all, do not feed pork bones to your dog; I don't care if you've done it for ten years and he's fine, DON'T DO IT.  You are taking a chance.  Second, before you give any sort of people-food treat to somebody else's dog, ask them if it's OK.  You never know what might make any individual dog ill.  I have seen a guest in somebody's home in Dallas, Texas, feed the resident dog some bits of food from her plate behind the owner's back, thinking it was a funny thing to do and full-knowing it was against the owner's wishes.
As I was putting Sadie next to the iris bed, I realized I was going to name my next dog Iris.  This has nothing to do with the folk singer Iris Dement, much as I enjoy her singing.  
I am trying really hard to make myself wait for a few months for another dog, but it's so lonely here, I don't know if I can hold out.  My friend Joanna says I should go to the shelter just to look, in case Iris is already waiting for me.   
I keep remembering the old superstition about things happening in threes.  First Blue, now Sadie.  I only have a cow, a steer, and two chickens left.  If something else has to die, I hope it's one of the chickens.

27 comments:

Sonya said...

Tears pouring. I am so glad I did not put my make up on yet. I am so sorry.

Tawnya said...

I am so sorry about Sadie... You are right about feeding animals human food. Mookie, our cat, had to be put down last year because he had cancer all over him, but he was in horrible condition because he was fed human food pretty much all his life. It was very sad... I miss him still. Hugs to you Donna

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Dear Sadie brought such joy to your life and mine too. I am just heart broken that she is gone. Iris is a beautiful name and I know she's out there just waiting for you. Hopefully your words will help someone else in the future.

ingasmile said...

Donna, I am so sorry to hear this news and I had no idea about pork bones being bad for dogs. I will have to make a stand not to feed them to our dog.

Inga

Midlife Mom said...

I am so sorry to read about Sadie! I know how much she meant to you and that there is a big hole in your heart right now. We all enjoyed seeing her antics with the sticks while on your walks. Yes, if anything good can come out of this I hope people understand that they can't feed dogs pork bones or chicken bones for that matter. Again, please know that I am so sorry that this happened.

Alex said...

I'm so sorry that yours and Sadie's time together had to end in such an abrupt and unhappy manner. Our dogs always leave us eventually, but this was such a sad and unnecessary way to go.

My thoughts are with you. I hope Iris finds you soon and helps mend your heartache.

Toon said...

You handled the scenario at the vets as good as anybody possibly could. You did what was best for Sadie. A friend would do that.

Muhd Imran said...

I am terribly sorry to hear that about Sadie.

I don't handle death very well.

You are very strong and holding out very well. Hope Iris will be waiting for you to take it home with you when it's time.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

I am so sorry this happened. My thoughts are with you.

Mrs. L said...

How sad to lose Sadie!! I still miss all my pets. I have kept the ashes of our last one, a kitty, residing in a tiny cat-sized metal urn on a book shelf. It looks like a jewelry box and people freak when I tell them it's Ebony's remains. [We think his sister, Ivory, was way-laid by a coyote because she went out one night and never returned.]

Lindie said...

Again, so sorry about Sadie. My dad was a vet so when we had a dog it only got beef bones and back then, table scraps. But back then our dogs were outside dogs and got lots of exercise. You can't always know what your dog finds to chew on themselves. Deer bones etc. I always think that most pork bones are too splintery for dogs. Except maybe the ham bone. This is a lesson for all of us. Iris is a lovely name. I planted my favorite dog under a lilac bush but Lilac wouldn't have been such a good name!

Astaryth said...

My heart is still breaking for you. It is hard to lose a furbaby, but to have it happen so suddenly....

It wouldn't hurt to start looking at dogs.. just wait for one to 'speak' to you. We lost our cat in January of '08 and I didn't find our current kitty until last Spring. I missed DK and it took me that long to find a kitty because I had to wait till I was ready. I'm glad I did. Nyx is an imp and keeps us laughing all the time with her antics.

Be open to Iris, but don't just get another do. Wait for the one that is meant for you. She's out there :)

Wil said...

Donna, you did the right thing for Sadie. I know how much it hurts right now. Given time, the pain diminishes and the stellar moments of your dear Sadie's life will shine through. Give yourself some time to grieve over Sadie's death. Then you'll be up to the task of integrating new dog(s!) into your life.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your dog. I can really say "I know just how you feel." I think you will know when the time is right to get another dog. Karen

Kevin said...

So sorry to hear about Sadie, you both will be in my prayers.

Kevin C

Sayit-baldys said...

DOGS ARE WONDERFUL FRIENDS. sam

madcobug said...

I am so sorry about this. I will miss all the pictures and videos you shared with us about her. I think Iris would be a great name. You know you found Sadie real soon after loosing Mandy. Since you are so lonesome without her I see no wrong to go looking for Iris. Sending up prayers for you. Hugs, Helen

ms martyr said...

My sister had a small dog that this happened to. Neither of us will feed our dogs any kind of meat bones. My husband thinks I'm mean but your story bears me out.
I find a new dog helps me heal faster. Gives me something to focus on besides the pain. You may not want a puppy, but boy they sure are fun.

Hyperblogal said...

I am so sorry. Sadie was a part of my life too... I feel like I lost a friend even though we never met.

small farm girl said...

Oh, I'm so sorry hear about Sadie. People should not feed their dogs chicken bones either. They splinter very bad. I think Iris is a beautiful name for a dog. I hope one(dog) picks you.

ADB said...

I hope you are feeling a little better now that you have shared this episode with us, amongst others. You did what you had to do for Sadie, and I hope things will get better given time. As I said earlier this week, Sadie is waiting for you beyond the Rainbow Bridge.

TARYTERRE said...

My heart aches for you. So sorry to hear about Sadie. Let the memories sustain you. And when the time is right, you can welcome Iris into your home.

Spyder said...

Not just tears for Sadie & you but sobs. Sending love to you.

Marlene said...

I am going to copy and print out your story for my son in law. He gives their dog bones, and I have said "Shane, I don't think thats a good idea."
Poor Sadie, I loved how she enjoyed a "good stick". I will be missing a dog out in Missouri.

Hollie said...

Oh Donna,
I'm so sorry! I have been out of the loop much too long. I saw your precious Iris, but I couldn't figure out about Sadie. My heart breaks for you & Cliff. Hugs

Lori said...

I've just now come to read this entry because I knew I just couldn't take it before now. I'm glad you have Iris now, and I'm glad Sadie isn't in any pain. I'll her stick-carrying. It's never easy when a beloved pet dies, and today I have come to a full realization that it is almost just as hard when a beloved pet of an online buddy dies. I'm glad you didn't wait to bring another dog into your family.

Jeannette said...

I know how hard this has been for you all, but you will have treasured memories and when grief eases, those are what will remain. I do have a strong feeling that your new dog is waiting for you right now.