It will be two weeks tomorrow that I helped my sweet baby cross the bridge. It was heart wrenching for me.
Otis was my bully baby for 10 beautiful years. He was an 80 pound English bulldog, with a face/heart that melted everyone he met. His picture was published in a book about pets, he had his own baseball card in Blue Buffalo dog food....the list is endless....I felt a connection with him that I have never had with a "pet".....and I am crushed that he is gone.
Otis has always struggled with inner ear problems and staph. Twice, because of inner ear problems, his eardrum ruptured. I know it sounds like we were terrible parents, but honestly, with the inner ear issues, there were no symptoms or anything in the part of the ear that can be seen. It was all behind the eardrum. We did our absolute best to stay on top of it. For the past few years, Otis was almost always on some form of antibiotic or steroid. On top of that, he had surgery on both back knees as well as chewed off a piece of Nylabone that became obstructed and required emergency surgery. To say that he did not like going to the vet was an understatement. Because of his aversion to the vet, I went and interviewed new vets and settled on a female near our home. We took him there for treats several times before he ever had an appointment. On the day that actually sat in the vet’s lap and gave her kisses, I was in tears. All I wanted was for him to be oaky.
On Monday night (about 1:30am) Otis started panting. I stayed up with him and called the vet as soon as they opened. My husband and I helped Otis in to the Jeep and drove to the office. Once we got there, Otis had changed. He was aggressive, snarling and lunging at everyone. It took about 40 minutes (we had to have him sedated with a pole in the car) before we could get him in for the exam. Since he was sedated, the vet really looked in his ears and said that she thought it was a neck injury due to his violent reaction. She took x-rays and was going to have them viewed by a specialist. One look at the ear canal and she knew the issue. The inner ear canal had turned to bone and everything had infection. We were told there were two options 1) total ear ablasion (take out all of the inner ear) at a cost of approx $5000 or 2) high doses of antibiotics/steroids/paid Rx for the rest of his life. At that point, I said we would go for the medicine route....I was told to pick him up at 5:30 that afternoon.
On the way home, I talked with my husband because I had this overwhelming feeling that it was time to let him go. He had been though so much, and I just wanted the hurting to stop. We called the office and told them. Otis had by that time woken up from the sedation and was very angry. They said to come at 5:30 for the euthanasia. Because of the situation, Otis had to be sedated for the procedure…..they brought my beautiful boy to me and my husband, and we said goodbye for the last time.
This is what is just killing me…..If we were going to euthanize him; I wish that we had never woken him up. The thought of him scared and angry at the office is driving me crazy. Then, somehow I feel like I gave up on him. That I should have tried the medicine route….My heart tells me that we made the best decision and that we did it because we loved him so very much. But, I keep having these nagging, horrible feelings.
I would really appreciate knowing that this is “normal” and that eventually; I will be able to find some peace.
Thank you for allowing me to write this all down, it helps just reading it.