Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Real life and death!

My kids have been having some real life lessons in the last 2 days.  Sadly I had to have my little Tibetan Spaniel, Bandit, put down yesterday in the early afternoon.

He was just over 13 years old and was getting a bit arthritic.  He had a "turn" last year end of September, a bit like a fit, and he had moments over the last few months, especially with the heat, when he just didn't seem to know where he was and he was all wobbly on his legs.

On Monday morning quite early I noticed he had a little howl.  That was unusual for him.  He didn't seem to want to go out or anything so I went out for my morning walk.  When I got back I let him out in the front yard while I watered the garden and he seemed fine.  After taking my dh to work and getting home he had a fit in the lounge with the boys.  It was so much more severe than any other "turn" with him foaming at the mouth and jerking quite a lot.  I took him immediately to the vet.  She said that he seemed to be having bleeds in his brain which may be due to a tumour.  She said that he could be around for a long time or a short time, she couldn't say.  Just to make him comfortable and if/when he lost interest in life or was uninterested in food or couldn't go to the toilet then it would be time to do the kind thing for him.

He had another fit about an hour later.  He was taking longer to recover and was quite disorientated.  He couldn't walk straight and kept falling over himself.  His tongue started to hang out and his nose was all dirty from all the falls.  I cuddled him for a while on  my lap and then 2 hours after the second fit he had a third.  I felt so helpless, that his body was failing him and I couldn't help him.  I took him inside to rest on his rug.

Only half an hour later he put his head up and cried a bit.  This was very unusual for him to be so vocal.  Then he had another fit and he just didn't seem to be coming out of it so well.  I called the vet in tears and just took him straight there.  Thankfully she is within walking distance of my home.  While he had recovered from the first fit while I was on my way to the vet this time he didn't.  He just hung in my arms.  It was just so fast, and so unexpected in its ferocity.  I knew he was getting old but I didn't expect it to all happen in one day.  The vet checked him over and when she picked up his little head she said You're gone, aren't you?  He lifted his head a little when I gave him a little last cuddle but she was right, he was gone.  It was so hard to just sit by and only be able to cuddle him and stroke him.  I couldn't do anything else for him.  I hated feeling so helpless.

My kids came to the vet for the second visit and said goodbye to him.  I got a little hair clipping from the soft area behind his ears where he loved to be scratched.  I just cried all the way home and I have had several headaches from crying so much.  I miss him.  I just want him to be alive and cuddly in my arms.

We have had pet rats before but they only have a life span of about 2-3 years.  While they have a similar nature to dogs you just don't get to build a relationship with them in the same way you do with a dog.  My kids saw 3 out of the last 4 rats we had euthanised.  They know about death and they have seen me grieve.  Needless to say book learning is not happening this week but we are all learning to grieve together and to pay attention to our other dog so he doesn't miss his pal.

RIP Bandit.  I will always remember your happy little face and your slightly lopsided tail when you trotted towards me.  You were my baby before I had babies and I am extremely blessed to have known you.  I regret not having many photos but your image is in my heart.

Best wishes

PS Found a photo of my furry little boys in my dad's photo files. Bandit is brown and black while Bobby is black and white.  Can you see that Bandit's tail is moving?  He was always so friendly.


  1. I am sorry for your lose Jen. Those little creatures certainly find a snuggly spot in your heart. Sounds like he'll be very much missed.

  2. Oh, Jen, that's so sad. He sounded lovely and there's no way you can replace a family member. We nearly lost Max when he was one from a tick - I was a mess. I hope he makes it to 13 too.

  3. Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. I cried myself, reading your post. My Gizmo is 14 years old and I know all we can do is cherish every moment we get to snuggle with him. They certainly become part of the family and I'm sure Bandit will be truly missed. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.
    Vicki @ shadycreekacademy.blogspot.com


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