no, wait. none of it makes any sense at all.
here is a baby photo of brother. taken in january 2009. he had not been part of our family for long. i don't recall the actual date he came home but i know these ⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇ were taken very close to the day he came home.
but to tell the story, i must be honest. and to be honest, i must tell you that i never wanted brother to live in our house.
it was nothing personal about brother. it was more that i was in a place where i did not want puppy duty. i did not want my schedule to change. i did not want to clean up dog shit in the house. i did not want to sponge up piss puddles in the house. i did not want to disrupt the dog harmony already in the house.
are you seeing a theme here?
i did not want.
i did not want.
kiroman did want.
honestly, kiroman and i argued over this cute little wrinkle bag coming home.
i finally gave in and brother became part of the kiro pack.
but i still wasn't hapy about it.
poor kiroman...i made him get up in the night to take brother potty. i made kiroman take full responsibility for brother once he walked in the door for the day. i made it known that i did not want any part of caring for brother.
and i won't lie. brother and i had our ups and downs.
we had our alpha issues to be sure.
there was even a time in which things were pretty bad and i contemplated having brother removed from our house.
kiroman even agreed with me, as much as it hurt him...and i'm not being sarcastic here, gentle reader. because of what had happened, kiroman understood why i wasn't sure i wanted brother here any longer.
but, i did the grown up thing. i gave a lot of thought as to what had happened. and decided that i could give brother the benefit of the doubt.
i forgave brother and never looked back.
he was part of our pack for five years.
a healthy shar pei life span is twice that.
brother was not to be healthy.
he had quite the life journey. but we loved him every step of the way.
i know you've recently seen these ⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆ photos but they are part of this story.
two weeks ago, brother was given the diagnosis of stage four kidney failure. there are only four stages. i took him to a specialist the following wednesday. more in-depth tests were performed. in the mean time, we were given a bag full meds to keep him comfortable and to help combat the kidney failure affects. i learned to give injections. i learned to run an iv. i learned how to hide pills in pill pockets. i learned how to disguise the crappiest of crappy tasting medicine. i learned what it took to get brother to eat. it seems like i did that for eons.
it was only one week.
tuesday, the lab results were back. everything we knew had been confirmed. we weren't dealing with a kidney injury. we were dealing with a genetic disease. a non-reversible disease. we were dealing with end game.
i talked at great length with the specialist. i asked every question i had and then a few more. the dr answered every single one patiently and kindly even if i was repeating myself. he knows what it's like to deal with a dog parent in this situation.
he described to me what we would be experiencing. and i hated every single part of it.
alzheimer's like symptoms, seizures and coma.
brother pretty much gave up eating tuesday.
he would have bouts where he would eat the hell out of cold hot dogs and chips.
tuesday morning he refused his treats but was so perky when our critter sitter came to say her good byes.
he even walked her to the door, watched her get in her car and watched until her car was out of site.
he played with his brothers and sister for a minute here and there.
but when it came down to it...his good days weren't outnumbering his bad days.
he wasn't having any good days at all.
he was having good moments.
so we made the decision to put him to rest and i made the appointment.
and then i started second guessing myself and talked to our regular daily vet for quite some time.
we decided to leave the appointment on the books for thursday afternoon. if we changed our minds, no big whoop.
and things looked up for a minute or two.
the girl came home for dinner and to say her good bye.
as the evening wore on, brother wore down.
he did eat a few hot dogs.
but his energy was gone.
he winced when you touched him.
he stopped giving nose kisses.
he's breathing was so labored.
honestly, we weren't sure he would make it through the night.
but he did.
he cuddled with kiroman all night.
he jumped right outta bed this morning.
then went right to his doggy bed.
and spent the morning in his bed in kiroman's office.
he had a few dorito's before we left.
sister gave him a kiss on the cheek and cujo said a studly goodbye.
once at the clinic, brother was offered his choice of goodies from their holiday table...even chocolate! he refused everything.
he was tired.
he was done.
his fight was gone.
dr bailey is so wonderful and i can't say enough great things about the team at elkhorn animal hospital.
we brought in one of our floor dog blankets.
and all i will tell you about the rest is that he passed so peacefully in kiroman's arms.
damn...i had no idea how much i would miss him.
i am grateful:
- for the five years brother was part of our pack
- we were able to give him the peace he deserved
- for an awesome team to care for him
- we were able to say our goodbyes
- brother is finally comfortable