Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Saying goodbye to Elmo the poodle
Elmo the geriatric poodle is no more.
Today, I made one of the hardest decisions ever. I put him down.
At about 5:15 p.m., our vet Dr. Benny Ferrell told me he'd entered the Great Doggie Beyond.
Elmo, who was 11+ years old, had been coughing up blood. He wasn't really eating much and was losing weight. We'd gone back and forth to the vet over the last several weeks for numerous tests.
The three rounds of strong drugs Elmo had taken didn't produce any results.
Dr. Ferrell suspected he had some kind of cancer or leukemia.
But we wouldn't really know unless Elmo went through an invasive procedure like a biopsy.
I drew the line there.
Elmo had lived a good life. But he was going blind and deaf. Plus the coughing blood and not really eating.
I wondered about his quality of life.
How ironic that I wrote this post just five weeks ago about doggie healthcare.
It's strange what the goodbye process has been like:
I bathed him on Sunday night one final time.
I let him ride in the passenger seat on Monday and today. (He usually had to lay on the floor board.)
He got lots of rubs and scratches.
We had an evening with our wonderful dog sitter Nicole so she, too, could say goodbye.
And I've cried more tears than I thought I would.
I adopted Elmo from the humane society in 2005 as a buddy for Plucky, who was still a puppy. He came with a silly name: Willie. I promptly changed it and gave him a respectable name: Elmo.
He was about five years old and was set in his ways. We had a battle of the wills for some time but after obedience school and much breaking, we finally saw eye to eye.
My oldest sister described Elmo best in her email to me:
"He's been such a good gentle dog, and I'm sorry that he's ill. He's actually my favorite; back when I used to visit he WOULDN'T try to BITE me like Plucky. (:"
She added: "God bless Elmo...may his gentle soul rest in peace. Amen."