On Sunday, we had to say good bye to our best friend, companion and 13 year old puppy. This has been one of the most painful decisions that we’ve had to make and it was heart wrenching, but we knew that it was time. He hit old age like running head first into a brick wall. It’s been a rough couple of months for him. He went from running around, sniffing butts, begging for beer and yelling at us like a puppy to an old man very quickly.
In early June he first started getting sick and we learned that he had a pretty bad infection. We aren’t sure what caused it, but he was the sickest he’s ever been. We had to treat him with IV fluids and strong antibiotics and this was the first time I had to face the thought of losing my baby. Although his aging body slowed the process he did beat the infection but unfortunately he still wasn’t back to himself. We then learned now that he had cardiomyopathy and end stage congestive heart failure.
We were able to clear the cardiomyopathy through lots of meds that broke my heart everytime we gave them to him. They made him lethargic and caused him to lose his appetite and it quickly became a game of seeing what we could get him to eat. We tried nearly every kind of dog food, I cooked him eggs, stew, steaks, hamburger, chicken, rice, you name it we tried it. Yes, even tripe. McDonald’s, bread sticks, pizza and sometimes tacos were the only thing he would eat and while I hated the idea of feeding him cheeseburgers and crap every day at least he was getting some food in his belly.
Coby was resilient. Soon the cardiomyopathy cleared but we knew that with CHF our time left with him was limited but we were committed to taking care of him. Our amazing vet assured us he wasn’t in pain, nor was he suffering in any way. He was now off all of the meds and doing better. But with his arthritis getting worse, the stairs were becoming a challenge for him so Scott built him a ramp. Which he wouldn’t use by the way. He was too proud and learned to go slower up the stairs. He went along for daily rides to McDonald’s or wherever we were getting his dinner from. Although he was now officially a “Senior”, he was still smiley and happy.
Our 17 year old cat Bo on the other hand was not. He could sense something was wrong and had quit using his litter box and spent many hours hovering over his brother and crying loudly at him and me if I wasn’t near them. Bo’s back to using his box, but he’s a little lost right now. He hides under a chair and is often crying out and looking for his brother.
Needless to say, it’s been a rough couple of months in the Schwabe household. I’m a little broken and a piece of me is missing. We don’t have children of our own, our pets are our babies. I never knew the true love of a pet until these 2 touched my life. He greeted every visitor with a quick jab to the butt and then showed them the way to his treats. He loved to show off and loved giving high fives. Coby was there for me during the dark years of infertility treatments and never left my side. When it was time for my injections, he would sit so that his body was touching mine, letting me know that he was there. And then when the treatments didn’t work, he snuggled me and licked my tears away. He let me tell him things that I couldn’t speak out loud to people. He was a loving, gentle dog with a huge personality and he’s missed immensely.
As a photographer, I don’t have many family portraits of us all together. A couple of weeks ago when my sister-in-law was visiting, I handed Kim my camera and asked her to take a couple of pictures of us.
I. Will. Forever. Treasure. These.
We even brought Bo outside for a few. Doesn’t he look super excited to be there?