probably not the post you were expecting after the wedding and vacation. you probably were looking forward to pictures of the two most beautiful flower girls that ever have been, and i will get to that eventually. but right now? right now i have some sad news, so bear with me.
we came home on saturday night. it was a day full of driving, and when we walked through the door at 9:00pm we were e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d. kayla had stayed at our house, caring for the small zoo that we’ve started, and she called friday evening to say that tag was acting funny. if you’ve ever met tag, you know that he has always been a little odd. but kayla said that he was having trouble walking and that he kept bobbing his head up and down. weird. but it was friday, and the vet’s office was already closed. so we told her to watch him. keep an eye on him. and call us if anything changed or got worse. we worried, but not too much. so…back to saturday night. exhausted, remember? and tag ran to greet us. he seemed normal for about 2.5 seconds, and then his back legs collapsed, and he didn’t try to get back up. and his head bobbed a little bit. so we sat with him, and loved him, and told him that it would be okay…that we would take him to the vet on monday, because the animal emergency room? so, so, so expensive.
bags were unpacked, children were put to bed, and finally we climbed in bed around midnight. and then tag started scrambling like he was trying to get up and couldn’t. michael tried to help him, and tag peed all over the floor. so michael cleaned it up, and we went back to sleep. and then it started again…the scrambling. michael tried to help him again, he repeated the peeing all over the place, and we decided that tag was having a seizure. michael looked at me and said, “we need to take him. now.” and i knew just from the look in his eyes that he was scared. that this couldn’t wait until monday morning. so we went. in our pajamas. with tag wrapped in a towel and unable to stand on his own.
the vet examined tag, they gave us an estimate, we paid a deposit, and they sent us home so that they could run their tests and take their x-rays. back at home, we ate breakfast, took showers, and started some laundry. the vet called and said that tag’s blood sugar was 35. bingo! we had discovered the cause of the seizures. but then there was bad news. the cause of his low blood sugar was most likely a pancreatic tumor. as it turns out, removing a tumor on a dog’s pancreas is not an easy task. it requires a specialist. also? pancreatic tumors are almost always cancerous, so after removing it you’re looking at chemo and a long recovery. if there is recovery to be had. and probably there’s not.
so, we talked to the girls and asked if they wanted to go say goodbye to tag. they both said yes, so off we went. michael talked to the vet when we got there, and told her what our decision was. she said we could have a few minutes with tag alone, so we brought the girls in and waited. a tech wheeled him in on a little doggy gurney, and leslie immediately burst into tears. lucy sobbed. michael and i cried. and we all stroked his sweet face and told him how much we loved him. that he was a good boy, and that we were so, so sorry we couldn’t make him better. and then the vet poked her head in and asked if we were ready. are you ever ready for that? we were as ready as we were ever going to be, so she came in. the girls had decided they wanted to stay, so we all stood around him and talked to him while he went to doggy heaven.
so our house is a sad place to be right now. it is too quiet. we miss his barking and the way he would flop down on the floor in the most dramatic way. we miss his awful breath. and you know what? i even miss finding clumps of his hair all over the floor.