Later the same day I made my last post, I talked with my Dad, and I knew. It was time. I called a couple of my good friends, had a long, intense cry, and started making preparations.
Patchy had her last day at work with me on Friday. There was a bit of fanfare, but mostly quiet goodbyes. She had fajita steak for lunch, and some other things people may have given her when I wasn’t looking.
That night, I had some of my close friends come by. I thought they were really interested in Patch and seeing her one last time. But they were mostly there for me. They bought me food, got me some alcohol (very tasty cider) and some ice cream. And for awhile, I forgot how sad I was. It was good to see them, and I’m grateful that they were able to help me through this.
Saturday, Cody and his girlfriend came to say goodbye. We bought more pizza, and I had another cider. We played a board game (Last Night on Earth, lots of zombies…) And he said goodbye to the pup he had lived with for ~6 months.
Sunday was brutal. I started sorting all my dog stuff, and cleaning. I knew I didn’t want to come back to a house filled with Patchy reminders, this would be hard enough already. I rearranged my room, and packed up her old meds, collars, treats, etc. Anything I knew I wouldn’t want, and Clover wouldn’t need. It was a really long day.
I left the city that afternoon and headed home to my parents. I managed to make the drive only tearing up a few times. That night we huddled around her, and really looked at her. I was still reeling from the decision I had made, and my parents weren’t entirely convinced it was time. But, they hadn’t lived with her day in and day out for the last year as I had. We cooked sausage that night, and Patch had at least one, maybe two. Clover also got a couple bites.
Patch slept inside, in her diaper in my room. She woke us up (collective family) multiple times as her bladder convinced her she needed to go now. We were all pretty exhausted after getting continuously interrupted sleep. (Someone, majority of the time me, had to walk her into the other room, de-diaper her, let her out, then wait until she was ready, re-diaper her, and bring her back in)
The next day, my parents made it clear that they weren’t ready to let her go. I spent the next couple days spiraling in a mental battle of “Am I doing the right thing? Am I wrong and she isn’t as bad I think?” I spent a lot of time crying and trying to rationalize what I was certain about, to those who just… didn’t see her as much.
Dad cooked up a couple chicken breasts for her that night, and she loved him for it. He also barricaded a section of the yard, so she might be able to sleep outside, hopefully more soundly, and not need to wake us. Dad took couch duty the first night so I could get some rest. She woke up frequently for the first few hours, settling down sometime between 2 & 4am. I asked how he slept and he said “Great, for each of the 30 min naps I got last night.”
By Tuesday, my parents realized that what I had been feeling, and what Patchy had told me, was true. She didn’t feel good. She would have moments of ‘pleasure’ and interest, but they were brief and passing. She was in a lot of discomfort (and pain), and spent much of her day either laying down sleeping, or battling the constant urge to pee. She had been continuing to struggle with walking, standing and sitting, to the point that when she would squat to pee, her back legs would often begin to shake violently. It was clear to them that she really wasn’t doing great. They just had a difficult time accepting it. She ate more chicken breast and some of a filet mignon that night.
Clover, feeling the house begin to sag into depression, did her best to provide entertainment and distraction. She’s an adorable little scamp. I’m grateful to have her around as I go home to a less full house.
We were able to contact a friend of ours who is also a vet, and he agreed to help ease her passage, outside of a vet clinic. I really didn’t want to take her into a clinic. She hated them, they would stress her out and get her upset. I was very grateful for his kindness.
I took couch duty Tuesday night, and she took a long time to get comfortable, frequently popping her head up to confirm that I was nearby on the couch. I had to go out and reassure her a few times during the night so she would get back to sleep.
We spent Wednesday morning waiting. We all knew what was coming, we were just waiting until the vet was available. Dad fed her scrambled eggs that morning. She wasn’t as interested, but still ate them after some coaxing/hand feeding.
She lazed about that afternoon, making it clear she was ready. She wasn’t excited or anything to be there. She even gave me a few sorrowful looks of goodbye.
Even Clover seemed to understand. She gave Patchy a long… kiss? That left a mark on her forehead. Hopefully Patch imparted some wisdom to her. “Stop being such a trouble maker, just chill.”
Her last moment of happiness and enjoyment came when my Dad had put her in the back of the truck for the vet, then moved the truck into the shade. She had this look of “oh boy! I get to go for a little ride!” as he moved the truck ~10 feet.
She passed, snoring soundly, like she often did, surrounded by the people she had grown up with. She lies next to her dad, under a tulip tree.