Charlotte's Last Meal (Please read before jumping to conclusions)
When one of the most gut wrenching things actually becomes a small moment of happiness.This was her last meal... and a promise (a wish) fulfilled. We always told her that, if the opportunity for it was there, we'd let her stuff her face with all the good crap she couldn't eat before she went. The vet was coming to our house as we filmed this, so she wouldn't even have to suffer any consequences like bloat or.. regret. And she freakn' loved it. And that made us so happy. I didn't think I could be happy on this day, but seeing how indulgent she could finally be was the best thing ever. She'd been feeling pretty crummy earlier in the day, I was a little worried (gut-wrenchingly worried) we had waited a day too long- that she would be in too much pain, that we'd have to take her in, (which would freak her out,) or that we wouldn't get to keep this promise/aka: let her do what she's always wanted to do. But, as soon as she smelled the fillet and bacon cooking, she perked right up. Her whole demeanor changed. After this video was made, she stayed happy looking. My husband and I hugged on her and, after the shot of sedatives, she just kissed me so happily until it took more of an effect and she fell asleep in my arms, with me whispering in her ear and kissing her head... It happened right in her favorite spot; her "perch," the steps to our front door where she could be next to the house but still overlook the landscape. She was snoring away in my arms when the final injection took her. It was an amazingly beautiful day. The first day it was cool, a slight breeze as if it were saying fall has come. The light and garden were gorgeous; flowers everywhere and the birds were singing and fluttering around us in full force. You really couldn't ask for a more perfect last moment. If only everyone was so lucky. If only I could be when that time comes. So, yeah, anyway, there was some great comfort in all of that.***She LOVES food. When she stopped wanting to eat dog food (Sunday) we knew something was really wrong. I took her to the vet as soon as I could in the morning. While there she started turning blue and it took the 3rd vet, a specialist, to drain 1.5 liters of fluid off her. I held her the whole time, it didn't bother me to see it because I was so happy something finally worked. Before that I was so worried I'd lose her right then and there in a state of panic for both of us. As more fluid came out of her chest, she actually started being able to breathe again. She actually acted comfortable again. I was so relieved. She didn't even mind the process! And, as soon as she was down from the table, it was like she had never been in any distress.It bought us some time to hang out. We went to meadows up in the mountains and sat around (she acts like a young dog but it's hard for her to walk) picnicked, napped, and then went out on lonely roads at night: she loved that, you could tell it made her feel all primal and wild.We knew for a while that she most likely had cancer: but she was already so crippled from arthritis and spinal bone spurs that chemo never would have been an option. She also had bouts of vestibular disease. Now the cancer had finally gotten to her; fluid was building up, compacting her chest and eventually making it impossible to breathe. Based on her weight gain after the tap, we knew that by late Friday evening, or Saturday, it would become too difficult for her to breathe again. It was just like we'd seen before. Up until she passed the 1 liter mark of extra fluid she would act normally and seem to be able to breathe alright enough. As soon as she gained 3 extra lbs, we knew she would be close to suffocating. So, we made an appointment with a vet she really liked to come to our house. This video ended minutes before the vet showed up.***I love my dog so much, she's such an amazing creature, and there are probably only 4 people I could say I love more than her. I'm really glad she got to die happy and in relatively little pain, (not all freaked out,) doing something she loved and being hugged on and kissed. I still don't know how she actually got all of that food down though, heh. Oh, Charlotte. I'm distracting myself now but I can not tell you how much I'm going to miss her. ***An Australian Shepard & Chow mix. We were her 3rd owners out of the shelter even though she was only a year old when we got her. She had been severely abused by someone before us and was terrified of everything. We helped her overcome that; she was incredibly confident before long. She was almost 14 years old. She loved little animals (see the other videos) and she did cool Lassie-Type stuff; like warn us a neighbor's house was on fire, etc. She understood everything we were saying and was smart enough to know when to ignore us. She would have given her life for me- Just an amazing dog.