Posted by: Kathy | March 15, 2014

Loss of a Faithful Friend

The house feels a bit empty today. No big dog to step over.

As I wrote in a previous post, my dog Kodi was diagnosed with lymphoma less than 2 weeks ago. I started him on prednisone and he was doing great. The lymph nodes went down to normal size and his appetite was back, along with his personality. I had hope for some time with my dog.

But when l felt the lymph nodes in Kodi’s neck on Thursday, they were swollen again. About the size of golf balls. My hope shaken, I called our vet to see what it meant. She was not happy and warned me that it may be the beginning of the end. But I would have never guessed that the end was only a day away.

Yesterday Kodi seemed off. His lymph nodes had doubled in size over night. By late afternoon he was having trouble swallowing and his breathing was odd. Scared, I raced him to the vet. She told me that his lymph nodes were huge and were pressing on his lungs and heart. Soon he wouldn’t be able to swallow at all and would begin to have real trouble with breathing.

I wasn’t with our usual vet, but this woman was kind and compassionate. She showed a clear love for dogs and I could sense her sadness for Kodi’s situation.

My son was with me. I didn’t know what to do. A week before Kodi was doing great. Now I had a decision to make. One that I never thought I would have to make so suddenly. I did not want Kodi to suffer. As looked into my dog’s eyes I could see that he was tired. I knew I had to let him go. Such a hard decision, but the right one for Kodi.

My son said goodbye and then went to the waiting room.

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I stayed with Kodi until the end. Crying. Hugging my dog. Telling how much I loved him. Somehow I think he knew, and he was calm.

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This is not the first time I’ve gone to the vet with a crated or leashed pet and come home without my beloved friend. It doesn’t get any easier, and the house seems a little empty today. I am sad, but I know I did the right thing.

Rest in peace Kodi. We love you.

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Responses

  1. Oh Kathy, I’m so sorry about Kodi. I know the pain of losing the faithful furry friends too. It’s horrible, no matter if it’s the right thing to do.
    Hopefully the past few months have allowed you all to let go a little more each day, knowing he’s joined with other loved ones gone before.

    • So sorry for this loss, Kathy. Unfortunately, most of us have been there. Yes, they are more than pets. They are family members. Hope your healing is swift. Hugs.

  2. Oh Kathy, I cant believe I’ve not been on here for so long and this is the first entry from you that I see 😦
    I’ve been in that position too, gone with a pet to the vet for a cure and come back alone.
    It broke our hearts so much that we have never had another pet ( and ours was ” only” a cat ).
    Like you we stayed until the end, which was incredibly quick, and both of us cried our eyes out.

    Your last pictures of Kodi are so powerful, I can feel the emotion coming out of the screen.
    Pets are more than pets, they become your friend, confidant, and sometimes comforter. They become family and their loss is as traumatic as losing a member of the family.
    At least Kodi is running free now, healthy and cancer free, in wherever dogs go for their next adventure.
    I hope you are ok Kathy, try to remember the good times and think of him with a smile on your face.

    Take care,
    love n hugs
    Nick xxx

    • Hi Nick: Thanks for your comment. Bringing Kodi peace hurt so much, even though I knew in my heart I was doing the right thing. I can’t say I won’t get another dog. It’s not me. I figured out that since I was 3 years old, when we got our first dog, 34 pets have been part of my life. Part of owning a pet is losing them too. It hurts, but you grieve and then heal.

      I can almost hear my mom saying “oh Kathryn, please don’t get another pet.” And that makes me smile. But then somehow I think she’d understand. My mom loved animals just as much as I do, she just didn’t believe in owning as many pets at one time as we do. Our pets quickly become family members – they are more than just pets or companions to us.

      I miss Kodi, but I’m ok. Kodi was my family and will always be part of my heart. I know Kodi is with my mom now, and he’s been reunited with all our other pets. He’s healthy once again.

      Take care, Nick. It’s always nice to hear from you.

  3. Cannot express how sorry I am MY Friend…for your loss. Never forget that you did do the right thing for Kodi. He’s playing with and being loved on by your Mom now.

    Love you!

    Claudia

    • Thanks Claudia. What I did wasn’t easy, but I have to believe in my heart that it was the right thing to do. Yes, he is playing with my mom – no cancer, no torn ACL, no arthritis. My dog is healthy again. Love you too.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss Kathy. Lots of love to you and the family.

    • Thanks Dawn. I know you understand the love of dogs. Take care.

  5. Wow. That was fast. So sorry.

    -Amy

    • Thanks Amy. Yes, it was fast, so much faster than I expected or hoped. I have no idea how long Kodi had lymphoma before he was diagnosed. Even though it’s the most common cancer in dogs, many don’t have signs of the disease. I’m just glad I found out and was able to be with him in his final moments. Take care.

  6. Kathy, I am sorry to hear this news and for your loss. As a former dog parent, I am very sensitive to this type of loss. my sympathies. hugs, Wendy

    • Thanks Wendy. I love being a dog parent. To me, the house feels empty without pets. It gets crazy sometimes, stepping over and around my furry kids. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love animals. Take care.

  7. Kathy,
    Sorry for the loss of Kodi.
    Lilah

    • Thank you, Lliah. I appreciate your comment. Hope we can see each other soon. Take care.

  8. I’m so sorry you lost your sweet pup. Big, big hugs for you.

    • Thank you so much. I love the pic of your black cat. We have one black cat, a perfect Halloween cat, and a long-haired tuxedo. Our house is full of furry friends, and Kodi is missed by all of us. Take care.

  9. I cry for you as I remember my own pets. It never gets easy, but try to keep the good memories in your heart as you move on.

    • I do have good memories of Kodi. The way he would howl on cue, all the food he stole and hid in his cage to eat, the way he’d take up the entire sofa, leaving me with just a few inches to sit, and there are many more. He was a true companion and had a great personality. Thanks for making me smile. Take care.

  10. You were a good mommy to Kodi. I am very certain he was comforted by your presence during his last minutes on this earth. Bless you.

    • Thank you. I could not, would not, leave Kodi. Even though he was calm, I didn’t want his last moments to be with strangers. I just kept petting him and telling what a dog he was. He is missed. Bless you.

  11. So sorry for this loss, Kathy. I know how hard this is. It’s so hard losing our furry family members. Thinking of you.

    • Thanks JC. I know I did the right thing, but I still feel bad about it. Kodi was definitely a member of our family. Take care.


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