Sunday, January 02, 2011

R.I.P. Scooby

Yes, we had to put our Scooby down.  It's been about 5 days and I'm still heartbroken over it.  Just before Christmas, we noticed he was not acting himself.  He wasn't eating and it was difficult to get him to go outside.  He just wanted to lay down and not move much.  Eventually, he started peeing on the carpet and had diarrhea.  I brought him in Monday to the vet to be examined.  Through an x-ray, they discovered a mass on his spleen.  Blood work also discovered some potential liver and thyroid problems.

Basically, his chances of recovery and survival were nil.  At the point of doing surgery, we had a few options.  We could pursue surgery to remove his spleen and the mass.  From there, due to his size and liver thyroid issues, he could have died on the table.  They could have discovered the mass was malignant and we'd have to put him down right there.  On the small chance that the surgery was successful and he fully recovered, the vet said that most big dogs in this situation end up back at the vet's to be put down within 3 months.  So, really the most humane thing was to opt to not perform surgery and put him down.

Hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.  I'd like to say that I faced that problem head on like a man, but that would make me a liar.  In discussing the various options with the vet, I knew we would have to put him down.  Must of spent 20 minutes trying to go through the options in tears.  Then, another 20 minutes to calm down enough to call my wife and be able to explain the situation.  It hurt(s) so much to lose him.  As bad off as I was, it was impossible to say with him while they put him to sleep.  Hell, I'm still fighting back tears writing this.

He was such a good puppy.  I always call him my puppy even though he was a full adult and 130lbs when he adopted him.  He was my dander-muffin and the sweetest, most gentile beast.  He only snapped at the cats when he thought they might get some extra food and he wouldn't  He'd only bark if he had to go outside or it was dinnertime.  He'd mostly just lie on the couch or ask for more food.

One of my favorite memories of Scooby was from last year when my folks came to visit for the holidays.  My mother has a fur phobia.  She is deathly afraid of anything living with fur.  Not sure where this came from, but it's been there my whole life.  Just coming into our zoo was a major step for her.  Then, we'd had to keep Scooby in his cage and the cats in their room if we weren't going to be around during the day and she was home.  She would start freaking if one of them came in to the room and looked at her funny.  As they were leaving for home, my mother actually bent over and pet Scooby goodbye.

It's not a great photo, but here she is bending over and touching Scooby.  Granted, she had a glove on, but I will never forget that Scooby, despite her phobias and fears, grew to be loved this much by her.

He had that effect on people.  Sure, he looked like a bear on first impression and maybe his size made people hesitate to greet him.  But, I don't think there is a person who met him that didn't walk away loving him.

And, it's an amazing twist of fate how he came into our lives.  Tricia was performing in "Of Mice and Men," and a dog was needed.  The theater worked out a deal with the local Humane Society to showcase a dog up for adoption.  Basically, the theater got to use a dog and would promote that the pup was available for adoption at the show.  There was even a news article in the local paper about the dog in the show that was up for adoption.  Only problem was that when the director when to get the dog from the pound, someone read the article and came quick to adopt him.  So, another dog was needed and the director choose Scooby three days before opening night.

The dog needed a place to stay during the run and since we have pets I said if someone gave us a cage, he could stay at our place during the run of the show... emphasis on "DURING THE RUN."  I had no intention of us keeping him.  But, we brought him home the first night and the kid said this was his dog and the rest is history.  We haven't regretted at all.

We are supposed to get his ashes in about a week at this point.  Not sure what we are going to do with them.  I've tried looking up memorial ideas, but it's still too difficult to think about it.  I have no idea what to do with his cage and other doggie stuff and I'm not sure when we are going to deal with them.  We are not getting any more pets for a long time.

But, we definitely miss our Scooby.  In "Of Mice and Men," the dog's owner Candy says, "he was a good old dog" after another character takes the old dog out to be put down.  I am convinced due to the circumstances of his arrival in our house that he was meant to be our dog.  We are doing our best to remember that we gave him an additional 4 years of life.  And he gave us a lifetime of cherished memories.

I don't think I will ever understand why his original owners wanted to give him up.  I have to imagine they just could not handle the responsibilities of dog ownership due to whatever was going on in their life when they gave him to the pound. And as much as I hurt right now over our loss, I wonder if they felt a similar loss.

After all, he was a good old dog.