I haven't been talking about Junior too much lately on here. I've known that it was getting close to the end, and it was all a little much for me. I've mentioned that Junior's gone a little nuts here in the past year. There's no doubt that all of the seizures he's had over the years have taken their toll. But at the same time, he still loved life. He's the happiest dog I've ever seen. He loved to be active, so when it became apparent that we could no longer take him on a walk down to the end of the street, last week, I told Brian we really needed to start thinking about putting him down. To me, if Junior couldn't do any of the things he loved, his quality of life was too compromised. It's been tough, as Brian has been in denial over it all, and I hated being the one to have to always bring it up. So, this past weekend, Junior really started having problems with his hind legs. Most of the time, he was unable to get up on his own. Now, he's gone through this off and on, and has always gotten better. But this time, we knew he probably wasn't going to get better. Sat. night he spent a lot of time crying during the night. It absolutely broke my heart. So, I asked Brian to go on a walk with me Sun morning. I told him, that Junior wasn't loving his life and that it was time. So, I told him I think we need to do it on Tues, but Brian didn't want to b/c Ryne had a game that day, etc. So, then I said okay...then Fri. Brian came up with another excuse. But in the end, Brian agreed that Jr. wouldn't be able to make the move in 2 weeks. It was a horrible conversation for us to have, but I was really worried about Jr., and I just didn't want him in pain.
As the weekend went on, it became apparent to Ryne that Jr. was having a tougher time than normal. Ryne was an absolute mess. Brian and I tried to prepare him for the inevitable, but Ryne couldn't cope at all. It was so hard. Anyway, Sun., Junior started moving around a tad better at times. I made several days worth of oatmeal for him (that's the primary part of his meals the past few weeks). We left for a few hours to take the boys to the fireworks. When we got home, Junior couldn't get up. This time he couldn't even get up with help. Now, his front legs were also compromised. He just laid there and cried. It was probably the worst thing I'd ever seen. Ryne was an absolute mess. The boys both wanted to sleep in our room, and they were so drained they fell asleep fairly quickly. Brian slept out on the couch, to be near Junior. Sometimes Brian would lay on the floor next to Junior when he was crying. I would also come out and lay next to him, too. At one point Junior was inconsolable, and we knew it was because he really had to go potty, but he would never go in the house, even in the end. So, Brian and I got him onto a comforter, and carried him outside. Once on the grass, Junior was able to get his legs about him a little bit to at least go potty, but he was definitely not steady.
Brian and I both called into work. When the vet opened that on Mon. morning, I tried to get Jr. right in, but they couldn't get him in until 1.... That nearly killed me.... Jr. was still able to eat, while he was lying there, so he got everything he could want that day. He recieved a tremendous amount of love from me, Brian, and Ryne. (Cal went to the sitter, but Ryne wanted to stay home with Jr.) I was pretty non-functional that day, and I even ate meat....nothing like a stress eater.
We got Junior into the vet, and immediately his legs gave out on him in the lobby. Paula (the vet asst), got on the floor with him, along with us, and Junior gave us all kisses. Even scared and in pain, he was full of love. Once we were able to get him up, he turned toward the door to leave. Junior's never done that at the vet. He always loved attn., so he even loved going to the vet. We turned him around and again he tried to leave. It destroyed me. He knew..... Once the vet and Paula got Junior on the table, Brian and I patted his head and gave him love. The shot went in, and I think Junior was gone before the shot was even finished (which was so different from Sara, where it took about 10 mins). His body was ready for the end. After he was gone, Brian and I stayed with him a bit. As tough as all of this was for me, it was almost worse to see how affected Brian was by the whole thing. I've never seen Brian like that. He never cries, but for about 24 hours leading up to and after, Brian couldn't quit. We tried our best to comfort each other, but the bottom line is, we lost our "first baby." After we got home, I nearly immediately passed out. I was beyond exhausted and slept for maybe an hour. When I woke up, I was able to find peace in that Junior was not hurting any longer. Seeing him hurting, was maybe the hardest thing of my life. It's only been a couple of days, but each hour I'm getting better with it all. I take comfort in the fact that he's in Heaven, running around with Sara. I'm sure he has a tennis ball, and Sara has her squeaky football. I like to think that Thor, Pat, and Deb are all taking turns throwing them the ball. I wonder if in Heaven Junior has finally figured out that he's a dog? He always thought he was one of us, which he was. He'll always be with us, and he'll always be missed. We couldn't have asked for a better dog.