While I was maybe a month from my hysterectomy my mom's (old) golden retriever started acting uncomfortable. She took him to the vet a few times and they thought it might (probably was) a tumor affecting his liver but at his age invasive procedures made no sense and had it been cancer they couldn't have helped it. So the decision was made to keep him comfortable. Some medication achieved that within a couple days and he was doing better before we left with occasional days that he didn't feel well but nothing to indicate the end was near. It turns out his liver was bleeding and the days it happened were his bad days but the bleeds were resolving.
My mom and I were to leave from the beach rental at 6 AM on Sunday to catch a ferry. Saturday at noon we got my sister's family onto the ferry and were going to go to some shops and a beach for a few minutes then pack the car. We went back to the house to grab something and got there in time to catch a call from the petsitter that he wasn't doing well and she was on the way for an emergent vet visit. So I told my mom we had to go, that she needed to get back and wouldn't enjoy any of this. She didn't think we could pack fast enough, even if we could get the last ferry. We did though and they graciously changed our tickets. The vet called later and said this was a bigger bleed but his symptoms were resolving and he would be able to go home Sunday or Monday. She warned me that this would happen again and eventually a big one would happen and it would be unpredictable. Turns out the big one was sooner than we could have guessed.
When my mom brought him home yesterday he'd had another bleed. He worked hard to breath for hours and then it improved but he couldn't breathe well enough to lay down and sleep. I went and got some pain meds from the vet and basically confirmed this was death. He rested for a bit last night and then his increasing weakness showed. He was bleeding enough to not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen sufficiently and would have become confused then comatose. This just didn't happen fast enough to keep him comfortable and so euthanasia was indicated. It was very sweet, the vet who had always treated him was attached and the other vet offered to do it so she didn't have to, but she insisted on being there through it all with our sweet boy.
He was my mom's dog but we always have said they are mine as well because I've always been around and part of their lives. I am feeling his loss heavily. In a way I'm crying for so much loss along with this particular one. It's been a long period of many losses and I'm past handling it well. I feel like barricading myself in a room with a 'No More Losses" sign outside. I'm also worried about my mom; this really was sudden. We knew we didn't have forever with him when we left but there was no indication that we would be packing a beach house in 2 hours 20 minutes, racing to the ferry and rushing home. (The packing thing is not recommended btw. That was incredibly hard work running up and down 2 flights of stairs about 50 times while my mom handwashed a zillion dishes and put the away and cleaned out the fridge. I even pre-packed her; all she had to do was put things in a bag. I am so glad we did that though or she wouldn't have had the last 24 hours to say goodbye.
Anyway, I'll be back when it doesn't hurt this much.