Saturday, August 20, 2011
Saying Goodbye to Max
Goodbyes are never easy, especially when they are to a beloved canine member of the family. Last night we made the heart-wrenching decision to put down our one-year-old Border Collie, Max. To say that we were torn up about the decision would be an understatement and many tears were shed as we let him go.
You just don't expect to face this decision when your dogs are young and seemingly healthy and I'm not sure that anything can really prepare you. However, we learned about seven weeks ago that Max had a very rare hereditary blood disorder called hemophilia, which means he had a deficiency in his ability to clot blood. Basically, any bump or bruise could lead to him bleeding out into major organs, which is ultimately what happened to him.
We were told by our vet that while it was incurable, it would be a condition we would need to manage by keeping him fairly inactive anytime he got injured. And because we had only ever seen very minor affects of it, we were hopeful he could live a fairly normal life. But from the week we found out, his health seemed to take a fast decline and these past two weeks have been full of almost daily episodes of brain swelling, seizure-like incidents, chronic nose bleeds and ultimately, bleeding into his stomach and lungs. The final decision came yesterday when Chris and I were woken up in the middle of the night to him gasping for air and finding a pool of blood in his kennel, followed by him throwing up blood.
Couple that with two expensive emergency visits to the vet where we were told there was nothing that could be done and realizing that his quality of life was rapidly deteriorating and we couldn't put off the inevitable any longer. I think what made the decision even harder for us is that even through his obvious discomfort, he was always happy. Even yesterday as he was coughing up clots of blood, all he wanted to do was play fetch!
While my words barely do his precious little life justice, he will live on in our memories for the exceptional dog he was; sweet, loyal, energetic and insanely well-behaved. Our time with him was simply too short and we will miss him terribly.