Many of you that read or follow know that I have a dog, Forrest.
Forrest had very few health problems in his life. He had a hip replacement, Glaucoma in 2007, which took his vision, and he adjusted very well to it. Then Vestibular Disease (like vertigo) in July of this year. In Late September, things started to decline. Forrest started wandering the house in the middle of the night, confused, and slipping on the kitchen floor, unable to get up. The vet diagnosed it as a combination of arthritis pains and doggie dementia. We got medication to help for both, and Forrest got upgraded to share my king sized bed with me. This arrangement actually worked really well, no alarm clock needed. 5 am dog panting in your face
Things seemed to return to normal (or the new normal), he even was able to walk fairly normally again. Last Monday, in the middle of the night, Forrest fell out of bed. I picked him up and put him back in with me, not thinking anything was wrong, but when I woke up, I realized that he had suffered another vestibular episode like this summer. This time, it didn't seem as severe, as he was drinking and eating, so I figured he would bounce back and be fine. Christmas morning, I picked him up and put him in the back yard, and he started crying for me to bring him in. So I did, and put him on his dog bed on the floor, and within a few minutes, he was whining again. Finally I put him in bed with me, and he seemed happy. We spent our last Christmas day together snuggled up in bed, watching old Christmas movie re-runs and eating junk food. At one point, he rolled over and laid his head on my chest and "gazed" at me with his blind eyes, and I knew, he was telling me that it was ok, and he was ready to go. In true Forrest fashion, to reinforce that he was ready, he let me know again that night by leaving a "present" in the bed for me.
So yesterday morning, I took him to VERGI, the local vet ER, and had him put down. It was a very peaceful and calm event, but it doesn't make it any easier. They laid him on a comforter on the floor and let us have all the time that we wanted before the process was done. Forrest went very peacefully and quietly. Thanks to my friends that showed up at the ER with me. The only comfort I have is knowing that he's no longer suffering. It was the right thing to do, and the ultimate responsibility of a pet owner.
For those of you that knew Forrest, you already know what a smart, kind and funny dog he was. He was well trained and had me well trained too. He knew how to open the screen door, and bark to come back in. He knew how to wake me up by breathing hard, then sneezing in my face, and ultimately bumping the bed with his butt, so I could let him out. When I was outside in the yard or the garage, he wanted to be out there supervising. He knew many tricks, and loved to perform for treats. Forrest lived the life of a college student throughout my Journey at A&M. He had many kind roommates that loved on him as much as I did, and he loved them equally. Forrest also got to stay with my sister and her roommates and my mom for some time too, being doted on by girls, and spoiled by my mom.
Forrest like me, loved cars, and loved riding in them, head stuck out the window and smelling all the scents that the world had to offer, many times to our trips to the dog park. He kept guard of my truck when we went to home depot, hopping in the driver seat like he was driving, taking in the cool A/C in his face and listening to the radio. He loved chewing ice. When he was younger and had his vision, he loved catching ice and chewing it up. He spent many summers terrorizing the squirrels in my mothers neighborhood, and actually plucked one off the tree that had frozen in fear, killed it, and left it on the side door of the house.
Forrest was a loyal and loving dog, and lived almost 15 years. Born 15 March 1997, Passed 26 December 2011. I'll never forget you my friend.
If you are interested, here's a brief poem that was written for those who have lost pets.
Thanks to everyone for your kind support and prayers.