Wednesday, May 18, 2016
I am filled with sadness this morning. We released our Keeper last night. None of us have ever before had to make that decision for our pet. It was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced in my life.
We came back to the coast in hopes the littlest member of our family would recover. She had been struggling to breathe for over a week in Cuenca; she had been on heart meds for that time as well. We couldn’t see any improvement, watching her increasingly become weaker and still laboring to breathe. We knew we had to get her out of the high altitude of the Andes.
Arriving mid afternoon at our hotel on the coast, she was lethargic. By evening she actually was walking around some and she ate dinner. We were hopeful. During the night she was again restless but, in my mind, slept better between getting up for water every hour.
In the morning she did eat again. We took her to the Vet to get blood work and brought her back to our hotel. At about noon she began to fail. She still remained thirsty and got progressively weaker as she tried to drink from her bowl, going from standing on shakey legs, to just lifting her head up, to not even being able to raise her cute little head with her Ecuadorian doo.
She wouldn’t eat. We barely got her last dose of medicine in her. We had held that dose for an extra five hours thinking she may be having side effects. So with the medicine she was struggling, and without the medicine she was struggling. It looked like there was nothing we could give her to help her improve.
By 5 pm the three of us began the hard conversation of whether we let her struggle through another night or let her leave us. In that moment I was filled with a feeling I have never felt. It paralyzed me. I realized I, and we, had to make a choice to end the physical life of our beloved member of our family. How can one decide that? I felt the worst dread I have ever felt in my life.
I wanted to put this off for another night, another day. I wanted to believe that Keeper would be ok in the morning if I just let her rest. As I looked at her, she laid on her side, pulling every muscle she has to raise her chest up and down. Sometimes she would move to roll over onto her stomach, but half way through, either to weak or unable to breathe she would roll back onto her side.
Her tongue was white, not coated white, but a pale white tongue that used to be pink and bright and would give us kisses. This must have been what the Vet was looking at when he told me she was anemic. She was suffering. We were suffering not being able to lessen hers.
We are staying at Casa Blanca Playa Cautivo. This is owned and operated by Randy and Dodie. These two people are as kind, understanding, and helpful as anyone can be. At the poolside, shaded by lush trees and plants we had held vigil with Keeper all afternoon. They gave us our space. They checked in on us and Keeper. They were there for us as we navigated these new waters.
When we made the decision, Dodie contacted the Vet and found out the answers to all our questions. We asked if it would be ok for the Vet to come here for us to let our little loved dog go. She readily agreed. Randy and Dodie treated us as more than guests. We were hurting, our dog was dying, and they held us in their care. Casa Blanca Playa Cautivo is a beautiful, peaceful place for us to say goodbye to our beloved Keeper.
When the Vet arrived Heidi held Keeper close to her heart. Easton and I gathered around our loved Chewbacca fur ball, and we all were there with her. Keeper knew that her people who loved her most held and surrounded her with love.
She left this world wrapped in love, and left for us sweet memories of her many years of love and devotion.
So sorry for the loss of such a dear member of your sweet family. She’s at peace and not hurting or suffering anymore. She knows she will be forever loved by you. RIP KEEPER.
Thanks Carol. We appreciate your kindness.
I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet Keeper. The love we have for our pets is so deep and you tried everything you could to help her. She was very blessed to be a part of your family.
Thanks DaleRae for your kind words. The bond runs deep between our pets and their people. It is a blessing to have experienced it.
I’m so sorry Todd. I had to make that same hard decision for Madison in February. It truly was the hardest decision I ever have had to make. I know it was right for her but was so hard for Joe and I. I will keep you in my thoughts.
Thank Sheila. I now know that kind of a decision is only understood by those that make it. You and Joe were courageous in your love for Madison.
I am so sorry to read this. Thanks for sharing so openly and honestly. Take your time to remember and grieve. Love to you Heidi and Easton.
Miriam, thank you for all your support that you have shown the three of us since coming to Bahia. We are so glad we met you and Dave. Stay safe!!
The tears are flowing in Canada also. We will all miss little Keeper.i asked Heidi one day why they named her Keeper, well, she said, that when they went to pick out a dog, she thought he was so cute they wanted to keep her. Thus the name Keeper.
Thank you Gayla for your support as we have walked through this. Yes our dog was a Keeper, and our heart aches that we no longer can keep her.
My heart is grieving for you all!! I know how much you loved that sweet little furbaby!! Just like we love our little Moose. These little guys are more than pets, they ARE family and we love them just like they are our kids. Your post was beautiful and made me remember all of the precious furbabies that we have released and how difficult the decision is to make. Bless you all!!
Thank you Annette for your kindness to us. Keeper was part of our family and we will miss her immensely. Give Moose a big hug from us!