7:30pm update: I guess I knew it when I wrote this post but didn't want to admit it to myself. It was Thunder's time. His duties as my protector are over. He's now chasing bunny rabbits in heaven. He's his old self again -- not sick, not grumpy, not in pain. Good-bye my sweet baby boy. I will miss you more than I can express in words.
I wrote the text below, and posted it, about 3 hours before giving in to the inevitable. Our vet - I love her too - told us several weeks ago that Thunder would let us know when it was time. He's been telling us for a while. Today, we heard him, and gave in.
Thunder. Yes, he's my dog. And my baby boy. He's adopted too by the way. All my kids are. And for both my girls we actually flew to get them. Teyha from Alabama and Cassie from China. Thunder is also from Alabama but he flew to me -- well half way, then there was a blizzard and I had to drive -- in the blizzard -- to Kentucky to pick him up from the airport loading dock because his connecting flight got canceled. Really -- no kidding on that one. So yes, I love him a lot. He's been around since before Sonny. Back when it was just him and I. Back when I was thinner, walked my dog every night, washed my kitchen floor everyday, and hardly ate red meat. Back when I 'knew' that I'd be single and childless forever. Goes to show I know nothing.
After we got the call about Cassie my biggest fear was not about going to China, or being a mother, or spending every dime we had -- it was boarding my babies. Even though we board them at the vet's office -- who we love -- I still hate leaving them. And this time I had to leave them for 15 whole days. It was killing me. Of course we called and checked on them almost everyday and even twice some days. Every time we called they were doing good. They always do there but still I worry. They are spoiled there, but not like at home. And they don't have a choice of 6 different dogs beds and 2 couches for my babies to sleep on. But it always seems to work out in the end. And they still love us when we pick them up -- even with a toddler in tow and after 15 whole days.
About three days after picking the 'kids' up from the vet -- Thunder seemed sick -- just not himself. But, he had been boarded for 15 day and Cassie was driving him nuts so I thought I'd give it a couple of days and see. Of course then it was Memorial Day weekend and I knew he was sick. I thought it was a sinus infection by the way he was acting so I knew I could wait another 2 days for our vet to be in. Tuesday afternoon we took him to the vet. Yep, he had a sinus infection, was dehydrated and had some pain in his abdomen. Plus, there seemed to be more to the story than just that. Our vet ran some tests, x-rays gave him drugs for the sinus infection and said she'd call us back with the test results.
The results of the blood test were not too good. We repeated the blood work on June 1st. Plus, Thunder had another exam. Oh, and he lost over 5 lbs from the visit 6 days before. The results of all this aren't good -- my baby boy has cancer. We don't know what type or where -- there are no tumors showing...yet....but it could also be a lymphatic cancer that won't show as a tumor that we can see. I asked how long he had and our vet didn't know but said not long. He's got pain meds to help manage the pain and is still on the lowest dose of those and they seem to be working....so far. He's grumpy which is so unlike him. He's still tolerating Cassie squeezing his toes and smacking him with toys but we watch her very closely around him so we can avoid any additional discomfort for him. With the pain meds he can get on the couch again -- when we first came home from China he was sleeping on the floor -- also unlike him. That keeps him out of the way of Cassie stepping, tripping, and falling on him. Which she does.
Tehya's best buddy in the whole world is her brother. She won't even go out and play with her ball without him. If you know Tehya you also know her balls are her favorite and the most valuable toys in the whole world. Since Thunder has been sick her and Cassie are fast becoming best buds. I think Thunder has actually had cancer since January 2008 -- he changed then -- there was just something different about him. I took him in and had a bunch of test run and nothing showed -- but I knew. I also think that somehow Thunder knew he needed to hang on until we brought Cassie home. For Tehya and for me. Thunder had always been my protector and still is -- even when he's dying and in pain. He's such a good boy. (I overlook the grumpiness) It wasn't suppose to be like this. I couldn't wait for Cassie to come home so that she could play with the dogs and so that I could get pictures of the three of them together. Thunder is now too sick to play and too grumpy to pose with a squirmy butt named Cassie. She's really going to miss out on having such a wonderful big 'brother'. And we are all going to miss him when the time comes for him to leave us. My protector will have completed his job here on earth.
12 hours ago