ok, i'm ready to post about this now. so sorry for not replying to some of your questions yesterday...
chewie at 4 months old...
anyway, it all started last week, 22 june (incidentally, chewie's 3rd birthday!). i received a phone call from nicole, sobbing and asking me if chewie has had any injury when she was with me. i can't recall chewie ever had any form of injury, so i said no and asked what happened. in between sobs, she said they discovered that morning that chewie's hind legs were suddenly paralyzed and she couldn't walk! so they brought her to the vet for check-up and x-ray revealed that there's a fracture in her vertebrae, which is pressing into her spinal cord, causing her to loose all sensation in her hind quarters. she couldn't even feel extreme pain in her legs!
according to the vet, it could be caused by an injury sustained a long time ago, the symptoms only surfacing now. but she's not had any injury! so the vet said then it's a disc disease. but this disease is not common in dachshunds, basset hounds etc... basically dogs with longer bodies. it's rarely seen in cocker spaniel. but somehow, chewie got it.
they could only give her medications but only for up to 10 days, as the meds are very strong steroids. it's only to ease her pain and make her more comfortable. at first, nicole said if they were to operate, it'll cost more than RM3k! so they'll see how's her condition after 10 days before making any forward decisions.
i went to see her the next day after work and it was really pitiful. she's only able to sit up, propped up by her front legs. and if she wants to move about, she could only drag herself forward with her front legs. her back legs were totally useless! i just couldn't stop my tears from falling... she was only looking at me with her big brown molten eyes, unable to jump about or even wag her tail! i don't even know if she recognized me! :"(
i kept calling her name and told her she's a good girl, stroking her the way i used to do last time. i just hope she remembers me, and knows that i've not forgotten her...
the next few days, i did some reading up on disk disease on the internet. most websites said canine disk disease are fairly common and there are treatments that can be done. BUT this only applies to dogs that are limp or showed weakness in their movement. not when there's paralysis. when the dog is paralyzed, then there's not much hope for it to ever walk again.
but i still kept a small ray of hope within me... hoping for a miracle to happen. maybe, just maybe, chewie is a special case. maybe the medicine will help... maybe she'll be able to walk and run and jump again...
then on sunday, nicole's mom called me. she said chewie's condition is not improving and we have to discuss on what to do. they brought her to the vet again on saturday, and the vet said things were not looking good. now he said it's not operable and in his personal opinion, she'll not get any better. nicole's mom said it's very traumatic to see her condition everyday. when she hears people approaching, she'll want to go to them. she wants to move about. so she'll drag herself across the floor... and it's causing her "below" part to be sore and swollen. nicole's mom feels that we should put her out of her misery. if we were to leave her be, her condition will only get worse and in the end, we'll still have to do it. so instead of prolonging it until she's off the meds and really suffering, we should consider doing it now.
i told them that actually, the decision is not mind anymore. much as i love her, i'm not her human anymore, so i've no rights to decide anything for her. so she said they'll most probably give her only 2 - 3 day more and asked if i wish to go see her one last time.
this is so devastating! i was sobbing by then... and i feel i can't face it, can't face the thought that she'll be leaving us forever. so i decided that no, i'm not going to see her. i'll only cry and cry in front of her, and what good will that do? i just asked them to inform me when they're gonna do it, so that i can chant daimoku to send her off.
then on late monday night, nicole sent me an sms:
"we'll be letting her go tomorrow noon around 12.30pm. it's one of the most difficult decision to make but it's the best for her. thanks for giving her to me, chewie has been one of the best highlights for the past 2 years. she'll always be in my heart. i love her dearly."
so the next day, 29 june 2010, chewie took her final breath at 12.20pm, at age 3 years and 7 days.