Sunday, September 23, 2007

Farewell to a friend

Over the past week, my dog Beau hit a crisis in his long-term kidney disease, was hospitalized and died. It was both the outcome of a chronic, managed disease, but also a stunningly fast reversal. He was hospitalized twice before for kidney disease crises. We had managed him along for four or five years with special diet, and careful watching. Then, at the end of summer, he developed terrible itching in some kind of inhalant allergy. He was so miserable! The poor little dog couldn't sleep and could hardly take a walk for pausing to scratch. As we had done often in the past, we started him on a prednisone combination drug to control the itching. But this time, the prednisone triggered pancreatitis. this inflammation of the pancreas caused him to be very queasy. He stopped eating and barely drank water starting last weekend. That, in turn, pushed him out of balance with his kidneys.

We took Beau to the vet on Monday, to the hospital on Tuesday and got word of his death around midnight Wednesday night. His kidneys just shut down. After sustaining damage over the years, there was no residual capacity to fall back on this time. I like to think he did not suffer much, with the IV fluids and pain meds. I saw him Wednesday night and he looked really exhausted and out of it.

Beau was such a good dog. He had a conscience that was bigger and stricter than anybody I have ever met. When he was a puppy, we caught him on a chair in the kitchen, taking a piece of bread off the table. Once he understood that was bad, he never tried to steal food ever again. He might be sitting near the table, gazing at us with longing, but if we said, "Beau, are you begging?" he would look so ashamed and would move away. If I were as honorable as Beau, I would be a much better person.

This was my youngest, furriest child, a part of our family. He was my friend, my personal trainer. And I miss him very much.

4 comments:

Christine said...

My deepest condolences on the loss of your companion Beau. Dogs do so much to enrich our lives, and with your posts, you have done much to enrich mine. Thank you.

Meg Kribble said...

"He might be sitting near the table, gazing at us with longing, but if we said, "Beau, are you begging?" he would look so ashamed and would move away."

My last dog did this too!

I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Beau had a wonderful life and knew how much he was loved. I hope that brings you some peace in the weeks ahead.

KarenR said...

I am so sorry for your loss! Dogs do not ask for much, and they give us love unconditionally.

Betsy McKenzie said...

Thank you both. I miss Beau every day -- nobody wags me into the house now, nobody pokes me with a little nose.