I know that some of you know this from Facebook, but I lost Mushroom on Saturday. He had been coughing for a couple of weeks. I was worried that it was his heart, but when I took him in, the vet thought kennel cough because his chest sounded fine. I took him home on antibiotics and prednisone. The cough improved some but his breathing continued to get more and more labored. Friday morning he was slow to eat his breakfast. Mushroom was *never* slow to eat *anything*. I took him back in and we xrayed his chest. It was full of cancer.
Air is black. Lungs are supposed to be black. He didn't have any room for air in his lungs anymore. If you look to the right hand side of the picture you can see the white circles that are tumors. Probably secondary to cancer somewhere else, but I didn't go looking for it. It wouldn't have changed anything.
The vet told me a week, maybe two. We added a powerful cough medication to his personal pharmacy. It made the coughing stop.
But Saturday he looked awful. I had to take him to a flyball tournament, and he laid in an xpen with the collies all day and looked miserable. He ate when I mixed canned food in with his kibble, but then he threw it all up, and there were chunks of blood in his vomit. I knew it wasn't good and it wasn't going to get any better. He was having trouble walking and holding himself up to urinate (which he was doing constantly because of the prednisone).
I took him in that night and we let him go. He went gently, so gently. He didn't even lift his head.
Mushroom was always my Good Boy. He was so sweet and so simple and he just wanted to be a good dog, to eat all the treats, and to snuggle on the couch. And he wouldn't say no to a bellyrub if you had one to offer. He slept in bed with me every night for almost nine years. It is amazing how empty a bed can feel.
I miss him so much, guys. I wasn't ready to say goodbye. It was all so sudden, and then even when I knew, I thought I would have more time to spoil him, more time to love him, more time to tell him how good a dog he was.
They can be gone in an instant. They can be gone and there is nothing left but memories and an empty hole in your chest.
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and Hambone, flyball hopeful
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