Our hearts are broken.
Henri the old Pup gave us a mighty scare last Spring right after we moved to our new forever home. We were blessed to spend time with him for several more months watching him frolic around the yard, along the country roads, in the woods, by the pond, garden, three feet snowdrifts; lounge by the pool, porch, fireplace, bedroom …in front of Ron Hawkins and spend quality “I could care less about you” time with his five feline siblings and lots and lots of friends who came to visit the new house.
Henri was the kindest soul and lived a good life. But he was getting old. And tired. And mostly slept, getting up every hour or so to spin around to plop back down or to follow mama or papa into the next room to be by us at all times. Slower to get up, harder to jump into the car for rides or on the bed at night. A little hard of hearing, a little more senile at times. And for a while there we were even making sure he had a doggie diaper on at night. Yet, the old doggie still managed to get cat food at all costs though, funny how that works, right?
A few weeks ago Henri seemed out of it, no fever like last time but labored breathing and hiding from us, tail between his legs …we took him to the vet where we learned he once again had a serious lung infection. He stayed overnight two nights, stabilized, got better and came home with two antibiotics and a steroid. About 8 days later, Henri waltzed into his checkup with that long waggedy tail and seemed to be fine. Another miracle recovery?!
And two days later, Henri got sick again. But different sick. Throwing up all over the place for hours and hours sick. Trembling and panting sick. The old pup followed me into the bathroom, which in itself wasn’t unusual…but this time fell at my feet and just looked up at me with sad eyes. We took him back to the ER vet immediately. X-rays and blood tests were inconclusive, he had high levels of liver enzymes but this could be due to the meds. So he stayed overnight, the vet rehydrated him and 24 hours later we brought him home with nausea meds. Except we knew something was still wrong.
Henri’s first night home was not good. I stayed up most of the night trying to calm him down between panting and shaking and sleeping. The vet really wanted us to keep an eye on him and thought it could be a reaction to the meds. The next day Henri got up (slowly) and went outside to go potty a few times, had tiny bit of chicken and drank water here and there throughout the day. But he spent the entire day/night in the same spot cozy in front of the fire with both Mama and Papa near his side all day. Calm, but definitely sick. That night we picked him up and he slept on the bed with us as usual…
Yesterday morning, he got off the bed and went over to the door to go outside, but then just stood there, turned around and plopped on the living room floor where he slept most of the day. No eating, no drinking, no potty. Not even a stinky butt boy fart. Around 6pm he managed to get up and wander into the foyer (which was away from mama in the living room and away from papa in the basement.) I gave him lots of love, held back tears, told him it was ok to go to sleep and we loved him. After that I walked away and went to bed bawling my eyes out. We called the vet and they said as long as he is still resting, wait until the morning when our regular vet would be in for an appointment. I cried myself to an early sleep.
In the meantime, Henri decided to muster up the energy and go downstairs to the basement where papa was watching a movie. Papa picked him up and put him on the couch and they stayed that way until he noticed Henri’s breathing was getting shallow again. Papa carried Henri back upstairs and put him on the big round chair and woke me up, crying…saying we needed to take him in ASAP. Dani Cat (Mama Weber’s little Mew Mew) jumped on the chair to next to Henri to keep him company while we got ready to leave, not a sweeter sight in the world.
Since our car is at the end of the driveway (cause we can’t get it up in the snow) we decided to take the two seater truck…with Henri the Old Pup wrapped in a blankie on the front seat and mama squeezed in the back of the cab. Henri couldn’t walk into the vet, he had to be carried. The vet techs took him in the back and put him on oxygen an IV, catheter and gave him a steroid injection. He would rest and we would talk to our vet in the morning.
The call from the ER vet came a little after 1am telling us Henri’s heart stopped. They wanted to know how far we wanted to do life saving measures…it happened very quickly, and there was no sign of distress before it happened.
And that was that. Henri knew we loved him so, so much…and he decided where/when the best time to go be with his sister Sophie.
Thanks for the amazing memories Henri…mama and papa love you so, so much. Rest well old pup. And if you get a chance, give Simba Cat a good barking at just for old times sake.