Dealing with the loss of a pet is one of the hardest things I have had to do in a long time….even harder since kids were involved. As many of you know, I had to put Tinkerbell down in October 2012. Kira is 3 and Logan is 5… how were they going to understand the death of their dog?
Tinkerbell was a beautiful and fun-loving Italian Greyhound (DOB: 05/14/01). She has had her fair share of quirks and problems over the years. She lost all of her toenails back in 2006. This totally stumped the vet. After searching online and talking to the vet we decided Tink had a disease called SLO. SLO, Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy, is an auto-immune disease where the body mistakenly attacks itself. Basically, Tink formed antibodies that made her body reject her toenails.
Tink also suffered from a broken leg when Logan was just a baby. She jumped of our couch (like she has done in the past) and SNAP she broke her front leg. Yes, you could hear the SNAP! She was in pain, and all we could do was confine her in a carrier until the morning. She needed extensive surgery, but since we just had Logan we couldn’t afford to do the surgery. Luckily we had an amazing vet who was able to set her leg and cast it. Her leg was never “normal” after that incident. She had a limp… however, that didn’t stop her from running around our back yard and having fun.
We went from 2007 to 2012 without any incidents. We are not 100% sure what happened to her, but from what we can tell it was neurological. It was very sudden and unexpected. One day she was fine, happy, running around… the next day she couldn’t walk or stand. The vet did all he could and within 48 hours we had to make the decision to put her down.
I took the kids to their grandmother’s house, my husband went to work… and I took Tink to the vet. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do (alone). I held her in my arms as the vet put her to sleep.
It didn’t take long for the kids to start asking where their dog was??? What do I say? My husband was still at work, and I was at a loss. Finally I sat them down and told them that Tinkerbell was very sick and had to go to the vet. I explained that she went to sleep and is now an angel in Heaven. The kids were very sad and kept asking me when she would come home… and I had to say never. Over the last few months they have asked about Tinkerbell… they wanted to ask Santa if he could bring Tinkerbell back… they have repeatedly told us that they miss their Tink… it’s been very emotional. Luckily we still have our other beautiful Italian Greyhound, Voodoo.
Voodoo has also had problems over the years (DOB: 06/23/99).
- Seizures (never had to put her on medication because they were not consistent)
- Thyroid issue (she was on medication for a few years until finally she lost weight and her thyroid was back on track)
- Lost a few teeth (Small mouth = BAD teeth)
In March 2012, Voodoo had major surgery and the vet removed a HUGE cancerous mass off of her back and a few bumps on her belly. We hoped that they were able to remove all of the cancerous tissue, but we knew that it was highly likely that the cancer would return… and it has in full force. Lumps and bumps have been growing at a rapid pace all over her body. She is not suffering in any way, yet. Voodoo is still very active and shows only small signs of the bumps irritating her (she will bite them occasionally). We can’t afford to have another surgery… and I don’t think at the age of 13 she would be able to handle another extensive surgery. My husband and I know that we will have to make another difficult decision in the near future. But when? How long with Voodoo be able to endure the cancer? Will the cancer take her peacefully? Or will we have to help her sleep before she is in pain? The future is unclear and neither one of us wants to face the reality that someday soon Voodoo will no longer be with us, and we will have to explain once again to our children the loss of a pet… the loss of our family member!