Last night was a painful night, and today is just a black hole. We lost our beloved lab Rudy only age 6, in our arms, at 2:15 am. He passed away from acute anemia brought on by kidney disease, just recently diagnosed in late September. He is greatly missed as he is our "other" child.
He had been fine since the diagnosis, and I was convinced he was "cured". He had been on 10 mg Enalapril 2 times a day, and Hills K/D food. His second complete Super panel in October showed normal limits of creatine and BUN, which are both indicators of the progression of kidney disease.
Then on Christmas night, after a busy, wonderfully full day of family, opening presents with Nash, playing in the snow with Nash and his cousin Ian, he began to pant, then stopped eating for a day (our lab loved his food). He perked up and played his usual ball with Nash; who can keep the ball away better?? Then before New Years went downhill a bit; throwing up for the first time since September's diagnosis. I took him into the vet on Saturday morning the 30th, and the vet took another complete panel, along with a shot of metronidazole and metoclopramide- one to calm his stomach. He had a rough night, but the next day was so much better, and continued to improve. We quietly celebrated New Years, which is also most importantly Big Dawg's birthday. The vet called and said his creatine and BUN was slightly elevated again, and that his red blood cells showed some anemia. We scheduled an ultrasound and retic. panel for today.
After playing with Nash, and a usual dinner, about 8pm Rudy started panting again, walking slowly. He progressively got worse; and about 1:45 I heard a thump and I woke up. I again took him outside, where he again lay down in the grass; feeling the coolness on his belly. When he got inside, he wouldn't drink water for the first time. I hugged him, covered him up, and got Nash's daddy up. Big Dawg brought him to his Rudy bed, and about 2 minutes later Rudy's heart stopped. We had both been holding him, telling him it was ok to go to heaven to see Chuck Chuck (my father who passed away February 2002) and his brother golden retriever RJ who passed away from cancer two months after my father. Rudy was gone.
We know Rudy woke us up to say goodbye, and we also heard the floor creaking during the night right after his passing, as we would often hear when he walked down the hall to check on all of us. He was saying his final goodbyes. As a good friend of mine said "he gave you such a gift to want to be with you at the last moment". She has such wisdom.
We decided to cover him up and let Nash say goodbye when he woke up. This was the most difficult thing I had ever done, next to losing my father, and I am sure it was for Big Dawg too. Nash is 4. Nash also has Down syndrome. But he understood; he looked at his daddy and said "Your eyes are broken". He said the same to me when he looked at me. Wow, what insight. He didn't say "you are sad", he said "your eyes are broken". He knows more than we do.
We will greatly miss:
His jumping for joy on his rearlegs, bouncing as high as my head, when we came home, us not knowing if it was us or his dinner he anticipated so greatly;
His "baby bin" where all his stuffed animals were kept, and hair accumulated underneath regularly. We will keep Mr. Reindeer, with his bells, as it was RJ's favorite too;
His growlies when we were finished with dinner, yet hadn't cleaned the kitchen; he wanted those table scraps;
His black lab nose pushing open the bathroom door when I am on the john just to say "hey you in there mom?";
His look at 5pm sharp on the weekends when he knew that the big hand had just reached the "12"....it was time for dinner!;
His longing for car trips, walks and rubs on the ear as he lay on the couch in front of a fire; His black lab hair in the refrigerator
Tonight will be especially difficult when Rudy doesn't meet us at the door wanting his dinner, and Nash runs around the house asking for Rudy, then repeating his mantra he has down "Chuck Chuck and Rudy in Heaven" "Rudy is gone, he's sick". A kiss good bye from all of us....
Yes, our eyes are broken. Rest in Peace dear Rudy. And tell all our loved ones hello, and we will all meet at Rainbow Bridge.