It was time to take Zeta to the vet. You know, just to get something a little stronger for the constipation.
What I got instead was devastating news. She was not merely constipated. She had an enormous, probably malignant tumor in the wall of her intestines. It was almost completely blocking her ability to poop. You could see, clear as day on the x-rays, that she was quite literally full of crap. My heart sank, my stomach turned, and I felt a wave of grief and guilt so strong it almost brought me to my knees. The tumor was in an area where it could not be biopsied safely, nor could it be removed.
I had to go home and tell Hubby that his dog was dying.
As far as I was concerned, it was all my fault. I still believe that. If nothing else, my devotion to Dexter resulted in months of misery for poor Zeta. Once we knew what was wrong, and understood the prognosis, we knew what we needed to do. We spent a week with her, loving her and playing with her. She still had a fair amount of energy. Hubby took her on a road trip, she ate foods that she loved. We invited the kids over to say goodbye.
One of the things I really love about our vet is that they make house calls for euthanasia.
Euthanasia is just gutting. Even when you KNOW it is the right thing, when you can’t do anything else, it’s still terrifying. It didn’t help that Zeta knew what was up. For the first time ever, I saw her tremble. Of everything that happened on that day, that’s what stays with me the most. It’s not the sweet way that Hubby whispered in her ear and stroked her head as she relaxed into her final slumber. It’s not the loving way in which Dr. Felton and her assistant performed the sad task. It’s not Dexter sitting close by looking sad. It’s Zeta, trembling against a wall.
The house was even quieter (Zeta had been a rather insane barker), all of us in shock and saddened. Dexter especially seemed sad.
About a month later, Hubby brought home the Big Ball of Happy. Dexter was now big brother to a puppy!
He was not impressed.