As I'm writing this, our husky KO's things still lay around our home - his bed, his water bucket and food dish, his squeaky rubber balls, his leash, the box of organic treats we just bought, recently opened. The remnants of him still remain, and I still can't believe he's gone.
A few days ago, he started to display some worrisome behaviour - he was sluggish, wouldn't eat, and breathing extremely hard. After getting blood tests at the vet, we carried him home and he cried all night. This morning he wasn't even able to lift his head up. Our vet took x-rays and delivered the bad news - they found cancer spots in his colon. He was suffering and in so much pain. There was only one decision - and it was the hardest one to make.
He received so much attention everywhere we brought him. His eyes always delighted everyone in his path - his left was white, his right was brown. He'd always push his body up against your legs so you couldn't do anything but pet him, and then he'd look up at you with those gorgeous puppy eyes. He was such a suck for attention. He loved giving us high-fives for treats. That was his only trick, besides sit, lay down and jump, but we didn't care. We loved that one trick. KO didn't lay down like most dogs did. With his front legs out, paws splayed out to either side. I've never seen any other dog lay down like that. When he was young, we'd walk him off leash, and sometimes he wouldn't come back for long periods of time. His primal wolf instincts would kick in, and he would come back with a bloody snout because he was trying to hunt for beavers, but failed.
He loved going for hikes with us, and when he found water, he'd swim in and bite the water like it was a piece of meat. He didn't lap up water like other dogs - he'd bite-drink water. He was the most excitable when the snow started to fall. We'd toss snowballs in the air at him and he'd catch it and eat it. He'd leave bite marks on the pavement from eating all the snow. These are just some of the precious memories I'll always hold dear to my heart.
We took KO in when he was already fully grown, from a family who couldn't take care of him , so we never got to see him as a puppy. That didn't matter to us. He was our puppy and he will always be our puppy. He was 13 years old when we decided that his pain and suffering was too much for him to bear. He passed while in pain, in our arms on the cold floor at the vet. I hope that he is now resting in peace, free of the hurt and suffering he endured the past few days.
We lost a family member today. My heart aches for him. Even though this is the circle of life, you're never prepared to experience the loss of a loved one. Rest in peace, KO. We love you.