Fuck.

I just buried my face in the hound dog’s fur and cried.  I told her I need her to be strong and healthy for a long time.  I let her lick my tears.  Totally gross, I know, but the hound dog has been with me since Sara, Matthew and I adopted her in early 2002 and last week when we took her in to have an odd growth removed from her bottom, Scott brought Maddie along too because she’d cut her nose.

I had no idea that 10 days later Maddie would be emaciated, unable to eat, and in full renal failure prompting our vet to call her kidneys “incompatible with life”.  I had no idea that I’d be facing the harsh reality of losing a part of our family and explaining that loss to Delilah…while mourning that loss with Scott.

Scott works with other people’s dogs all day long.  He trains them, he feeds them, he runs them, and then he comes home, and he still finds the energy to do all of those things for Sophie and Madden too.

Scott brought Maddie home from the pound three weeks after his one year old puppy Roxy was taken from us all too soon when she buried her bone in what turned out to be mulch of white oleander.  Roxy’s loss was incredibly hard on Scott and it came at a time when our family was losing dogs left and right.  Ricky went to old age, while Bruiser – my dear gentle giant of a Rottie who was found roaming the Silver Lake Reservoir and came into our lives via email – grew a brain tumor and died at 6 years old.  Maegan’s sweet Billy ran into the street while on a walk with a friend on her birthday.   It was a rough run, but it ended for us when Maddie found Scott on an impromptu visit to the pound one afternoon.

When Dee was born, Maddie – always a little aloof – was the one we were worried about.  But our tiny runt of a German Shepherd bonded crazy fast with newborn Dee, sleeping under her bassinet in the early days – never leaving her side.   Now I often find the two sleeping curled up together on the floor, and even yesterday as Maddie’s nose continues to dry and flake, Dee gently picked up her pup’s head and kissed her injured face.

I don’t want Maddie to give up.  I haven’t given up on her.  I’ll do anything to keep my husband and daughter from the pain of this loss.  I found myself discussing idiotic measures like dog kidney transplants, but I don’t care how crazy that is, right now – today, I’d do anything to stop this from happening to my family.

Last night I hand fed Miss Mads chicken and egg whites, and she finally managed to get some food down.  This morning I’m undulating between optimistic and sobbing like she’s already gone.  Animals add so much to our lives, but fuck it hurts when they’re taken away…I don’t want to have to make this choice.  And I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to say to Dee.

20 Responses to Fuck.

  1. mistybell says:

    Geez, Morgan, I am so sorry.

  2. everythingbugs says:

    Brutal. I am so sorry to hear this. I’ll be hugging my pups a little closer today and sending healing thoughts your way. <3

  3. MommaBeThyName says:

    :-( I hope things are turning around.

  4. BTLover2 says:

    More than anything I wish I could wave a magic wand, beg to the powers that be, cast a spell, give my own kidney for your Maddie. I won’t go into the details but I do feel your fears, anguish, desperation. We felt helpless with our girl and I researched like a manic to find a solution, also considering kidney transplant. In the end, we did everything we could short of that transplant until we had to “make that decision.” It’s unfair. The heartbreak of hearing your pup is ill, but not just ill, seriously ill is gut-wrenching. I will keep you, your family and Maddie in my thoughts. I cry with you…

  5. babyrabies says:

    Oh, hon :( So, so sorry. That is unfair. Fucking unfair. We lost our first dog when she was 2 and suffocated on a bag of chips from the trash. It was DEVASTATING. When we got the dogs we have now, I didn’t know if I could handle the pain of a loss again. I questioned whether we wanted any more dogs if it meant going through that. But it’s worth it, whether they are with us a year or 10 because, yes, they add so much. But yes, it hurts SO much. Hugs and thoughts and prayers and all that stuff.

  6. daveconrey says:

    I dread the day that we find out our K9 daughter is close to death. She’s as much a part of this family as Aidan and given her age, he’ll have made a very strong bond with her by the time she comes to pass. The loss is devastating to think about. I can only imagine what its like to live through. Sorry to hear about Maddie’s struggles. Hopefully she’s not in too much pain or feeling too sick.

  7. Erica M says:

    Maddie is very lucky to have you.

  8. lindseytanthony says:

    Gut puncher. I got teary-eyed over this. I love that dog! I’m so sorry this is all happening. And sorry Maddie is suffering. That the family is suffering. There is nothing quite like pain of losing a dog. They are these markers of time, companions during the dark moments, and reasons for so much joy during the lighter ones. I’m sending you positive vibes that hopefully she can pull through this. Love to you all, especially Scott.

  9. becca7903 says:

    oh, morgan, i hate this for you. loss of pets is so, so hard. big hugs and thoughts that maddie pulls through and this won’t be a burden for you any more…

  10. the818 says:

    Thanks guys for the kind thoughts and words – Maddie is perking up a bit after eating this morning, and we’re having Scott’s mobile vet come take a look today…hoping there’s still fight in her. xoxo

  11. Lainguage says:

    I can totally relate to what you are going through and it also totally sucks! We went through this with our Rudy, 4 yr old rescue, in August. He was stung/bit by something that put his little body into shock and it started to shut down. I bawled like a baby and felt so helpless. Henry was 20 months old and wasn’t really phased by it. We explained best we could and a friend actually gave us a book about Doggies in Heaven. How ever you go about it will be just fine. It really is heart breaking and those little fuzz butts never live as long as we’d like them too. *hugs*

  12. MelBHab says:

    Do they do canine kidney transplants? that was the first thought that crossed my mind. Not crazy at all. She’s part of the family!

  13. giovanna.bisoni says:

    my childhood dog Kiwi died a month before my twentieth birthday, she was seventeen and a half. when I am sad and depressed I think about how lucky I was to have her in my life for so long, how lucky to be there with her on her very last afternoon, lying on the grass and singing songs to her while describing dog heaven in details. I totally hope Maddie will get better, sometimes they do, I saw it with my own eyes two years before Kiwi passed, we had an appointment to put her down scheduled and outside the vet she started walking again, looking at us all like “just kidding guys, I ain’t done yet”. and if she gets better you’ll appreciate her so much more. but if you have to let her go, remember that dog heaven is an amazing place.

  14. ChristinaSimon says:

    Morgan, I have a 13 year old pitbull who we rescued when she was 6 months. I’m so sorry. Hang in there. Your girl is loved and that’s what matters.

  15. melaniebiehle says:

    Morgan, I’m so sorry! It hurts so much when our pets are sick, or worse. I had to go through putting down my cat that I had for about 13 years. It was so hard and upsetting. Take care. xo

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