8/2/11

My only post this week.

-5

I just thought you all should know that Kobe was strong and brave until the very end. 

Last Monday evening, mom was playing with the dogs outside (as she usually does) when, in mid-run, Kobe stumbled and fell to the ground. He could not get up on his own, so we knew something was wrong. The vet was called and told us to watch him overnight, that he might have sprained or broken something. I helped mom take him into the vet the next morning. He was in good spirits, but obviously in pain. They x-rayed his hips and legs and found no break. The vet told us he probably just sprained his hip and prescribed pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicine for him. She said it would probably take him about 6 weeks to fully recover, but that he should be a lot better soon if he is resting and only trying to walk on his own. 

We took him home and took good care of him. He wanted to be with us all the time. If we went into another room, he would try to make his way toward us, but would only get a few feet before he couldn't go any further. We carried him outside to go to the bathroom and to sit with us in the grass. He wagged his tail whenever we'd come near him. 

Last weekend, however, he took a turn for the worse. His walking had not improved at all, but only got worse. He was breathing very heavily and labored. We took him off of all the medicine after he had two seizures. Seizures weren't an unusual thing for Kobe, but they were terrible for him to go through. We didn't want to give him medicine that would possibly induce them. This seemed to be more than just a sprained hip. The vet talked with my mom for a long time and told us to bring him back Monday. 

Sunday night, my mom noticed some purple/red bruising on his lower stomach/abdomen area. By Monday, the bruising had spread to up his chest. We were very concerned. My dad took off work early and we took Kobe in to the vet. She talked with us a long time about all of the possibilities, but there really wasn't enough for her to give a diagnosis unless more diagnostic steps were taken. The bruising pointed to some sort of a blood cell problem, so we agreed to a blood test.

We waited a very long twenty-five minutes for the results. When the vet came back, she told us that Kobe had absolutely no white blood cells and that his red blood cell count was very low. She said that he either had some sort of bone marrow cancer, or leukemia. Our hearts ached and our heads hung. He obviously had to have been fighting this for a long time in order for him to have absolutely no white blood cells, but he never once complained. He couldn't tell us, so he just kept living and loving and playing--just last week, he was jumping through hula hoops. 

We knew that we couldn't hold on to him any longer and we did not want him to suffer. Now that his hip was injured, his bones were so brittle, and his immune system non-existent there was no way he would recover and be able to walk on his own again, let alone be able to go to the bathroom on his own. He was so brave. We all talked with him and petted him. I went to Dairy Queen to get him a doggy dish of ice cream and we fed it to him in the vet's room, along with some peanut butter we brought with us. We told him how brave he was and we knew he was so strong to fight for so long.

My mom and I stayed in the room when the vet came in to give him the euthanasia. I held his head and rubbed behind his ears just the way he liked, and told him what a good boy he was. As soon as she gave him the shot, he gave a sigh of relief and slowly laid his head down. He seemed so peaceful, for those few seconds he was still with us. Then, I knew he wasn't there anymore. 

I kept holding his head and petting him, even though I knew he couldn't feel it. The vet cut some of his hair for us to take. She was so wonderful throughout the whole thing, as hard and puzzling as it was. Arlo, her assistant (who had also been extremely kind and friendly to us), helped us carry him out to the car. My mom told him that people had come to visit him this week when they heard he wasn't doing well. Arlo said he had never heard of that before and that he must have been a very special dog. He laid him gently in the car and patted his head. "He's not suffering anymore." he said. 

When we got home, our neighbor Kevin came up to help my dad bury him. We chose a nice spot in the back of the yard by a tree--the place where my rosebush used to bloom. They wrapped him in a cloth and laid him there, filling in the grave and placing heavy stones on top, so that no animals would disturb it. 

We sat there in the grass watching, thoughts trying to connect the dots--like one does at the after a mysterious movie, restarting it from the beginning to try to understand the end. It all had happened so fast.

Kobe was a friend of many, a lover of people of all kinds. He was eager to play and herd, but also to love and cuddle, and he was always there with his paw on your knee when you were going through a tough time. He had many great experiences and a very full life. He will be missed by countless humans whose hearts he won. 

I don't know if it's true that "all dogs go to heaven," but I know that it is written:
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." Romans 8:18-22

C.S. Lewis once wrote, "It seems to me possible that certain animals may have immortality, not in themselves, but in the immortality of their masters." If this is true, then I do expect to see Kobe again. For I have not known another animal that was so loved by so many, and they will carry him with them into eternity.

Wait for me, friend. We will sit atop the hill side-by-side and gaze into a valley redeemed by grace.

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3 comments:

  1. I'm totally crying at school right now. I love you Kobe, best dog ever.

    ReplyDelete
  2. :( This is making me cry so much right now. We always loved Kobe. <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awww Rae, you are such a sweet heart. I'm sorry about Kobe dog, he was such a good pup.

    -Brienna


    PS
    "I guess you don't really own a dog, you rent them, and you have to be thankful that you had a long lease."

    Joe Garagiola

    ReplyDelete

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