Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday fragments: Preempted

Today's Friday fragments post is being preempted in order to pay tribute to our dog, Jordan. We got Jordan in Feb of 1998 from a beagle and basset hound rescue league. They said she was almost 2 years old, but when we took her to the vet for the 1st time, the vet suggested she was probably older; more likely closer to 4 years old.

Jordan has always been quite vocal, especially when excited. Every time we'd return home, and every time company would enter the house, Jordan would excitedly bark and bay. She really made us feel like she'd missed us, even if we'd only been gone a few hours. Even as Jordan aged she'd still greet us with several barks when we came in the door, although they didn't last as long as before.

Jordan was extremely friendly and docile. She was never ever aggressive toward other dogs or people she'd meet on her walks. I would laughingly tell other dog owners "She's never met a stranger." Even when we got Pouncer as a very young kitten a few months later, Jordan accepted him into the family and they became great pals. And although she could be difficult and frustrating at times and I've joked about her being an inconvenient dog, she was also a very loving dog.

About 2 years ago we noticed that Jordan was becoming hard-of-hearing, not uncommon for dogs her age, so we began to speak louder to her. Last summer it became obvious that Jordan's favorite 2-block walk was too much for her. She'd get so tired she could barely make it back home, so we reduced it to a 1-block walk. Spouse would occasionally carry her up the stairs at bedtime if she was sleeping while we watched TV.

About 6 months ago we noticed she just seemed to be slowing down. Her normal exuberance upon our return was tempered, and she was often contented with sniffing around the yard instead of going for a walk. This week we got the 1st indication that she really wasn't doing well when she didn't want to eat. Jordan was normally a furious eater who gobbled down her food in seconds. Her internal clock always alerted us to feeding time. This week her walking within the house seemed very slow, and we wondered if she was having pain from a disc in her back, as she did in 2004. We talked about it and decided to watch her closely for the next few days and then make a vet appointment next week if necessary.

But last night Jordan took a turn for the worse. She suddenly seemed to have trouble supporting her weight with her hind legs. She tried several times to get up during the night to get a drink of water. Each time she'd walk a few feet and then plop down onto her butt. Instead of coming back to bed after her drink, Jordan started to descend the steps to the main level. I jumped up and grabbed my robe and slippers, thinking she needed to go out to pee. When I got down the stairs I saw that she had peed in the house, which is highly unusual for her. I took her outside so she could finish, then I cleaned up the floor and carried her back upstairs. Throughout the night she seemed unable to get comfortable or settle herself, again highly unusual behavior for her. We were both so concerned over her unusual behavior we barely slept.

This morning I called the vet and explained our concerns that Jordan was not well and possibly in pain. After answering several questions the vet told us to bring Jordan in at 9:30. Spouse took the day off work and took her to the vet while I headed to the office.

An examination, blood tests, and x-rays revealed that Jordan had a very high fever and was in pain due to a fast-growing tumor near her liver and spleen. Surgery was an option, but due to her advanced age the vet said it would be very risky. The anesthesia alone is risky at her age. With Jordan in pain and no alternative treatment options, Spouse made the difficult decision to say goodbye and send her to heaven.

We found it a very strange coincidence that Jordan joined Pouncer in heaven exactly 1 year to the day, Nov 4, of
Pouncer's arrival there.

Spouse elected not to stay for any of the procedure. And while some pet owners save their beloved pet's last collar or favorite toy, Spouse refused when the vet offered him Jordan's collar, ID tags, and even the laundry basket in which he carried her into the office. He said he just wanted to pet her, say goodbye, and get out of there. I guess we all grieve in our own way.

We've decided to wait at least until the new year to think about getting another dog. With weekend company next week, Spouse's family staying with us for Thanksgiving, holiday parties, and being gone for several days for Christmas, it just wasn't a good time to try and bond with and train a new pet.

So maybe we'll start the new year with a new pet.


Bob said...

As a huge pet lover, i know what you're going through today.
So, so sorry for the loss of Jordan. But she's probably running and playing with Pouncer now.


Anonymous said...

So very sorry for your loss. We had a not too dissimilar experience with Clyde in May this year. You have my deep and sincere condolences .

janvos said...

I have also such a kind of dog like you. What a friend is it to me.
Sorry to hear this for you.
Jan vos from the Netherlands.

Kevin said...

Hugs to you both. Wishing you both strength while you grieve for Jordan.

Victor said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Having pets in our lives is one of the things that makes life tolerable.

They become members of our families. I know exactly what you're going through because a few years ago we had three cats go, one after the other. Two were euthanized, one died in Keyron's arms.

And right now I've got Angie sleeping between my calves. She's just curled into a ball there. But I know in 7 to 10 years I'll have to euthanize her too.

It sucks. But I'm glad I got Angie. She was 3.5 years old when I picked her up. Now she's the only cat in the house and she's definitely MY cat.

wcs said...

Sending good thoughts your way.

Sean said...

I'm so sorry for you and your family. I'm been a bit emotional lately and can barely type through my tears.

I think waiting is good because it may open the door for your new family member to find their way to you as my Tramp did 7 years ago Thanksgiving Eve.

cb said...

I'm so sorry to read this. I'm having trouble typing through the tears too!

But you gave Jordan a wonderful home and a great life, which I hope is comfort in the coming days.

anne marie in philly said...

awwwwwwwwwww. I am glad I got to meet jordan in july. now pouncer and jordan are together. my sympathies on your loss. {{{{{hugs}}}}} to you both.

Ron said...

My heart goes out to you and Joe. Bill and I have had to part with too many Members of the Family over the years. It is perhaps the hardest thing to do. Your heart aches. Perhaps the only solace is the knowledge in that one day you will be reunited with your loving and loyal friend in Heaven. My thought are with you and Joe.