With my heart breaking and tears rolling down my cheeks, I wanted to let all of you know I have decided the fairest thing to do is help Ufi end his journey soon.
Wednesday evening, Mom and I got his pool going and gave Ufi his beloved ring. For a few minutes he pushed it around and barked at it. Each of us was able to gently roll it a couple of times. Things seemed as good as they have been with Ufi. Mom was recording him playing. I was smiling and thinking how well he was still doing.
Suddenly, Ufi started crying. After a few seconds, he laid down and cried a bit more. He was holding his bad leg in the air.
A few minutes later, he made it into the house, and I gave him a bone. Listening to him chew, I knew we had reached a turning point. For the first time, the pain made him cry. Obviously, his ability to do the things he loves, which had been greatly reduced for nearly a year, was going to take another hit.
That night, I came out to get a drink. Ufi was in the living room quietly panting. I sat on the floor, petted him, and let him know I wouldn’t let him suffer because I couldn’t stand being without him.
Yesterday, we went to the vet for his monthly shot of Cytopoint, which controls his extreme allergies. The vet told me Ufi is no longer using his bad leg. She said all of the pressure on his front left leg could cause problems there.
The tumor in his leg has grown to the point where more of his leg, not just his ankle, is swelling. He is no longer able to put weight on his bad leg. The Cushing’s disease and the lack of activity from his bad leg has caused him to gain roughly 40 pounds.
I knew he had gained a lot of weight. I knew he was slowing down. I heard him cry on Wednesday. But I kept thinking of the little walks he still takes. I thought about the way he still comes to me and rubs his head against my legs. I focused on the fact that he still goes out a couple of times each day on his own. I wasn’t ready to let him go yesterday.
Last night, I realized the pain medications help him more than before. A few minutes after he takes them, he’s able to stop panting and sleep better.
Tracing his now huge stomach, I thought about the damage that must be taking place to the organs inside.
Mom, Aunt Barb, and I talked about what the vet said and we honestly shared the sadness we had been ignoring. Eventually, we all agreed we would have to let him go before he breaks a leg or shows signs of organ failure. In short, we know it would be better to let him go a couple of weeks too early than to have to help him go in great pain and distress.
Writing this, I’m waiting for the vet to give me information for places that will help us end Ufi’s journey at home. He has always hated going to the vet. Yesterday, we had to use barbecued liver to coax him out of the car. So, I’m going to arrange it so Ufi can pass at home, with us, and far more relaxed than he would be at the vet. For me, this arrangement will make it faster and easier for me to get to my room and cry.
While I will have much to say about Ufi after he’s gone, I want to finish this post with a couple of thoughts that have been running around my head.
I know Ufi saved me from getting robbed at least twice. Since one of the attempts was at my old apartment in the middle of the night, there is a good chance he saved me from injury. He may even have saved my life.
While I generally feel safe in public, Ufi made me feel safer than I ever felt without him. It’s one thing to believe your best friend would defend you. It’s another when you have felt is fur standing on end as he stands on his back legs growling at someone trying to pick your lock.
Of course, Ufi wasn’t trained to be that protective; it’s just who he is at his core. Sometimes, I like to think it’s because of the bond we share. No matter what, there will never be a substitute for the peace and trust I felt walking with Ufi.
The last thing I will share now is how proud I am to have watched Ufi fight all of his medical conditions with the courage and determination that really has defined him. Even now, his stubborn nature won’t allow him to quit. He still goes outside. He still wants his short walk. He still wants his food.
Most special is that almost every time I move, his head raises. In ever amounts of increasing pain, and struggling to hold a semblance of his life, Ufi still loves me enough to watch out for me. Even though it’s breaking my heart, I must watch out for him.
I will write a short post when I know the date and time when Ufi’s life will end with the dignity he deserves.