For those following our social media, you probably already heard that we had to put Jake to sleep last week. After finding out he had cancer and the amputation (more info here) we thought it was all downhill from there.
Even for a big dog, Jake was such a wuss with pain. His yearly shots always ended with him complaining in his husky howl on lying on the ground, going full toddler. So after major surgery, we didn't expect him to get off his 3 feet so fast, but he did. He hobbled around just fine, but he did start complaining after a few days. It seemed like he would let out a long loud husky howl of distress every time he would wake up from a nap. As if he woke up and forgot he had didn't have a leg anymore. Scary stuff.
So this continued, and his check up day at the vet was coming up the next day. Before I retired to bed, Jake was peering into the living room with his amputated side leaning on the door frame and giving the most depressed look in history. Those blue eyes just pierced my soul and I knew he was really not doing well, at least mentally. That night Jake basically yelled in pain all night. Something was bothering him and in addition to whatever was causing him pain he wasn't eating and every time he drank he would vomit it right up. My stepmom texted the vet and she called back. Jake's drainage tube ended up being removed and he, and all of the household, slept soundly after that.
The next morning Jake was dropped off at the vet for his check up and they called us back with bad news. A twisted stomach. Now, I haven't seen Marley and Me in such a long time, but apparently this is what happened in that movie. With large dogs this is more common, but even the vet did not know why it had to happen now. After one major surgery, Jake would probably not do well, and it did seem like it had been going on for over 24 hours which means the stomach tissue could have started dying.
13 years old, cancer, amputee, and now with another serious medical issue. We tried all we could, but even Jake knew it was time. That morning before the check up Jake tried to run off into the woods and just escape. We had the downstairs door open which leads to a staircase which Jake doesn't go down. Not that day. Something was definitely off.
So after all the family was called up and the decision was made, we decided to wait a little bit until we could go with my dad (a.k.a. Pop Pop). My dad and I went through another euthanasia years ago with Angie's (my stepmom) dog Tildie. It was a very unfortunate incident that shortened her life and she was still fighting to the end. I had told my dad that I still remember that day very vividly and hoped that this would not be a repeat.
Dr. Melissa Edwards from Animal Medical Center of Rome, GA came in with teary eyes and told us how sorry she was that we are having to go through this. She explained more about the twisted stomach which causes dogs to bloat, but with Jake you could barely even tell because of his thick fur. When it was time she prayed over him and gave him his last injection. We were all crying and teary-eyed at this point. Jake's pupils dilated and he let out a sigh of relief as his eyes closed. It was over.
The love and the pets didn't stop there though. We reminisced of what a great dog he was and how he brought joy into our lives. I didn't know him for that long, but he was definitely a joy to be around.
From shelter dog to family dog, Jake will always be remembered and loved. Yesterday we buried him on our property under the shade of many pine trees. He would always dig at the ground to expose the cool sandy soil and now he has plenty of that soil to rest in.
We want to thank you all for your support throughout this time. All the thoughtful messages have brought tears to my eyes and I am so thankful to call you all my Chesnut Mutt family.
In this post, I also wanted to share what Jake has contributed to The Chesnut Mutts as well as a slideshow featuring pictures of him.
Dr. Buzby's ToeGrips
Snow Dogs 2015
What is your favorite Jake memory?