The past couple of weeks have been very up and down emotionally regarding Cody. At first we thought something was terribly wrong with him, but then the prognosis seemed to be good. He was taking his meds well and the hip didn't seem to bother him so much and things were looking up. The only caveat here is that he wasn't really eating much - other than the lunch meat we gave him with his pills. But he still drank plenty of water and gave the appearance of feeling much better.
Last Saturday, he quit eating altogether. No lunch meat, no canned food, no baby food, nothing. Additionally, his water intake dropped. Following this he became lethargic and seemingly uncomfortable with either standing or lying down. Our emotions came crashing down again.
We got him into the vet for some blood work and it appeared he may have something called Addison's Disease. If that were the case, it's a treatable disease and he'd probably have a few more good years left. In fact, Addison's would explain everything he'd been going through recently. That seemed like a decent option. Emotions are heading back up again.
We got the test results and it was most definitely NOT Addison's. Unfortunately, the alternative was kidney failure. By now, he'd been much more draggy, losing weight, and just not looking so well. He spent the night at the vet so they could get some fluids into him and see if the kidney function would turn around. It wasn't to be. He was uncharacteristically mellow, continued to not eat, and just wasn't perking back up. Emotions were definitely crashing back down - hard.
There was no longer hope of restoring kidney function to an appropriate place. His 14 1/2 year old kidneys were just done.
Thursday was mine & hubby's 21st anniversary. We couldn't bring ourselves to have him put to sleep on our anniversary. He was laid to rest yesterday. It was a very hard decision, yet we know it was the right one. It's been difficult these past couple of weeks watching him go downhill, suffering from arthritis, having no appetite, losing weight, and being generally unhappy.
We've never had to do anything like this before. Praise God we have a fantastic veterinary staff at the hospital we've taken him to. They were compassionate, caring, sweet, and respectful. I don't think they could've done anything better than what they did.
It's hard to imagine our family, our home, without Cody. He's been around since before the boys. We got him at the pound when I was pregnant with our oldest son. He grew up with our two cats (they both died 8 years ago). He's a great dog. He apparently came potty trained. He never had a single accident in the house. Ever. He was so sweet and friendly that we thought he'd never be a good watch dog. Wrong. He was very protective of his family and his home. He would sometimes escape and run around the neighborhood (he liked to socialize with other dogs). When we found him, he was always happy to come back home with us. If we couldn't find him, he'd come home anyway.
We have talked of getting another dog at some point. It just doesn't seem right for our house not to have one. But he'll have some big paw prints to fill. Cody was a fantastic dog. We'll miss him.