When an IG Goes to Rainbow bridge
written by a loving owner, Christina Santos
If you have ever wondered what it's like to adopt an IG in need, this is the story for you!
In memory of Phil (pictured above)
It took me more than a day to get my thoughts together enough to write this message.
I had to put Phil down this on Saturday.
He has been deteriorating over the last few months, losing more weight, having difficulty walking, having difficulty controlling his bladder, and showing signs that his age was finally catching up to him... Last week his arthritis worsened to the point where he was not able to get up from his snuggle-ball without assistance. He was still eating well, but his walking was strange and uncoordinated. I suspected there was something else going on, but was unwilling to believe it. Saturday, while I was gone, he began bruising. A small bruise near his shoulder quickly turned into a swollen area that covered nearly 25% of his body.
Steve and I rushed him to the vet, where he was diagnosed as having some kind of blood clotting disorder. We speculated that he did probably have a stroke, and that the clot was using all the platelets in his blood, not allowing for clotting in something as small as a bruise. He lost a significant amount of blood in a very short period of time as a result. My vet offered the solution of a transfusion as well as vitamin K supplements, but it would require several days of care in the ICU. I felt that it would be unfair to do this to my darling boy, and that it would be cruel to lock him up and stick him with needles, knowing that he had many other health issue to combat.
It was one of the toughest moments of my life, but I felt that it was the best decision for Phil.
Steve and I are celebrating the fact that Phil is now at peace. He can run and play and bask in the sunshine without me constantly chasing him with a tube of sunscreen. He can eat all the pizza crusts his little tummy can hold. He has many of our other four legged friends to keep him company - Cricket Whippet, Sir the IG, my Diva the greyhound... and so many others that have crossed the rainbow bridge before him. Most importantly, Phil has a favorite babysitter to care for him. Marge Moothart cared for Phil when I was away, and I am certain that she will do so again until I join them all.
I ask that you celebrate Phil's crossing the bridge with us. Hug your fur babies and tell them you love them. We are celebrating his release from the bounds of old age, disease, and failing health. He is now young again, and he is free. Rejoice for Phil, but please, pray for me. I firmly believe that I made the best decision for him, but I am selfish, and his loss is absolutely devastating.
I'd like to thank each of you who have played a part in saving his life, and I feel privileged that his last days were spent joyfully in my care. There will never be another Phil, and I can't express how grateful I am to have been able to be a part of his life. Thank you all for loving him as I do.
I am amazed at how Phil has touched each of you in some way. I cry because i know that some of YOU cried when you read of his passing, and that you cared enough to tell me so. I cried because you affirmed that his life meant something to you. And for that I am grateful.
I have noticed a funny thing now that he is gone. I was so accustomed to getting up with him in the middle of the night. The slightest noise from his snuggle ball would rouse me from the deepest sleep. I'd spring out of bed and march him outside to do his business. Last night i heard the familiar rustling in the snuggle ball. I sat up and began putting my slippers on, just like I have for the last several months...i glanced at the clock and noticed that it was 2:30 - Phil's usual hour for a potty break. And it was Emmy rustling in bed... It made me wonder, was she re-nesting at that time because she was used to having to get up with Phil and me? Or (more humourously) have I been plucking poor Phil out of a nice warm bed each night around 2:30 when it was really just Emmy making noise???
I knew when I heard about Phil that we would not have a lifetime together, but he gave me a lifetime of love. Thank you for letting me share my joys with you the last 18 months, and thank you for allowing Phil to represent the seniors that deserve a chance to be loved as he is loved. Someday i will take another one in, another old guy on borrowed time. I know that we will not have a lifetime together, but I also know it is possible to give a lifetime of love in a short amount of time. Phil taught me that.
The burden of grief has been so heavy. Thank you for helping me carry it. Your support and sympathy has been a real source of strength for me and for my family.
I love you all,
Christina & Emmy