The Worst Day Of My Life
I always knew that letting Beau go was going to be hard. Heck, I cried on his birthday every year because I didn’t want him to get older. When he had four seizures in February, I didn’t know how I was going to deal. My anxiety took hold and I couldn’t even function. For almost a month I felt like I lived in a hole that I couldn’t get out of. I jumped every time he moved.
But I adjusted to his “new normal.”
Beau went a glorious nine months without having seizures. He enjoyed time on the Cape. He went to Buddy’s house. He loved going with daddy to Home Depot.
It was in late summer that we started noticing Beau having trouble with his paws. A neurologist rudely told us that Beau needed an MRI ($3500) and that there was nothing that could be done. Our dog trainer, Jen, suggested we try physical therapy. And that’s what we did.
After just two sessions with the wonderful people at Animotion in Stoughton, MA, Beau was a different dog. His feet were working again! We had incredible amounts of hope and took to flipping off the neurologist’s office every time we passed it.
In October, Beau and I moved to Tampa. Planning on continuing his physical therapy in Florida, I was hopeful that Beau was on the right track. About six weeks after we moved, Beau woke up seizing. I couldn’t believe it. I blamed the “Super Moon” and asked other epileptic-dog moms if their dogs experienced seizures. And there were tons. It made me feel better. One dog mom even said her dog made it 11 months and had one that day too.
Beau had another seizure that night, but he was back to himself the next day. His footing and balance seemed a little off, but I blamed the Valium and went on with life. He went everywhere with me and I panicked even if I left him home to go to the grocery store for 30 minutes. Whenever I got home, there he was, wagging his tail and going nuts. You’d think I left him for days!
Three weeks passed and I’m getting ready to go to the vet for laser therapy. As I’m getting ready, I noticed that Beau lost complete control of his hind legs, dragging his hip on the ground. I scooped him up, gave him some hugs, and asked him, “what’s going on with you, little boy?” I put his leash on and plopped him back on the floor. He walked to the car without issue.
He had his treatment. And that night, he had two mild seizures, one at 11 p.m. and another at 2 a.m. For the first time ever, he slept in bed with me; except I didn’t sleep. I stayed up all night with him. Every toss, turn, snore, snort, breath, I was awake. I did this for the next 6 days straight, sleeping about 3 hours each night. He loved it.
During the day, Beau would stumble over himself. He would stare off into space for long periods of time, his body twitching and swaying. He would stand on the couch and then just topple over, falling on the floor. He would bump his head off things regularly, at least three times a day. His coordination was gone. Stairs were impossible. I knew something was seriously wrong.
On Sunday, Dec. 11, I finally hit a wall. I knew that I had to come home. Beau needed something else. Something wasn’t right. When Mark saw him, we both chatted about how much he had changed, how he wasn’t the same dog. We had the difficult conversation about putting him down because — although he was eating, drinking, and playing — his quality of life had gone down. We knew it was only a matter of time before he got seriously hurt, or had more seizures, or went downhill further. Our vet in Tampa agreed.
And so I made the call.
Since Beau had an appointment for PT at Animotion on Thursday, they were the first call I made — I had to cancel that appointment. I found out that our PT vet was able to perform the worst thing I could ever think of. We made an appointment to go in and talk. I hoped and prayed that she would tell me that there was something we could do — that Beau even had a 50/50 shot at pulling through if we tried other things.
Upon examination, the doctor discovered that Beau’s lymph nodes were swollen on his right side — the side where he’s had the majority of his issues (eyes and legs). This was a surefire sign that something was wrong. I was given options that would have have had Beau completely drugged up and cracked out and “maybe” would have kept him going for another six months to a year — but with what quality of life? And would the seizures be able to be controlled? Maybe. But maybe not.
Maybe it was a brain tumor. Maybe it was lymphoma. It may have been a neurological infection. Whatever it was, the treatment wasn’t going to be easy. Navigating a neurological disorder of this nature is really, really hard.
I was asked to leave the room when Beau was given a sedative. I stayed with Steph, one of the vet techs whom I’ve loved and trusted from the beginning. She hugged me as I cried the most painful tears. Beau’s eyes were open when I went back in the room, but he was laying on his side. I kissed his little face and petted him, told him that I loved him repeatedly, and cried into him as he fell asleep. Everyone in the room was crying; they all loved Beau too.
He was an amazing dog and anyone that ever met him knew just how special he was.
Dec. 14. was the worst day of my life. I don’t know how I’m going to go on. I don’t know how I can possibly live in this world without my “bug.” Going to bed without him. Waking up without him. This is the worst pain I have ever felt. I have no idea how I’m going to make it without my best friend.
All Beau ever wanted was to be with me. He didn’t care where we were or what we did. He just wanted mommy all the time.
Now, all I want is to be with him. I don’t care where we go or what we do.
I just want to be with my little boy.