It’s taken a little while for me to be able to write this post as I wouldn’t have been able to read what I was typing through the tears. I’m not after sympathy, I just wanted to write about Jed to be able to look back in the future to remember his antics and also to write about the times of his illness, in the hopes it will help someone who’s having similar difficulties with their beloved pet.
Just after the deer incident, Jed started to lose his energy. In fact, it seemed to be an overnight thing. One day he could jump our post and rail fence and the next, he couldn’t even jump into the back of my car. Alarm bells started to ring but I hoped it was down to old age. He was just about to turn 10 and should really have been slowing down a bit.
But a couple of weeks later, he had a funny turn. I’d been out in the garden and he suddenly decided to chase a rabbit. At the time I thought, that’s good, he’s not as old as I thought. But then he went to have a lie down and several minutes later, when he got up, he staggered sideways and fell over. He didn’t lose consciousness but laid there for several seconds looking confused. I thought he’d had pins and needles in one of his legs from laying down but later in the day, he was sick. I took Jed to the vet who said he thought he might have had a TIA (Trans ischemic attack) – a small stroke and just to keep an eye on him. A couple of weeks later, as I came home with a curry to eat on the patio, Jed charge up the garden bank after some animal or other, then after resting he got up and staggered on to the patio, falling over on to the flower bed. I’d just been saying how well he seemed and it was his 10th Birthday.
Two weeks later after a walk on a hot day, Jed came home and had a similar attack. First of all he ran into the garden and was sick, I ran after him and he was standing trembling, unable to think how to move. I gently tried to coax him down the bank but his back legs gave way and again he laid there looking confused. This time it took longer for him to recover.
I took him back to the vet and explained what had happened, then asked if the Melanoma could have gone to his brain. I was assured it wouldn’t be that as he would have got worse very quickly and wouldn’t recover between attacks. Anyway, by this time he was off his favourite foods, especially curry and Charcoal bones had lost a couple of kgs and was sick once or twice a day with the odd bout of diarrhoea. I wanted answers as he really wasn’t his happy self. He started coming up and wanting lots of cuddles, which Jed only does when he’s not well. I could also see the ‘Please help me’ look in his eyes and that really worried me. The vet took some blood but they all came back normal, so we agreed he should have a CT scan.
Unfortunately, in just over a week, we were due to go away for the weekend to France for a wedding. This put a lot of strain and stress on us wondering if we’d be able to leave him or, if he would still be with us then.
The CT Scan was booked for Monday, 20th June as the scanner was broken and had to be repaired on the Friday before. I had a phone call later on the Friday to say it wasn’t mended and it would be ready on Tuesday. So, I took Jed along on Tuesday and left him with the vet. That was really hard as I thought then I might not see him awake again if the news was bad. Jed went off fairly happily thank goodness, I went home hoping for some good news. The vet who was going to do the scan said he would only phone earlier if the news was dire. A couple of hours later, the phone went. I saw ‘Vet’ on the caller display and my heart was in my mouth. A hurried voice said “Don’t worry, it’s not news about Jed. The scanner still won’t work, so he’ll have to go home”. He was very apologetic and said they had to get a part from France, which would be there by 10:00am the next day and it would be fixed by lunch time.
Again, I took Jed to the vet. The receptionist said the scanner was fine, so I left him again. This time, he wasn’t so happy at being left and stood stock still with the nurse just looking at me with an expression on his face that said it all. “Don’t leave me again”. The nurse couldn’t move him and said “Jed, come on you’re just making your mum feel more guilty” But he wouldn’t move. Everything was always on Jed’s terms. I went out choking back the tears until I got into my car.
At lunchtime, I got another call to say, the scanner wasn’t mended. The part didn’t arrive because of all the migrants storming vehicles at Calais, the day before Brexit. More stress. I barely slept that week.
I was distraught but kept calm on the phone. Once again he was very apologetic. It wasn’t his fault, just one of those things. The vet said he would take X-Rays instead to see if that showed anything up. He suspected the falling over episodes were due to the Melanoma in, maybe, his spleen. The rushing about before causing internal bleeding which made him go weak.
Only half an hour later, I received the news we dreaded. The Melanoma had spread all through his lungs and probably elswhere, so we were advised to let him go. We all went along to the vet to say Goodbye to our lovely, bonkers special boy. Gave him cuddles even though he was sedated and told him what a good boy he was, while the vet did the final deed. We were in pieces. The X-Rays showed there was barely any good lungs left. How he kept going for his morning walks I don’t know. He didn’t gasp for air or cough any more than usual. Just had a lack of energy.
We did get to go to France and it was a nice respite but coming home to just poor Millie hit us hard.
Jed had the last laugh though because we had a lovely map of the route to France, a large map with all the the roads highlighted to make it simple to drive down to Burgundy but the devil dog had sneaked it away while we weren’t looking and tore it to shreds. Suffice to say, we got lost in France and added an hour to our journey…
…. Thanks Jed! We still love you anyway.
Now go to Rainbow Bridge and find your Annie, then wait for us to join you one day!