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We Think Deeper About Life When We Are In The Mist Of Facing Death

by Roger Skibowski about a year ago in dog

And for me that death was that of fur kid Misty.

Misty was our 13 year old fawn Doberman.

We adopted her when she was 6 ½ years old. While adopting her we were aware that we would likely out liver her. And she would likely die before either one of us. Typical lifespan of a dog is 10–13 years. She was not the first fur kid to be adopted.

She joined our family in May of 2014, just over 6 years ago. We drove 400 miles to the Doberman rescue center in Northern California and adopted her on first sight. I remember meeting her for the first time. I got down on the floor at her level and looked at her eye to eye. I knew from that first sight she was the one to join our family. She joined our family consisting of one other Doberman and 4 Cats, they all were rescued fur kids, too.

Misty loved spinning donuts in the yard and we would encourage her to run around. This was a daily exercise for her until several months ago when we noticed that she started to slow down.

She takes medication for DCM (Canine dilated cardiomyopathy), and a water pill, pee pill, and thyroid pill. She knows within minutes when each of these times come around for the medication. She knows when it is time to eat. She has a regular interval when it is time to go out and pee and poop. She is amazing that she can keep track of each event, and remind us when it is missed or about to become due.

Four week ago Misty stopped eating most of the foods she liked.

Misty liked her regular dog foods in addition to fruits and vegetables. Some of her favorites were cherub tomatoes, cucumbers, bananas, carrots just to name a few. Broccoli, cauliflower, apples, peaches, almost anything we would eat she took an interest in at least trying. I liked plain yogurt, and would have a small amount daily, soon she wanted some and we would eat yogurt daily. All good foods for her to have, too.

Suddenly she almost stopped eating regular dog food and almost all the other fruits and vegetables she liked.

We discovered that Ham, ground turkey, and lamb were the only food she would eat. She continued to like bananas and cherub tomatoes, only if I bit into the tomatoes so she could taste the flavor. We added some of her regular dog food to the mix and she began to regain some lost weight. She would even eat some of her dog food when I hand feed her, I did that several times per day.

We soon noticed that her cheeks were getting puffy and took her to the Vet. It was a Saturday and that meant emergency care. They discovered that it might be lymphoma.. Blood testing and tissue samples were taken. We had to wait until Monday for the test results, confirmed lymphoma.

The only thing we can do is push that inevitable day out.

A follow-up appointment with her regular doctor was scheduled for the following Friday. At the appointment options were discussed. The only option available was medication that extends her life one day at a time, the side effects could be worse than the bit. That was familiar to us as she was already on borrowed time with her current daily medication regime. We decided to enjoy each day as it came.

Then end was near

I did not know that early in the day. She came up to me when I was a ham sandwich and I gave her some of the ham. Later in the day I was eating pumpkin pie and she asked for some. I gave her several bites not knowing that would be the last time I got to feed her.

Later in the day I took a nap and dreamed that Misty was playing with Uvas, our other fawn Doberman from many years back. I awoke and had suspicions that today might be her last day.

I went to sleep that evening, and my wife woke me around 9:30 PM on Saturday telling me that Misty was not doing well, and having breathing issues.

One of the times in my life that I cried the most.

I laid with her in the hall on the blanket that she favored until she passed. The only thing I could do was lay behind her so she had contact with me, and placed my hand under her chin. It was one of the times in my life that I cried the most.

We suffer the loss and remember the wonderful times

We have been in this same position of experiencing loss many times before. They all end the same way in death. We miss our furkids. My wife married 30 years ago this year. When we met she had two fur kids, a 70 pound red Doberman and a calico cat. In the last 30 years we have adopted a total of 15 fur kids including the two that arrived with her when we married. 6 were dogs and 9 were cats.

Misty had experienced the same loss as we have when she passed. She was there with us during the passing of 1 dog and 4 cats in the past 6 years, all of the other fur kids were older than her.

Misty is a loving fur kid who would come up to us and put her head up against us, looking right into our eyes. If I’d sit on the floor she would come next to me and put her head in my lap, or in some way make contact with me. This way of making contact and connecting with us is like no other fur kid that we’ve experienced.

Misty loved fruit vegetables, the day she passed she had cherub tomatoes, and cucumbers, I love to hear the crunching as she eats them. In the future I will remember her every time I eat a cucumber and hear the crunching noise they make while eating them.

I already miss the nightly visits to my side of the bed, asking to go out and pee.

Mr. Bill Doll and Roses

Misty loved to play with her Mr. Bill Doll. The doll when pressed would say “Oh No” and Misty would press the doll to get the sound. Misty loved to sniff the roses in the yard. She never would eat them or disturb them, just smell them.

She will be cremated with a Mr. Bill doll and roses, and placed in an engraved container to join those that have passed before her in our bookcase.

We will always remember what you meant to us and miss you Misty.

dog

Roger Skibowski

Read next: Things To Know About Caring For Your Cat

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