Thursday, November 4, 2010 , I had to say good-bye to my beloved friend and companion, my chocolate lab, Ruby.
It was a very sad day because although I know it was the right thing to do, I found it very difficult to make that decision.
Ruby was adopted into our family in 2003 when we needed a pet in a bad way because it was right after my mother had died from a double brain tumor. Right before we adopted Ruby, Buddy, our poodle/terrier mix, came into our lives by scratching on our front door. We tried to find his owner but no one claimed him so we adopted too.
Ruby came from the local pound. She was a beautiful chocolate lab who took a liking to me at first glance. When we adopted her, she was about 9-10 years old, so she is now about 17 years old. Although she has always been in good health and pretty much never had to go to the vet for anything other than shots, she got pretty sick in the last few months.
In August, just a few days before our 18th wedding anniversary, Ruby collapsed on the kitchen floor. She had done this before but she recovered rather quickly and was back on all fours and playing around with Buddy. However, this time was different. After collapsing, her eyes were going from left to right uncontrollably. Shortly after that she starting throwing up. I called the vet we normally took her to, but because it was after hours we could not contact her. A friend of mine told me about a veterinarian in Las Vegas, NV so we rushed her over there. We picked her up the next day and the vet told us that she could still eat and take care of her business but she wasn't sure she would get any better than she was. Ruby needed help getting around because when she walked she would get dizzy and fall. Well, I had my trust in a higher power so I believed she would get better.
That night I spent a lot of time on the floor with Ruby, petting her and praying for her. Little by little, day by day she got better and better. She never completely got well, but her eyes were not bouncing around and she could walk on her own, eat and take care of her business, so we were very happy and blessed to have our dog back.
Well just over a week ago, things changed with Ruby that alarmed me again so I took her back to the vet. This time they took x-rays and an ultrasound of her stomach. This is when we learned that there was a very strong possibility that she had a tumor in her intestines so we had to start thinking about what we wanted to do.
After deep conversations, my husband and I decided we did not want to put our 17 year old dog through a surgery that would more than likely not make her any better and may even shorten her life or even kill her. So we took her home and decided to wait until she told us it was time.
For the next few days, she drank so much water she made herself sick so I had to monitor her water intake. She ate little to nothing which was also very alarming to us, so I made her boiled chicken and rice. She ate that very well but later that evening, she threw it up so it was like she hadn't eaten anything.
The following day she did not eat a thing but drank a ton of water. All she did was throw up so we decided it was time to say good-bye to my beloved Ruby.
A friend of mine sent this to me:
God Saw You
God saw you getting tired,
And a cure was not to be,
So He put his arms around you
and whispered, Come with Me."
With tearful eyes, we watched you suffer
and saw you fade away,
Although we could not bear to lose you,
We could not bid you stay.
A Golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working feet were laid to rest.
God tests our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best.
Here is a picture of my Ruby
This is something I wrote the day I knew we had to make the decision we made: