On the day my dad died, we came home to find our 6-year-old German Shepherd lying on the floor, unable to walk. We rushed him to the animal hospital, where the vet said he was paralyzed and we'd have to put him down.
Unable to make such a decision on the same day that I lost my dad, we asked the hospital to keep him over night so that we could research our options. I refused to lose my dog too... my heart could only take so much.
The next morning, we got a wonderful phone call from the doctor saying that Kai was attempting to walk around with the nurses with the support of a brace. That certainly gave us hope that maybe he'd pull through this. The hospital kept Kai for 2 days and continued to give him meds and IV fluids. On the night before my dad's funeral, we brought him home with the hope that things would get better soon.
Over the last week, we've taken Kai to see 3 different doctors, and they've all said the same thing. Kai would never walk again. They think he had a form of muscular dystrophy where his muscles were deteriorating at a rapid pace, which then caused weakness in his legs and then severe spinal cord damage.
On Friday night, he completely lost the ability to control his bowels and that's when we knew what we had to do.
Yesterday morning, we put Kai to sleep. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, especially at such an already unimaginable time in our lives. At first I felt like such a terrible person, doing that to him. Making that horrible decision. But I now realize that we put Kai first. We were selfless. He was in so much pain and he didn't deserve to live like that. It wasn't the life he would have wanted.
We are suffering now so that he no longer has too.
I know that Kai is happy again... running freely and catching tennis balls with his Poppy. They are taking care of each other.
We're trying to stay strong for the kids now. Today is a new day. There are 8 days until Christmas and we want to give the kids the kind of Christmas that they deserve. After all, they've been through a lot in the last 2 weeks as well.
Yep, I'm doing it.
Because even at this difficult time in our lives, I'm still able to find joy, if even for a brief moment.
And I know that I still have so much to be thankful for this Christmas.