A Couple of Photos Leading up to, and The Story of Louie's Last Day
This first photo is with Todd at Fountain Vet on the day he was diagnosed with cancer.
|Louie with his buddy, Dr. Todd|
This second pic is Louie enjoying the warm and sunshiney porch in June.
|Louie in a sunny spot, June 2017|
My son Dario is incredibly empathetic for only being three (almost four). He has been so sweet and gentle with Louie, and very kind to me as I have been coming to terms with Louie's cancer diagnosis and the difficult decision to put him to rest.
|Resting in the sunny car on the way to the vet 9/23/17|
|The last car ride. 9/23/17|
Louie's Last DayLouie's car ride to the vet today was so bitter sweet. He still loved getting in the car with me, but it was so hard for him to lay down with the gigantic tumor taking up all the room. I laughed as Louie sniffed around to find two stale old lost french fries on the floor of the car. He had just settled in when I saw his nostrils begin to flare. He flopped himself onto the floor or the car to sniff around. This guy never lost his appetite even with all his pain and discomfort. You just can't hide food from a blind dog.
|Still excited to arrive at the vet! 9/23/17|
This photo of Louie standing in the car really shows the size and scope of this tumor. We really let Louie go on as long as he wanted, and he was so tough. He had joy and happiness right up until the last day or two, and even those days were not without joy. They were just sprinkled in between being exhausted and uncomfortable.
|So exhausted from the journey from the car into the building.|
Louie was so relieved to finally get in to the vets office after it took him 10 minutes to limp up the wheelchair ramp. People kept stopping and asking me what was wrong with him, was his leg broken? Does he need help? Do you want me to help carry him?
I sobbed and could barely answer. I couldn't look up. I have no idea who these people were. I stood in the sun outside that building as tears streamed down my cheeks. "He has cancer. This is our last walk together and I just want him to be able to take his time."
I knew he would be scared and uncomfortable if we lifted him. He had to do that on his own and at his own pace, like I have let him live his whole blind life. He did it on his own, and I was proud of him.
When we got inside Louie immediately collapsed on to the floor. He was so worn out from just getting up the ramp and inside. He let go as soon as he felt carpet under his paws. We staying the waiting room for a few minutes until it was our turn.
I got a hug from a perfect stranger who could see why we were there and had felt that pain before. It was so nice for someone to reach out in such a personal way, even though we had never met.
When we were called back it took a long time just to get around the corner and into the room. Inside there was a pad and a soft blanket lying on the floor. I started to cry again as I guided Louie with verbal cues to find the blanket and lie down.
I sat on the floor with my legs crossed at the ankles and Louie leaned against me. He put his head across my legs as he often did. I took a few more last pictures of him before putting my camera away and waiting for the doctors footsteps.
I held his heavy square head in my hands and kissed his velvety face a few more times. Our vet talked about how there are only a few dogs in his career that will always be with him, that he will always remember, and Louie is one of those dogs.
This remarkable dog thrived against the odds and did it without ever even considering if the odds were in his favor or not. Louie is an inspiration and has made me choose a better path than I would have found had I never met him. I am forever grateful for the teachings of the Tao of Lou.
|One last photo before the vet comes in. So peaceful and so tired.|