We're sadder than any of us would have predicted.
It's been a week, and the house is so quiet, it's almost eerie. It turns out that after almost 11 years, when people walk in the front door, I expect to hear some barking. Even if it's at me after stepping out to throw some water on a plant.
His decline was swift, and as most things Scout-related, really expensive. He began vomiting after meals at the beginning of March. We took him to the vet, had an ultrasound that revealed two large masses on or near his liver, one of which was creating a mechanical blockage to his stomach. We tried surgery, which removed the tumors and his spleen, but he just... couldn't recover. He just couldn't catch a break, you know?
On the day he got his stitches out, he fell out of the car hard and tore a tendon in his back right knee. Then he developed a tumor on his tail (which grew so fast it split the skin and was the single grossest thing I've ever seen,) and an eye infection and some kind of fungus on his nose and then...he stopped eating. All of this between March 3 and Wednesday. Poor old dog.
And then, after about 8 BILLION trips to the vet, and almost as many dollars, on Wednesday, it was just really, really clear that he was suffering, and he wasn't getting better.
So, we decided to let him go, and we prayed for peaceful passage.
As has been detailed many times in this blog, Scout was incredibly car sick, and not the best patient at the vet's office anyway, so we decided it would be the most loving thing for him if he could be at home. Our good vet gave us the name of a mobile vet who would come to the house. The only time she could come on Wednesday (and she rearranged her schedule to do it, which is just so kind) was at 4:30 in the afternoon. Which meant the girls would be home.
When Sydney died, they were much younger and I didn't see what could be gained by them watching her die, but with Scout, I felt like it should be their decision. Both girls took the news harder than I would have thought. Ziggy elected to be present the whole time. Jane poured her heart into a letter to her boy, and then decided she just couldn't bear to be there while he died. (She came back for the simple ceremony we held a bit later.)
The vet gave him a fast-acting sedative and, although he couldn't bring himself to lie down because of that leg, eventually he fell into Coop's arms, and the vet administered the next drug. We put our hands on him, and when his heart stopped, we felt him leave.
It was very peaceful, and it was the merciful thing to do, and we're all just a little bereft without him now. It's just really strange how much of a presence he was in our crazy family.
Rest in peace, Scoutie. You were a terrible, terrible dog, and we miss you something awful.
*Ziggy, on hearing the news.