"The house is gonna be so quiet..."*

On Wednesday, we had to say goodbye to The World's Worst Dog Ever.

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.


Kathy Ireland said…
Tears while reading this. Can't imagine how you got through writing it!

knittergran said…
Poor Scout, but you were so kind to let him go.
Miki said…
I really don't know what to say. I just wanted you to know I was here, I read your beautiful tribute and, it made me cry. Again.
tanita✿davis said…
It is grace when someone comes into our lives, and a grace to be able to let them go with dignity. And even though a dog is technically not a "someone" it is grace again that you were able to do this with your family, and your daughters, and go through this time together.

May Scout's memory always bring the grace of a lighter heart.
psam ordener said…
It's so hard when you have to let them go. Hold tight to your memories and do not get another dog for a while - give him the grace of missing him for a while before another one steals your heart.

Hugs for all of you.
Unknown said…
I'm so sorry Barb. I know how it is to have to put a dog down. Even a terrible dog. It's amazing how they worm their way into your hearts and never leave. The house will be quite for a long time. That is why we got another dog. Just couldn't stand the quite.
I feel for you, it's a very, very hard thing and the heart ack is terrible. Think of happy things and hug your kids.
Unknown said…
I remember your first posts about Scout the terrible puppy and it's amazing to think he has gone wildly barking to the running grounds beyond the blue. he will never have to be car sick again bless him. Losing a family member (however pesky) is always so hard.
ccr in MA said…
I'm so sorry for your loss. The change can be an awful shock, I know.
Shaatzie said…
Brought back memories of all the cats who gave me comfort and love during my lifetime.
We only had one dog in my home during my son's youth and when he died, he left us with that same bewilderment at our pain. He was a beagle and he specialized in running away, although we had put up a fence to keep him in, and once gave me whiplash while I was walking him (he was basically my husband's dog and strong-willed). Yet when the day came that he departed, we we all stunned by the hole he created in our lives. What I'm trying to say is I understand your grief...
Bethany said…
xo to you all. never ever easy, no matter how old or sick or awful in real life. so glad you could be with him, at home, to say goodbye ... made it so much nicer for him, and you. peace.
I have waited until now to read this and I'm still a crying mess. I hope time has healed your hearts. xoxo to you all.
Like Claudia, I waited to read this... and I still cried.
Scout had the very best family.