It has been about 6 weeks since I posted an update because I was so wrapped up with Serena Sky. She became an important part of our family, much loved and she gave complete love in return. She was being treated for heart worm so did a lot of sleeping. She slept beside me in the twin recliners durning the day and in my bed at night. That was our happiest times as no one else was around but us. We talked and played quietly and softly as she was quite sick with the fight against the worms. We did not know how long she had had them or how badly she was infected by them but she responded well to the medicine. She finished the month on the antibiotic and had the last pill to get ready for the last shot that the doctor gives her that should clear out the last of the worms.
However on Monday she developed a cough. Nothing bad just a slight cough. She had spells of loud breathing but that was something she had since I got her so I didn’t think too much of it. Then on Tuesday the cough got deeper and she coughed up a hunk of bloody substance. Just once and it went away and after a short rest she seemed fine. Wednesday she woke up at 3:30 and nudged me to let her out. I took her outside where she did her business and when she came back into the house she started to cough hard again. With each cough she sprayed blood and spit up hunks of bloody stuff. Patty agreed it was time to call the vet and take her in. Tyler agreed to watch the kids who were still asleep and Patty tried to call the vet at the Human Society that was treating her but there was no one there and all I got at the Human Society was a machine telling me when the office was open. Patty suggested we go to the emergency room at the veterinary office here in Port St Lucie and I agreed so by 4am we had an appointment an appointment and were on our way. Sky was afraid at first but calmed down once we were on the road. She was afraid to break her routine but trusted me enough to let me hold her in the truck. Once we got to the clinic she was very weak and still coughing up blood. They found a piece of food in one of the blood clots so thought it was coming from the stomach in stead of the lungs and since they could not say for sure what was happening the vet wanted to take X-rays and a full blood work up to find out what was going on in there. Patty had warned me the vet would want to do everything they could to keep her alive and I had to be sensible about putting her down if it was going to cost in the thousands of dollars. All I could take in was I wanted her to get some relief and be able to breath without the awful struggle. They took Sky to the X-ray room. Sky went with the vet on her own, the first time she had gone with anyone if I didn’t go with her so I knew she was in trouble and needed help. They said she bled all the way down the hall and coughed up more in the X-ray room. When they saw the pictures the vet cancelled the blood work. As she said she knew then what was happening. When they came back they brought up the pictures and the vet tried to gently break the news to me. She did not advocate putting a dog down but in this case she felt it was the best thing to do, however it was up to me. Sky lay on a blanket at my feet where I could caress her and talk to her all the time the vet explain the situation to me. Sky was breathing easier by now but was still bleeding from the mouth.The X-ray should have been all black showing the oxygen in the lungs, instead one lob was all white and foamy and the other had only one small pocket of healthy lung and the rest all white and foamy. The vet said her lungs were filled with blood and broken down tissue and that was what she was coughing up, pieces of her lungs. The heart worms had gotten into her lungs and were destroying them. She explained she could take Sky to the hospital and try to save her, there was a treatment for her but it was long and hard even for a healthy dog and Sky was not healthy, the vet felt she would not make it no matter what we did and she would suffer because of how hard the treatment was for a healthy dog. There was no question in my mind, I had made the wrong choice with Norman and made him suffer awful pain in his head for four hours longer than he should have suffered as they kept trying to revive him and now I had another choice and this time I would not be selfish and put her though more pain. I told the doctor and they put her to sleep right there as I held her. The vet warned me of the struggle she might go through at the end as she gasped for breath but I caressed her and talked to her and she never struggled, she just relaxed and went to sleep, she was so tired from the last three hours of struggle to breathe I know it was a relief for her so amid a flood of tears from me Sky laid her head down and was gone.
Sky taught me many things in the short 6 weeks. She wanted from me so many of the same things Norman wanted his last six months for example. Norman always wanted to go to bed early and I just didn’t know why he was so tired in the evening. He refused to go to bed without me so sat up in the recliner and fell asleep there but didn’t rest well and complained. Sky did the same thing and in my guilt because I didn’t go to bed with Norman I did go to bed with Sky each night by 8:30. Of course with Sky I also got up about 4:30 or 5 at the latest. But in doing it for Sky I let go of the guilty feeling I had over not doing it for Norman. There were other things like that too, it was as if Norman’s spirit were there in Sky helping me get rid of the guilt I could not shake so when I cried for Sky those next few days I was really crying for Norman too as now I could let him go and rest in peace. Don’t get me wrong I have not got rid of my grief over the lose of Norman, only the unreasonable guilt.
Then my arms ached so much at night to have Sky back sleeping with me that I began looking for a new companion and that will be the story of my next blog and how I found Otis but not now this is Sky’s story and I will close the book with, rest in peace Sky, I loved you and will always. There will never be another Sky nor will I try to make another. Now it is time to let Otis be Otis and move into my heart to fill the void in a way that only Otis can. Good bye Sky my beloved friend! Her ashes will wait for me here with Normans and when I can finally go with them all three sets of ashes will be mixed together and cast upon the ocean, Norman always felt most at home on the waters and I was most at peace with him and Sky became out link in death so the old sailor awaits me and we will all go back to the sea together.