January 06, 2016

My 1st Day Without Winston

First of all I want to thank everyone for their kind comments and emails. The number of them surprised me, yet they made a bad day feel a little better. A friend emailed me last night hoping my day without Winston had not gone too bad, although she knew it would be a tough one. After I sent her a response... she said it would be a great blog post for the readers.

So here is a brief update for my 1st day without Winston.

Before I post that below my divider I need to briefly let you know what changed with Winston and that for some reason after I posted Monday, Winston started going downhill for some unexplainable reason. I'll not go into detail but just list some of the things that told me it was time. I remember on my Monday post that I mentioned at 2:20 that he started whining a lot, with numerous trips outside (3 in an hour), with no results.

  • Late Monday night after a lot of hours of sleep - struggles to get up in the sitting position 
    • He yelped when I tried to help him   (a sign of a lot of pain)
  • Late Monday night turns down an offer of water
    • For 17 days he had been guzzling water at every opportunity
  • Late Monday night turns down a handful of kibble
    • For 11 years and 7 months he never turned down anything to eat .. ever
  • Peaceful night of sleeping in bed Monday night - although struggles to lay down
    • He was back to using short choppy steps with his front paws to lay down
      • At one point stopped and could not lay flat
    • Cannot sit up Tuesday morning
    • Yelps when I try to help him up as he is struggling to get to his front feet
  • Tuesday morning after I carry him to the gated area - with no gate - struggles to lay down
  • Tuesday morning struggles to pee and has one very very small piece of poop
  • Tuesday morning refuses his breakfast of kibble and water
  • I knew from all of the latest changes and the look he gave me Tuesday morning it was time
    • I just knew there was nothing else I could do
So here is how my 1st day went without my very best friend. I will add that Wednesday morning has not been any easier. I got 9 hours of solid sleep Tuesday night and feel like I slept 30 minutes. I have two concerned bloodhounds that follow me when I pace around the house and come running when they hear me at my desk.

This was my email reply to her:

I guess it has gone as expected. It’s been too quiet. Not because Winston was noisy but the bloodhounds haven’t played, stella didn’t howl for lunch and heidi is always quiet. Washed all the Mexican blankets, the dog Coleman sleeping bag and put the barriers away of the gated area … I didn’t want to see it anymore.

Took a shower, shave, a nap, two different walks with the bloodhounds. I looked through all of his photos. I took the last 3 of him this morning. 

I remember how he felt this morning when I held him at the vet, while I talked to him. His coat was so soft. I remember after the sedation shot that he almost finally laid down with my arm under his head to hold him, when he sat back up, refusing to quit and how he finally laid down with his eyes barely open.

I remember after it was all done how the vet tech took his ears, spread them out on the table and she couldn’t stop petting them.

I know it was the best thing for him. I know I made the right decision but like you know and I know from experience, it’s just a hard thing to grasp and get through.

I keep looking back and wondering what the cause was. Was it possible he might have had an infection from losing 4 teeth in 2 days although the vet gave him antibiotics? Did he have a stroke type thing on his spine. Did he hurt his back by doing his normal morning jumping off the bed.? Did Stella accidentally fall or step on him as she ran for the door after waking up?

Then I remember the facts … it happened … he was old … he had a great life … and he was just a great basset hound … that’s it.

So I pet and rub the ears of the other hounds. I talk to them. Hug them and at times I pace the house. I think of him lying down at the vet’s right now to be picked up by the cremation company tomorrow and know they will call me next Wednesday to pick up his ashes.

I still see him wag his tail just like Maggie did .. right before they gave they a shot to sedate them.

Time will take away some of the pain away but some of it will never leave. I’m still sad at times for the basset hound that died 8 months after I moved here in 1997. 

He didn’t want to eat this morning and didn’t. He didn’t take hardly any water this morning, then looked up at me with those sad eyes.

I thought when Bertha died at home while I held her as she tried biting me was the worse I had ever felt … but it’s going to take a long time to get over Winston. He was the best of all the hounds I’ve ever had….the best.

Here are a couple of photos I took yesterday morning when I got back. Heidi did nothing but her favorite hobby of sleeping. Sadie and Stella put noses to the ground looking for Winston when I came back. They both jumped into the back of the FJ sniffing as I took the dog bed out to return it to the house. They were unsuccessful in their attempts to find him.

eyes closed

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