Today is, without a doubt, the worst day of my life.
I know, it seems like there have been a lot of those lately. And just when I thought things were getting better...
Our dog, Uzi, was put to sleep today just before noon. Very sudden, and very unexpected.
This weekend he began throwing up, and we suspected a blockage. The vomit smelled very bad (sorry tmi) like feces. We suspected he had eaten clumping litter from the litter box... which would have been really out of character for him, but he had blocked in the past on toys (plastic/cloth) and he hasn't had any toys like that since. It was the only thing we could think of.
Yesterday we took him to the vet. DH had to work, so I went with my MIL. Uzi threw up a couple of times in the car, again, it smelled horrible. But other than the vomiting and looking a little less energetic than normal, he seemed to be his old self.
Even the vet on Tuesday joked with us that we would just do "the same drill as last time." IV fluids for his dehydration, labwork and x-rays, and possibly if still no bowel movement, an enema today. We left believing we'd be picking him up the next day. Didn't ask to say goodbye, after all, why would I? He was coming home.
This morning they called and said he had vomited several times over night, and that repeat x-rays revealed no information because the area was not visible. They suspected this may be due to peritonitis, an inflammation causing the poor visibility on x-ray. They wanted to do an exploratory surgery to see if this was the case. I said I'd have to check with DH, but I'd let them know.
By the time I was able to call DH (I was at work), he had already talked to them and gave them the ok to do the surgery. Our regular vet was on for the surgery - he is a family friend and knows our animals, especially Uzi, very well. We felt comfortable with this decision. DH asked me to say a prayer for Uzi, and I said I would but not to worry because he would be just fine.
About 2 hours passed until my lunch break at noon. I called DH to see if he had heard anything. He sounded a mess as he said, "Yes. It's not good [voice cracking]... are you sitting down?"
When they opened Uzi up, there was cancer. Everywhere. His stomach was full of blood. Joe, our vet friend, called Rob in tears - he himself was shocked. He told him it was so progressed, that he would never be able to survive chemotherapy at this point. He then said he *could* close him up and let him come to in order for us to say goodbye... but that he thought it would be very painful for Uzi, so his recommendation was to put him down now. Through tears he gave DH this news, and through tears, DH gave him the ok.
Our dog. Our best friend. Our family member. Is gone.
He turned 9 years old last November. It was just way too soon for this. We are beyond shocked, and beyond devastated.
Uzi was the kind of dog who, well first of all, did not think he was a dog. He believed he was on the same level as you and me. **Correction: DH read this, and said, "No. He thought he was BETTER than you and me." I stand corrected. He understood EVERYTHING you said. He was dignified (hence the eating poop thing being out of character), hysterical, lovable, and very demanding. He had a facial expression for EVERY occasion, and he was in our lives through it all - DH got him as a puppy just before he left for Italy (his parents took care of him for that first year), and he always used to tell Uzi, "I went to Italy to go find you a Mommy!" He was there through it all - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I used to call him my first-born son, and he loved it! He would refuse to lick DH (or any male human for that matter...) and he would only lick me :)
Some of his other favorites were playing with ANY shape, size, color of BALL, though his favorite were the GIANT indestructable balls which he would open his gigantic mouth around and carry around the pool area SO PROUD of himself. (He'd manage to get a tooth in the little hole on top, and then he would gnaw a little "traction circle" with his bottom teeth to grab onto. When he carried that thing around it looked like he defied science.
He loved to... a-hem... hump his brother ;) Our other dog is not from the same litter, but is the same breed - American Staffordshire terrier, aka pitbull. He. Adores. Uzi. Follows him everywhere, and can't do anything without him from the day we adopted him (4/15/05). We never really trained Quincy. Uzi did. He truly did! We always used to joke about what Quincy would do when Uzi was gone... little did we know it would be so soon.
Uzi loved attention and loved to be pet, and if you stopped petting him before HE was ready, he would nudge, paw at you, and demand that you continue petting him.
When it was his bedtime, we called Uzi the grumpy old man. Every night by 11:00pm, he would disappear into the bedroom to go to sleep (usually on a pile of laundry because he liked the smell of "us"). If we were still out in the living room, and if the tv got loud or the lights were shining into the room, Uzi would groan loudly from the bedroom, almost as if to say, "QUIET! I'm trying to sleep!" If that didn't work, he would come out and let out a big, "Pffffffttttthhhhh!" huffing and puffing until we finally went to bed, or shut up.
Everywhere we went, every one who met Uzi had the same reaction: "What a BEAUTIFUL dog!" "How handsome!" Oh, and he KNEW it. The minute he heard those words, he would get this look on his face:
My sister did a photo shoot with the two dogs in Spring '07, and she captures almost all of Uzi's famous expressions beautifully. Here are a few more:
This one is "Coy Uzi."
This is "Happy Uzi" (this is how he most often looked, and it was enough to make us smile even on the worst days).
Here's Playful Uzi (both serious and silly):
And my favorite, Uzi in Action:
Here's just an idea of how much he was loved by the other animals in our home, particularly Quincy and Simba (who worshipped the very ground Uzi walked on, and in those last few days, did NOT leave his side):
(You can see in this picture how smitten Quincy is... he sleeps on Uzi like this ALL the time... and how Uzi is kind of just tolerating it ;))
Meeting his soon-to-be biggest fan, Simba:
(For the 1st week of Simba's life in our home, he learned to walk on his front two paws only, because Uzi's snout was constantly up his butt, lifting his back legs off the ground!)
...and here is where Simba usually was... in Uzi's nook, at all times:
And finally, the face everyone falls in love with. The face we will always remember. The face that could make us do ANYTHING to make him happy. Our Uzi:
Words cannot even describe how much I will miss him. My heart aches. He was THE PERFECT DOG. The dog that made me decide I wanted nothing but pitbulls for the rest of my life.
God, please welcome our baby and make sure he is always happy. And please let us see him again someday.
Rest in Peace, our sweet, handsome, beautiful boy.
Here on earth 11-15-2000 to 03-17-2010,
always in our hearts.