Allow me to introduce Drake, an amazing dog who has been our companion for the past 10 years. He was a gentle, sweet and beautiful dog and is the subject of this post. He was put to sleep last Friday; it is that experience that serves as the impetus for this post.
For context, I need to go back a month. My wife and I took our 2 dogs for a walk. At the end of that walk, Drake seemed more tired than normal so we said to each other, "Maybe that's a little bit long for him." After all, he was 12 so it seemed normal that he might be slowing down a bit. However, after a brief rest, Drake stood up and it was clear that something was wrong. He was favoring his right leg and seemed to be in pain.
We let him rest and gave him some aspirin. The following week, we took him to our vet, beginning what became a month of exploration and treatment. Along the way, Drake got the best care from the kindest people. They were thoughtful and considerate of his age, consultative and responsive. Emails got quick responses; phone calls were returned; questions were answered.
We had a couple of moments where we thought things were improving but last week things took a turn for the worse. Recognizing we may need support not available at their clinic, our vets recommended we see a doctor at regional veterinary hospital. We called, discussed our situation and were able to make an appointment for later in the week.
We arrived at 10:45 and were quickly shown to an observation room. The doctor entered shortly thereafter and what followed was amazing: