Monday, September 12, 2011

My First Baby

Our sweet and sassy Tanner went to dog heaven today. We miss him so much already. Tears are still flowing over here, and Cody is just beside himself. I don't think he knows what to do without his big brother.

Tanner's surgery last December had us hopeful, but over the last month, I think Walter and I knew things were not OK. After trying prednisone and an antibiotic for a little while to treat what we were hoping was either kennel cough or asthma, an x~ray last week showed cancer. Knowing that there was absolutely nothing we could do this time made us face the decision to have him euthanized sooner than we would have liked.

If there is any good news it's that, though Tanner has been uncomfortable for a few weeks now, he was never in terrible pain and still had that sparkle in his eyes and plenty of wag left in that crazy tail of his up to the very, very end. While that made it very difficult to say goodbye today, I'm grateful we were by his side the whole time, and I know we did the right thing {we will always be thankful to Chad for all the house calls he's made, the care he's taken with Tanner, and the advice and comfort he's given us; he is a good friend and a great vet}.

We spoiled Tanner rotten this weekend. He got lots of lovin' from all of us, we took tons of pictures of him with the girls, and I'm thankful the weather was cooler, because there's nothing Tanner loved more than sitting outside in the mornings watching over the backyard. He got to spend a lot of time outside this weekend.

Sunday afternoon he could not have been happier sitting in the shade in the backyard watching the girls play.
The girls...they know Tanner has been sick, so we've told them for now that he had to go to the doctor and stay for a while because he wasn't getting better at home. Our plan is to let them know this weekend {when we're more in control of our emotions so as not to upset them}, that he has gone to dog heaven because only God could make him feel better, and that heaven is so wonderful a place that once you're there you don't want to come back. They have an understanding of God, Jesus, and Heaven for their age, but not as it relates to death, so we're treading lightly here. I think as simple an explanation as possible will be best {any advice?}. This afternoon Mallory asked where Tanner was and I reminded her he was at the doctor. She asked when he was coming home; I told her we didn't know yet, and she was OK with that. I don't think this will be terribly difficult for them because they are so young, but I do want to give them an honest answer that's age~appropriate.

As for me, Walter, and Cody, I think we're all waiting for Tanner to come walking down the hall, to lick us on the arm, to rest his head on the arm of the chair to be petted, or to swat us with that crazy tail. He would wag his tail so hard he couldn't keep his back legs on the floor, and that earned him the nick~name Boogie~Woogie. Tanner was always the one who met me and the girls at the door every afternoon, and he was our watch~dog in the yard. He was the one who would come up and give the girls a big lick on the face. He was also the one who would pee all over you when he was excited to see you! He was our first baby and we will always, always love him.

1 comment:

holly said...

so very sorry for your loss, lisa. when eddie died a friend gave us this book. the boys had me read it two to three times per night. the story is sweet and the pictures are wonderful. truth be told, it really helped me. you should pick up a copy for when you tell the girls.

xoxo, holly