Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tali: April 25th, 2006-May 28th, 2011.

Tali passed away sometime Friday night after suddenly getting sick on Wednesday, May 25th, and after the valient efforts of her Doctor, Keith Placke. She was vomiting all afternoon on Wednesday and all day on Thursday. Then, in the early evening on Thursday, I realized I hadn't seen or heard her in the backyard for a few hours. After calling her a few times, and getting no response, I finally located her curled in a ball against the back fence. She simply looked at me as I called her name. She would not budge. When I walked out to her, and finally got her to stand, I could see and feel her rigid abdomen. At that moment, I knew she was in trouble. I felt kind of nauseous, panicky, and just worried. I texted Matt, who was out to see Hangover 2 and held back the temptation to say "Tali is dying, I am taking her to the vet." Instead, I told him she was really sick and had to go to the vet right now. Matt got home, the whole family packed up (I wanted everyone to go, as I sensed this could be our last time with her) and we headed out to Raintree Animal Health Center. I checked on Tali twice during the 30 minute drive, fearing she might pass on the way there.

We got there, and Kim (Matt's cousin) and Keith were relatively calm, which I took as hopeful. We did bloodwork and x-rays. Both demonstrated that something was not right and that there was most likely an obstruction. We decided to give some antibiotics and a pro-kinetic and reassess in the morning. With no improvement the next day, Tali went to surgery. In surgery, most of her small bowel was found to be dead. Dr. Placke did everything he could, was in surgery way longer than expected, and cut out most of the bowel, reattached it and got Tali through surgery. We went back Friday evening to visit our friend, post-surgery. It was painstakingly obvious our little gal was not doing so well. We tried to just pet her, and maker her feel relaxed. Of course, despite intense pain, and moments from death, she still tried to stand up and come home with us. We thanked our friends and family at Raintree and left, hoping to hear good news in the morning (but not expecting it.) I have never really mourned the passing of a pet before. I have also never experienced the death of a non-elderly dog. I kind of always thought people were over-reacting a bit to their pet's death. After all, Tali was only a dog.

But, this dog we watched be born. (Well, not technically, she was the only puppy from Marley's litter that Matt did not witness the birth. She was a bit slow. Guess we should have expected she'd do something dumb like get a corn cob lodged in her gut and not tell us about it until too late.) This dog joined us very shortly after the purchase of our home. This dog has been with us for the entirety of our marriage and the lives of our children. This dog was on our infamous Christmas card, perhaps stealing the show. This dog patiently let teeny babies crawl up to her feet and touch them. She hated having her feet touched. This dog generally slept most of the day, but if one of the kiddos arose from slumber, she would run through the house in search of me or Matt, to make sure we were aware of it. This dog was happy to see us every minute of every day. She wanted nothing but to make us happy. Even when she was in the worst pain of her life, pain that would probably make humans lose consciousness, Tali tried not to be a bother. Yes, she ate dirty diapers, got in the trash, barked at other people and animals, all the things expected of the species, but that was just part of who she was. As just a dog.

Now, without her, I realize that just isn't true. She wasn't just a dog. She was Tali. She was part of our family. Brock asks about her. He was concerned about his sick dog. Curtis would laugh at her for no apparent reason. She just made people smile. The lack of her presence is painfully obvious. I am kind of happy to be leaving town today. I won't see her kennel all cleaned out, taken apart and stored in the garage, or the lack of its presence in the basement. I can pretend that she is just being watched by someone while we are away. Hopefully, Tater being the dim lightbulb he is, will have forgotten she existed by the time we get back. That way he will not wander the house aimlessly, without his big sister as a personal guide and a heater.

When I remember Tali, I think of how she would instantly yawn upon landing on any piece of comfy furniture, particularly the master bed, to display her sheer exhaustion, despite being playfully hyper the moment previous. I think of her jamming her nose onto the wall, carpet or laundry basket in an attempt to eat that ever evasive laser pointer, or light reflection. I think of her stupid nub of a tail, that Brock called "Tali's penis". I think of when she would "get the cat", find Nike and just pin her down then look at us, as if to say, "Ok, got her, now what?" I have flashbacks of her and Tater chasing one another, barking in the backyard, probably disturbing the neighborhood, but making me, Matt and the boys laugh in delight. I remember wanting to beat her to death when I was hugely pregnant with Brock for getting into the trash for the 3rd time, and just sobbing on her instead...I would pick up trash everyday as opposed to this alternative. Mostly, I just think of how adaptable and wonderful she was with our kids. She loved them as her own. As we loved her. And all of this makes me truly sad, and I mourn my pet. Goodbye my friend.


Lisa said...

What a touching tribute to Tali! So sorry for your loss.

thearthurs said...

Erin what a sweet story of Tali. I am so sad for you guys! But what a life she had even though it was shorter than expected.