by Delia & Steve
We lost Ike yesterday evening unexpectedly. We were already in bed and Ike had gone out his doggy door to take care of business (He was 14 and could not hold all night long, so he always went potty in the middle of the night) We heard the door flap when he went out. It was awhile before we heard him come back in, but the door flap sounded strange when he came back... didn't sound normal. I got up out of bed to check on him... the living room was dark, but I heard him.. he was panting. I turned on the light and saw to my horror that he was bleeding.. the inner thigh of one hind leg was missing both fur and skin. There was a tooth puncture on that thigh, and I knew what happened... he was attacked by a coyote. I know it was only one coyote, and obviously he had fought back.. if it had been two, he wouldn't have made it.
I yelled to Steve, and he got up. When he saw what happened, he dressed as quickly as I did. He wrapped Ike up in some towels, and gently lifted him up and placed him in the car. We drove him to the vet who is open during the night for emergencies. I sat with Ike in the back seat during the drive, and stroked his head.
When we got there, the vet examined him (this was past 1am in the morning), and told us what happened: Ike's leg was torn clear through the groin area..it had reached his femoral artery. He offered to do surgery, but did not guarantee whether or not Ike would live through the surgery....at his age, anesthesia would hit him hard. He left us alone to talk about it. We both knew what had to be done, but I did not want to voice the decision aloud. So Steve spoke for both us. Our decision was to have the vet put Ike to sleep.
The vet and his assistants were kind... they had Ike on a guerney, and they put a catheter in one of his forlegs. They then gave him a sedative so that he would be relaxed, but awake. They then wheeled him into a room where they gave us time to say goodbye to Ike. Oh God... it was so hard. We both cried. I tried at one point to be brave for the sake of Ike, but couldn't. I pet him, kissed his head, and told him that we loved him, and that he was a good boy. We then called the vet back and told him to ahead and give him his final injection. I had my face close to Ike's, and looked into his eyes as he left this earth. I told him once again what a good boy he was.
We took his body back with us. It was 3am at this point. Steve thought it would be best to bury him immediately. I agreed. So in the darkness with one flashlight and a shovel, we dug his grave in the lower part of the yard next to some irises, and placed his body there. When we took him out of the bag, he was curled up as if he was sleeping. I petted him one more time. His body was still warm. It was so hard to watch him being buried. We put rocks on top of his grave as a marker, but also as a way to prevent other animals from digging him up.
We miss him terribly. I am crying my eyes out as I write this. He and I had such a tight bond. He was my little shadow. He followed me everywhere when I was at home. If I was at the computer, he was there. When I was playing the piano, he would go under and lie near my feet. If I was outside working in the yard, he would be nearby. He loved car rides. He loved camping. We took him everywhere with us. He was always obedient, and very loving. He gave us great joy. He was the best dog in the whole wide world.
I guess what I am writing is his epitaph. (I hope I am doing you justice Ike. I hope you are in doggy heaven somewhere chasing a rabbit.)
Your website has been of great comfort to us. It helps to know that what we are experiencing is normal, and that we are not alone in our feelings. Ike was a member of our family. He was our furry child, and a wonderful one at that.
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