Friday, May 14, 2010


If I’m in your Facebook newsfeed, you already know that we lost C recently. He’d been on the decline for many months, and while I didn’t want him to suffer (he didn’t), I mostly just didn’t want C to die before Tom did. They were great friends, Tom and C, and I didn’t want Tom to endure that loss. So we did what we could and we did what we had to: we brought C to the vet when he had the symptoms of his recurrent UTI (he always had a UTI, and you’re welcome for me not explaining in excruciating detail why he was so prone to them) … We brought him to the vet when we noticed maggots falling out of a small wound on his backside … We brought him most recently for an overgrown claw. Since he was slowing down, he simply wasn’t wearing down his claws, and it had grown full circle, impaling itself in the pad below it. It didn’t seem to cause any pain, and we wouldn’t even have realized anything was wrong except that David was playing with him on the bed and noticed it. Not even so much as a limp.

That vet appointment fixed the claw, but uncovered several other troubles: congestive heart failure and a pancreatic mass, for starters. We opted not to treat the mass, put him on Plavix ($50 for 7 pills, and that’s with the AAA discount –  and no, C didn't have health insurance) and some other heart meds and antibiotics, and commenced with another round of “hurry up and wait”. Dr. Zanotti didn’t have to say it when we had our scheduled follow up visit: I knew we were looking at days, maybe weeks; certainly not months. We would keep C’s days as pleasant as possible, and that meant a lot of American cheese and chicken scraps. Just a few hours after that appointment we noticed he was unable to walk, and brought him back to the vet. He had thrown a clot, not unexpectedly, and his suffering would soon begin. So while the decision was hard to make, we really had no choice. C had lived a long and happy life. He had eaten his share of treats, pee’d his way into the cellar floor hall of fame, and barfed with the best of them. He’ll be cremated and added to my little “collection”. And when the time is right, and the ground is dry, and the air is warm, we’ll take Tom’s ashes, and C’s, and Mr. Gibb’s, and Yeti’s, and Neko's, and those good friends will share a very pretty spot high in the Fells behind the house, watching the planes and stalking the birds.

We owe a sincere thanks to Stephen Zanotti, VMD,  and all the vets, techs, medical and support staff at Winchester Veterinary Group for everything they’ve done over the years to help us care for the pets we so dearly love, as well as all the animals that are lucky enough to cross their threshold.

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