I said goodbye to my wonderful boy this morning.
Sam lived with me for 10 years, 10 months, and 2 days. He has slept at my side every one of those nights. (Tonight is going to suck.)
Oreo & Sam
He's made me laugh every single day. He was a stubborn, single-minded, high-prey, food motivated, goofy doofus. He's driven two of three housemates crazy. Only Silver managed to keep him in line.
Jacey & Sam
Sam's been on meds for years. He had arthritis and some slightly herniated disks, LS, LP, and was starting to have kidney issues. He's been taking gabapentin, tramadol, methocarbamol, metronidazole, doxepin, thyroxine, and prilosec, in addition to glucosamine, fish oil, and probiotics. And he was remarkably patient about taking a mouthful of pills after every meal, four times a day.
Sam, in the days before arthritis and LS
But the pills were no longer controlling the pain, and there were episodes of panting triggered by pain. He went to the vet Monday for a shot of dexamethasone to see if that would help with the pain in his back. The shot gave him good results on his legs--Sam wasn't having as much trouble getting his legs under him when he needed to stand up--but it didn't help with the pain, and it only helped his legs for two days. He was maxed out on pain meds, but still in pain, and he didn't deserve that. I knew I needed to let him go.
Stalking peanut butter crackers
And we were able to time this right: he still loved his food and his trips outside, so we didn't wait so long that he was miserable. But this morning, his legs gave out on a very short walk, so his body was letting him down, even if we'd been able to find another painkiller that worked. He just had too many things wrong at once.
Sam's most famous photograph, which has shown up on lots of websites
I made the appointment with his vet. On the way, we stopped at McDonald's and I got him the current "2 for $3" special--two sausage and egg biscuits. I'd never given him sausage before. I sat in the backseat with him in the vet's parking lot, and Sam ate every crumb--sausage, eggs, and biscuits.
Jacey's last pictures were sad: she felt so bad, and I hate to look at those photos.
Sam's last pictures are triumphant: "Food! I've got food!"
I got him into the vet's office, and once he was able to get his legs back under himself, he started surfing the countertops, looking for cookies, and he stuck that long nose into the trash can. By the time his vet came in, Sam was ready to lie down in his favorite sphinx pose. After the sedative, he put his head down on his forelegs and fell asleep. He didn't stir when the vet gave him the final shot. I cried--and so did Sam's vet. "He was such a goofy boy," the vet said.
I'm going to miss you, Boo-boo.