Just in a matter of days, we lost her. Those 4 days were the longest and hardest days of my life. One day she was her perky senile self. And then things turned for the worst.
Wednesday the 13th seemed like any other day. I got off work and I went home and picked up Pookie so we could run some errands together. We drove to my Aunt’s house to pick up the mail and she was standing up on her chair barking at anything through the car window. We drove to Union City/ Hayward to buy some food. She just stared at me from the passenger side of the car and into Nayong Filipino while I ordered food. Driving home I even gave her a tiny piece of the lechon kawali. We got home and I warmed up her shredded chicken and mixed it in with her dry food and some warm water. She liked her food soft. After dinner, I worked out a bit in the living room, and out of nowhere she threw up. It was quiet and I only noticed it because I saw it. I cleaned it up and got concerned. Maybe she just doesn’t like her food anymore? I put on her leash and we were on our way to Petsmart to buy some soft dog food. She sat in the cart super excited to be out and stared at every dog we came across. When we got home, I added some of the dog food with her food and she ate a little. A couple of hours later, she threw up a little bit. Of course I was worried. But her personality was still the same. Still wreaking havoc. She slept on the bed with us just fine that night.
Thursday morning came and I fed her more food. She had no issues eating. And she drank her water just fine. I watched her through the cameras while I was at work. Everything seemed normal. When I did get home, she did take a major dump in front of the door. That wasn’t fun to clean up. I gave her a bath. She didn’t enough that either. Then I grabbed one of her soft foods that I bought from the night before, sat on the floor with a spoon, and fed her. She was so eager to eat. Basically inhaled her food. Her personality was still the same. Upbeat. She kept following me around, as usual. I made myself a bowl of food and ate it on the couch with her. I went to put the bowl away in the sink, and next thing I know, she threw up her entire meal onto the couch. I cleaned her up. I cleaned up the couch. And from that moment on she was no longer the same spunk Pookie. It was as if she was embarrassed she threw up. She just sat there. I put her on the ground and she slowly walked to her spot under the Christmas tree and laid down. She threw up again. I gave her water to drink and she did. That night she woke me up in the middle of the night because she needed to throw up. I stayed up for 3 hours afraid to sleep because I just wanted to keep an eye on her. T suggests I bring her to the vet.
Friday morning I got ready for work . Then I prepared a bag for Pookie. She was coming with me to work. She drank a bunch of water before we left for work. She was still lively during our drive to work. She threw up in the car. It was easy to clean… it was just water. At work she stayed under my desk. Barked once. Maybe twice. We left work to go to the vet. She walked down the 4 flights of stairs and down the garage ramp. A little out of breath. A little tired. The vet suggested some blood work, stool samples, and an xray. Sure. Do whatever. They said to leave her here and they’ll call me when she’s ready to be picked up. Waiting at home felt like a life time. Hours roll by. Finally, she’s ready to be picked up. I get to her vet and he pulls me aside. All the patient rooms were occupied. XRay results will be available tomorrow morning. Blood work. Liver enzymes are high. Possible liver failure. Cancer, maybe? Pancreas enzymes are high. Pancreatic cancer, he suggests. My options: bring her to the emergency room now to start treatment. Schedule an ultrasound for Monday. I opt for the ultrasound on Monday. It’s just 2 days. She’ll be fine. My heart is breaking. Tears just rolling down my face. They carry her out and I carry her to the car. She’s tired, but happy to be going home. I start my car. She throws up. It’s going to be a long night. She drinks a bit of water when we get home. I’m up until 4am watching her. She’s lethargic. She won’t eat. We finally sleep.
Saturday morning I’m up at 6am. We go for our walk. She’s walking a bit slow, but she’s walking. She drinks a bit of water. She doesn’t want to be around me. Around anyone. She hides under her table. 10am rolls around. I call the vet for help. She won’t eat. Barely drinking her water. Lethargic. He gives me news. There’s a mass on her liver. He can’t tell what it is. Bring her to the emergency room for more testing? Wait to Monday? Lunch time rolls around and we drive to Chick-Fil-A. It’s too windy, she doesn’t want to stick her head out the window, she tucks her face into my arm. We get to Chick-Fil-A. She’s feeling sick. I put her on the floor of the car. She throws up. We get home and she hides in her corner. I go to Pets Food Express and buy a syringe to give her water and her Doggy Ensure. We stick to a schedule. 2 syringes of water every hour. She’s holding down her water. 8pm she lays by her water bowl and drinks more. 830pm she throws everything up. She’s not doing well. She has no energy. Restless. She knows something is wrong. I’ve been crying for days. 1am and T is home from work. I’m holding Pookie in my arms. He looks at her and says he sees it in her eyes. We need to bring her to the hospital. We drive to San Leandro and admit her. Vet does a quick ultrasound. Gallbladder is more than 2x normal size. This must be the liver mass. This is what’s irritating the pancreas as making the enzymes sky rocket. Surgery to remove the gallbladder. $8k. Do whatever to save her. We’ll pay it. They said they’ll keep her hydrated and monitor her. They want to do ultrasounds to make sure it’s just the gallbladder and then if it is, emergency surgery. This gave us hope. She’ll be ok. She’ll be home in no time. They tell us to go home and to call us for updates in the morning.
Sunday I called first thing when I woke up. She’s doing fine. Getting hydrated. We’ll get a call from the vet in an hour or two. Vet calls. She did another ultrasound. Her gallbladder looks like it’s going to burst within a day or two. She did notice a mass in the liver. Her main concern is Pookie’s kidney’s now. Her kidney levels were normal Friday. They went up when the doctor’s checked it when we brought her to the hospital. They’re up again. Maybe more hydration? If they can get her kidney levels to go down by the time of the ultrasound, they’ll go into surgery. They don’t want to risk her kidneys going into shock. They ran out of a certain pain medication so she’s on something else. Side effect: increases her panting. I asked if we can visit her. Since she’s in the ICU she typically can’t have visitors, but they gave us an exception. We go and visit. She’s happy to see us. She looks tired, but you can see a difference in her eyes from the night before. Hopeful. Happier. We told her we will be back tonight. We leave and go home. I keep checking my phone. Where’s her update? Finally I get a call. Gallbladder might rupture. We need to remove it ASAP. There is a mass in liver. Cancerous? They do not know, but they can remove it when they’re in. Mass on adrenal glands. Confirmed: Cancer. They can address that another time. Main concern: Kidneys. Levels increased yet again. If they don’t go into surgery soon, her gallbladder will burst and she can have a painful death. If we do go ahead with surgery, we might damage her kidneys. Even if she survives the surgery, there’s a strong chance we might not be able to bring her home. I ask the vet if I can call her back. I sit on the bed and cry. I don’t want her to suffer. I don’t want her to be in pain. I just want to bring her home. I want her to live a million more years. We drive to San Leandro. They take us back to her. She’s tired. She looks worse than she did a couple of hours ago. There’s no more hope in her eyes. Just tired. We know what we had to do. The vet comes in. Explains the options again. We tell her we made up our mind. She said it was probably for the best. They give us a room. Pookie gets some FaceTime calls. People calling in to tell her they love her. T’s holding her and she’s enjoying the warmth of his body. I hold her. I tell her “I knew you loved me!” and she tries to wiggle away. Still throwing shade. We put her on the floor on the blanket so we can lay with her. She’s enjoying this. We FaceTime my parents and my sister. Pookie’s ears perk up when she hears my dad’s voice. She’s happy. She’s tired. It’s time. We place her on the table. The vet comes in and explains what’s going to happen. She begins. I’m scratching the back of her left ear. T petting her back. I’m looking into her eyes. I knew the moment she was gone. 6:52pm. I saw the life in her eyes fade. She was gone. The vet gives us time. We cry. We hug her. We give her kisses. We go back to T’s house. I can’t go home. I’m not ready. She’s really gone. I cry. I bawl. I fall asleep.
Monday morning I wake up at 630a. No, it wasn’t a dream. It happened. She’s gone. I pick up my sister from the airport. She flew in for support. We get home and I call the vet. “Pookie won’t be making it to her Ultrasound appointment. She passed away last night.” I call the cremation place. They have an opening that day. 330pm. I clean the apartment. I scrub it clean. I put away all the dog stuff. We run errands to keep me busy. 3pm and we’re in San Ramon. Pookie’s on the table. They let us come in to say our Good Byes. Our See You Laters. She looks peaceful. She’s cold. My heart breaks. Why? Why now? The cremation place recognizes me. Her procedure took an hour. We drive home and put her next to Marley. Her box is smaller. She’s home.