Remembering Garrett

We are adjusting to life without Garrett, slowly but surely. All the myriad dog beds have been washed, the plush toys too, and all the dog treats are stashed. But the house is too quiet. (we have a shitload of dog beds)

I miss the gentle nudge on the weekend for his morning walk. His expecting a little cheese when I make a salad. Or a smidgen of sliced turkey when I make a sandwich.

It is the little things that I miss. Him snuggling on the couch. His roaching. His derp.

But, here, three days post passing, I am not nearly as distraught as I was when Tate, or Oliver passed. I think this is because we had 10 full years. Also, in the last 6 or 7 months, we had been managing his decline. By his 7th birthday, he was beginning to suffer from arthritis from his racing days. Since that time, he had been on first Metacam, then Rimadyl, both non-steroid anti inflammatories, and that greatly helped his mobility.

When Tate passed, Garrett had been not part of the daily walking ritual. Perhaps once every 2 weeks he would lobby to be part of the morning walk (I used to take Tate for 1 – 3 mile walks nearly every day).

But Garrett surprised us. He became adamant that he go for walks nearly daily. Often insisting on crossing Santa Teresa, and walking around La Colina park. He had a significant flash back.

But it wasn’t all skittles and unicorns. He began losing weight. When we were in Chandler AZ, Garrett had gotten to his peak weight, 76#’s. After Tate passed, he was a little over 60#’s. However, he had become weaker and weaker, especially in his hindquarters. Then he began having issues with his, uh, how to put this, *pooping*. Clearly, his pelvic floor muscles were struggling to cleanly push out the feces, and we began using Pampers wipes to keep him clean. (Ironically, he seemed to enjoy this attention, and keeping his anus clean made him more comfortable.)

Still, the barfing was concerning. While he was eating well, and eliminating well, we kept working to keep him comfortable. And he was. Clearly, by the latest pictures I had taken of the amazingly photogenic Garrett, he wasn’t suffering. He was happy, and while his rear end was getting shaky, he still could get up, and move around.

But that ended in the last few bouts of vomiting, it was clearly exhausting him. Both the intensity, and the amount of whole body wracking spasms, the decision almost made itself. While the source of the vomiting wasn’t our fear at the beginning of January of it being pancreatitis. That wasn’t it. But the upper chest x-ray taken at the e-vet, showed classic signs of cancer in his lungs. And that was the final factor.

While I am still weepy, I am far less distraught than after losing Tate or Oliver. Garrett lived a long, and *normal* life. We did everything we could to keep him happy, and comfortable. I like to believe we were successful.

Garrett was an amazing companion, a constant buddy, and a member of our family. He is, and will be missed for a long time. I mourn him, but I also celebrate his life. I am sure I will lose it when it is time to pick up his cremains.