Saturday, April 15, 2017

In Memoriam: Samson and Baru

This is going to be a sad post to write. It will probably be a sad post to read. I'm heartbroken to report that Samson and Baru have both passed away.
Samson (back) and Baru (front), May 2013
Baru died on February 25, 2016 after a prolonged illness. Samson died unexpectedly on January 21, 2017. It was devastating to lose them within a year of each other.

Baru (left) and Samson (right), December 2014
I thought about writing a memorial post for Baru after he died, but I couldn't face it. The idea also seemed weird since I hadn't been keeping up the blog regularly.

Now that they are both gone, and I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging on a regular basis, it seemed best to talk about them dying sooner rather than later.
Samson (front) and Baru (back), April 2015
After all, one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place was to talk about their antics!

Baru had developed edema in his front, left leg several years ago. We didn't know what caused it and it never seemed to bother him. Then in September 2015 he got an infection in that leg.
Baru, August 2012
Despite taking him to two specialists for diagnostic exams and a boat load of medicine, the vets were never able to figure out what was causing it or to cure it. They were, however, able to tell us what strains of bacteria were causing the infection. Not that it did us any good.

My sweet Baru fought valiantly, but in the end we realized we had to let him go.

Baru, January 2016

He was 10 1/2 years old. It was heartbreaking, but I think on some level we must have been expecting it. He'd been sick for months and I think we were in denial to a degree about his decline.

Still, at least we still had Samson, which helped with the grieving process. All those things we did as dog owners—taking him out morning, noon, and night, having stuffed toys and tennis balls all over the house—they all still made sense because even though Baru was gone we still had Samson.

Samson and his teddy, August 2016
We developed new routines. Baru had always been the mama's boy right next to me, but now Samson stayed close. Samson got all the treats and attention.

Then one day we woke up and there was obviously something wrong with Samson. I rushed him to the vet. They kept him overnight for observation. The next day they told me to take him to the specialist one hour and 45 minutes away. There they did an ultrasound. The diagnosis was infarctions on his spleen and it would have to be removed.

I left with hope that we'd do an expensive operation and then return to normal. Instead they called at 4 am and said to come say good-bye as soon as I could.
Samson, September 2016
Samson was 12 1/2 years old. He was so full of life and spunk a few days before, and there I was saying good-bye.

It was even worse than loosing Baru. With Baru at least it wasn't unexpected because he'd been sick. Samson was snatched away in his prime. And now the house is empty and quiet.

It's been almost three months now since Samson died. What had been waves of grief and constant sadness has changed to spikes of grief when something reminds me of them. Coming home to an empty house, without them here to greet us, is especially hard.

Once again new routines have to be developed. That hasn't been as easy this time. It is hard to do alone.

And all the firsts suck, too. The weather is getting nice and Samson loved being outside. All these sunny days I've been eating lunch outside thinking how Samson would have enjoyed it.

Samson in my garden plot, April 2016

Even working in my garden has been a little difficult because I remember Samson being with me when I established it last year.

All we can do is carry on and remember the good times. It is almost three months of life-after-puppies. We're starting to be able to tell stories about them again without bursting into tears every time, but it hasn't been easy.

If you have a dog or cat, go hug it. Stop what you are doing and pay attention when they ask for affection. As the old saying goes, "You only regret what you didn't do." Our time with them is short. Treasure it.

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