If anyone had told me, five days later, when we took him home that he would not be with us longer than ten days, I would have thought them mad.
If anyone had told me that a week ago, when the vet suggested he might have a bad bug or something "very terribly wrong" that it might not be the bug getting him down, I'd have called them cynical.
If anyone had told me that my husband and I would have found ourselves openly weeping in each others' arms over an entity we'd met two weeks prior, I'd have doubted that fully.
But, I've been wrong before and, apparently, our streak of loss continues.
This isn't the kind of loss one of my dearest childhood friend is experiencing tonight at the passing of her father. Nor is it the kind of loss others have experienced with people in their lives.
But, at this point in our lives, this loss of this dog and the joy and unconditional love he brought into our home is a profound one.
I need this dog.
He needed us.
He had to have felt like garbage--given that his issue is more than likely some horrible genetic thing that is preventing his body from absorbing and metabolizing protein. He's wasting away now.
And yet, feeling like he did, he loved and cuddled and played and expressed appreciation in a way that only pound puppies do.
We had a choice today. Again. And neither of the choices were "take him home and he'll get better." The choices were -- return him to the pound, knowing he'd be euthanized immediately or relinquish our custody to the vet and let them try to help. Our vets are a married couple. The wife loves labs and fell in love with Remington last week when she met him. They will be running a battery of expensive tests to determine exactly what he has. The husband vet thinks we will simply be learning he is seriously and irreparably ill. The wife holds out hope he can have a quality of life, but understands he will always be a special needs dog that may involve too much specialized care to be a part of our family without complicating things to a high level.
I really don't have words. I didn't think, after our youngest daughter left, that I had any more tears. But, I was wrong. On many counts. I know having Remington would have helped, but having this happen again--where a being we love has an issue bigger than us that we can't help with and our only chance to help that being is to hand it over to someone else, was too much to bear. Not really a positive trend for us.
I take solace (although it doesn't really make a whit of difference at the moment) that while he was here Remington knew he was loved and wanted. He gave as well as he received and we knew (especially I knew) that he loved us. He appreciated the care, the food, the bed, the hugs, the kisses, the rides in the car, the walks, the games of fetch and tug and whatever else.
Ten days was not nearly enough. But had we found each other any later, he likely would have already been put down because his condition would have showed itself at the pound. So. Again. We have done all we can to give a deserving little one a chance, only to be left empty hearted.
Thank goodness it's Friday. And there is wine in the house.