Unexpectedly, today we said good-bye to Blackie, our sweet 16.5 year old pup. He'd been with us for all of his life – since we brought him home as a tiny black puppy. He was Kevin's ninth birthday present. And when you give a nine year old boy a black dog, what does he name him? Blackie, of course!
Last night, during the last walk for the day, Randy said that Blackie collapsed twice. Randy had to carry him back to the rig, he was unable to walk. Randy took him up to the bedroom and placed him on his bed and made him comfortable. Blackie seemed to recognize us, but was even more quiet than usual. Randy felt Blackie'd had a stroke.
Neither Randy nor I slept well last night. We kept waking up and checking on Blackie. He seemed to be resting comfortably. Randy finally just got up around 3am 'cause he just couldn't sleep. I followed about two hours later when I heard Blackie's nails clicking on the bathroom tile floor. He was up!
While that seemed to be good news, it was soon evident to us that something wasn't right at all. Randy had to carry him down to the living room. Blackie slowly wandered around, not seeming to know where he was or what he usually did once he was there and walking was a problem. His back legs didn't seem to work right. Randy took him outside to go to the bathroom, but there was no walking involved. Blackie was able to stand, but very wobbly.
We both had to work today and were okay with doing so because by the time we left Blackie had settled down and was sleeping. That was very normal. :) But, we knew he needed to be seen by a vet.
I called the vet recommended to us by Alicia and he was able to see us at 11am. Again, it was obvious that Blackie was not himself. The staff was so very kind and accommodating. Dr. Johnson examined Blackie and agreed that he did seem to have had a stroke which had compromised his health. Dr. Johnson said he could give him steroids which could strengthen him and give him a few weeks or we could put him to sleep. The consensus was putting Blackie to sleep was the most kind thing to do. Even if the steroids gave him some time, who knew what he might go through during that time.
So, around 11:30, while we held him, Blackie passed away quietly. Yes, it was hard. And we will definitely miss him. But, Randy and I feel we did the best thing for Blackie, He'd had a wonderful life; he had been dearly loved; and we didn't want him to suffer any more.
Good-bye, Blackie. You were a great pup.