Opy - The Original Gruffpuppy
We can't begin to express how we are feeling at the moment - shock, extreme sadness, confusion, anger - all of that and more. We also can't help but feel overwhelmed by the out pouring of love and support that we have received from our friends - true friends - around the globe. It has helped us more than we could ever have imagined at this horrible time in our lives, whilst we are trying (unsuccessfully at this stage !) to come to terms with our sweet gruffpuppy Opy's sudden passing. Saying "thank you" seems so awfully inadequate - maybe one day the right words will surface - but for now, "Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts" is all we can manage. We love and cherish each and every one of you.
So, what happened ?
Opy had been alittle "off" for a couple of days. She wasn't really that enthausiastic about eating - but was still eating - but didn't want to eat her crunchy biscuit bones that her and Benson get as a treat after their breakfast and dinner. Greg and I thought that maybe she has a bad tooth (what was left of them :) - and that the biscuits were too hard for her. This started on the Monday - as her and Benson were due to go to our Vet's on Thursday 23rd for pre Christmas baths and nails - we were going to get Dr Nick just to have a look in her mouth and make sure nothing was wrong. It was nothing that concerned us enough to take her sooner.
I finished work for the year on Wednesday 22nd - and I fed both her and Benson before leaving for my work break up lunch. She was fine - didn't eat her breakfast with "gusto", but did eat it and came back in and her and Benson had a play before settling down for more snoozing. Greg sat in the sun outside at lunchtime - and Opy came out and sat with him, did a wee etc - nothing unusual. All was fine.
Greg txted me on the way home from my work party - it was about 5pm - and he said that Opy was refusing her dinner, and wouldn't get up. I told him to make an appointment to see Dr Nick at 6pm and we would take her to see him. We couldn't get an appointment until 7pm. I arrived home and she was visibly confused and disinterested. We managed to feed her some bread - which she seemed to enjoy. She then vomited it all up. She was very wobbly on her feet - and didn't seem to know where she was.
We packed her up in the car immediately and raced her to the Vets - this was about 6.30pm. When Greg carried her to the car, he could feel a lump in her stomach and her stomach area was swollen and sore. Our Vet took us straight in and ran some tests - blood etc, couldn't really pinpoint what was going on - apart from her kidney and liver functions being extremely high. She needed Xrays and Ultrasounds - unfortunately, due to the time - and our clinic not having ultrasound facilities - we had to take her to the 24hr Emergency Hospital about 20minutes away. Greg and I promised ourselves we would never set foot in that place again - as we had a bad experience with Charlie there - but time was critical and we didn't have alot of choice.
I set off with Opy - one of the nurses drove Greg home to get Benson. We were worried about him as he has NEVER been left alone before, plus when we left we didn't lock up the house etc. The plan was for Greg to meet me at the Emergency hospital and we would go from there.
I got to the hospital and they took her in - she had not moved from the stretcher in the back of the car the whole way in. Things were looking really bad - she had lost all spark in her eyes and it just looked like all the fight had gone out of her.
By about 9.30pm, the Vet told us Xrays were needed etc. Greg had arrived by this time. We were told to go home and ring back at 11pm. Looking back now - I don't know why we went home, but we did. I rang at 11.00pm and the Vet had to ring us back as she was consulting. 11.30pm she rang back - the news wasn't good. Opy had a tennis ball sized tumour behind her liver (Maryann - if you are reading this - I'm sorry, this will be all too familiar to you), it was starting to "break up" and her kidneys were shutting down, and everything else would follow. We could have had her ultrasounded, but there really was no point - she was going to die. Greg and I made the decision to let her go - unbeknownst to me, Greg had already said goodbye to her when we left our regular vet clinic - I hadn't. I told them to keep her comfortable and I would be there in 20minutes.
When I arrived, she was still very unresponsive - she was also on pain medication, so was comfortable. She did recognise me and I am glad I was there holding her paw whilst she made her final journey.
By 1.30am I was home - and we were all in complete disbelief that this had happened. In the space of 12 hours she went from "yelling" at Benson and playing - to being gone. It is so hard to comprehend.
Opy was 14 - she had a wonderful life. Her passing has been very different to Charlie's - we fought for/with Charlie for almost 2 years, he never gave up and neither did we. It all happened so quickly with Opy - which is a blessing for her, but really tough for Greg and I. The hardest thing we are dealing with is, apart from her bed and pillow, (which she loved !), there is no "physical" signs of her. Charlie had toys everywhere, Benson is the same - Opy is different, there are no visual reminders, just memories in our hearts - and it hurts, so so much.
We are trying to keep things somewhat "normal" for Benson. He misses her - he looks for her. She is all he has ever known from the day he came home. Sometimes he seems sad - sometimes he seems to be oblivious. Nights are hard - mornings are harder - waking up and looking at her bed, she's not there - she's gone and not coming home. Heartbreaking.
We are fortunate that we have a few weeks off from work now, and can spend time with Benson. I don't know what we will do when we go back to work - I guess we will try and spend the next few weeks helping him adjust to being an "only dog" for awhile.
We will get another pup - Benson needs another, so do Greg and I. It will just be a matter or when.
The DWB circle is now complete - Charlie and Opy are now gone, but the friendships made will live on - just like both of our wonderful Angel pups will - in our hearts, watching over us always.