Henry is gone.
He vomited up his water and refused his food Friday morning, so Robin took him to the emergency vet, where they diagnosed an intestinal blockage. He went in for surgery, and they removed the blockage. We were hoping to bring him home on Saturday. But then he took a turn for the worse after the surgery. He came down with a severe case of peritonitis (abdominal infection), and rapidly declined on Saturday night even after they went in again to try to find what was wrong. The infection did not respond to antibiotics.
This morning, I went in to see him and maybe make the final decision with the vet whether we should end his suffering. Turns out it wasn’t necessary. They brought him into the treatment room, and he died in my arms a minute or two later. I held him and kissed him and told him that we love him. I told him I was sorry–that we couldn’t do more for him, and for all the times I didn’t treat him as kindly as I could have. I’m very glad that I was the last thing he saw, felt, and heard, because he was my dog first and foremost. He loved everyone, but he loved me best. He would not let Robin tuck him in at night without coming to the bottom of the bedroom stairs and wait for me to come down and give the OK.
It’s easier when they are old and in declining health, and you have time to expect it and prepare. I was not ready to say good-bye to Henry yet–he was barely three years old–and I am not taking it well. He was a beautiful, smart, and loving dog, and he should have had ten more good years at least. My heart is quite shattered right now because we will not have those years with him.
Farewell, Henry. If there’s a dachshund heaven, your grandmother is waiting for you, and she’ll pay you much respect when she hears that you killed yourself eating at only three years of age. It took her fourteen years to get the same achievement, and I suspect she will be duly impressed. You were a Typical Dachshund.