Friday, June 13, 2014

Jax's Final Week


I am broken hearted to deliver this post to you. It has been such a sad week for OBG. We lost our very special,  sweet, beautiful Jax. He went to the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday. He was doing great, and he had just about achieved his weight loss goal. We were planning a huge celebration. Then Mary, his foster/forever Mom, started to notice he was having tummy troubles and it was tender to touch.

Turns out poor Jax had a huge abdominal mass pressing on his organs. Cancer - oh how awful that word is!  He went peacefully to the bridge -- his snout resting in his Mom's hand.  Our deepest sympathy and a very special thanks to Mary, Bill and Ziggy for giving Jax such a great home these last few months and all the love he so richly deserved.  Rest in peace, Sweet Jax! You left us way too soon and we miss you so much already!

Jax's Mom wanted to share his remaining blog posts with you. He was ahead of his posts in his weight loss success and we thought you would enjoy reading the last few weeks before he got sick.  Mary also shares with us the pain and love of helping Jax get through his last week. Please read and think of our Jax!

Week 12:
His beautiful chocolate fur was like
velvet

JAX
I was scabby and furless when I came into rescue, but now I have lots and lots of fur. I can hardly see out from under my top knot. I’m good as a dust mop for picking up grass and sand to bring into the house. My fur is not an unmixed blessing. Mary tries to brush the tangles out, which reminds me that I have an urgent appointment in another room.

ZIGGY 
You know how much fur Jax has? So much that he gets treats caught in to fur around his snout. I love stealing pieces of carrot that are stuck under his chin.

MARY
Jax went to the groomer this week. He was happy to meet all the other dogs. The groomer said he was much calmer than the times he had been in to have his claws trimmed. Now that Jax has been groomed, petting him is like running my hands through mink. His fur looks like velour, and his energy level is way up. Another two pound weight loss—he’s 32 pounds this week. And only part of it was hair loss. Way to go, Jax.

Week 13:

JAX       
He had finally mastered the couch by
himself
Zigg can just step onto the couch, but I have to start in the dining room and take a flying leap. Enjoy this video of him jumping up on the couch. I am doing this many times a day. Practice, practice, practice. After a half hour on the sofa, a guy needs a drink—and another run at the couch. Also, many people come to the door, and I feel obliged to hop off the sofa and run to the door to bark at them. If Mary lets them in, I get my blue toy and give it a big shake before I offer it to them. Mary says I’d be great as a greeter in a big box store.

ZIGGY
The brown dog isn’t fat or stinky anymore. We are having a lot of fun running around the house barking. I know he doesn’t want to fight. He just likes the sound of his own bark…and so do I. When I’m on the sofa and trying to block his jumps, Mary puts me in my crate. I like my crate.

MARY
We’ve had a calm, lovely week. Jax’s weight is stable at 32. He is such a gentlemanly dog—doesn’t jump on people, sits when he sees me holding the leash, watches me cook from the kitchen doorway, waits to see is an admirer wants a face lick. He has the run of the house when the people are out. Luckily, this doesn’t seem to bother Zigg.

Week 14:

JAX
His glamor shot 
I’ve had a very busy week. A photographer/videographer stopped by to take pictures of me doing my thing. She thought I was a nice dog…she couldn’t keep her hands off me. Most people can’t. Mary lets them pet me if I don’t bark as they walk up to me. I did one bad thing this week. Zigg was gone, and Mary came home with a skinny black dog I had never smelled before. I barked and snarled to let that new dog know whose house this is. Guess what! The weird-smelling dog was Zigg! I am so used to living with a guy who smells like dirty socks that it never crossed my mind that I knew this fresh-smelling fellow.

ZIGGY
Can you believe that Jax didn’t know his own brother? This proves that baths are always a mistake. But I love my short haircut. The bad thing was, my bed in the crate disappeared while I was at the groomer. I so enjoyed chewing off the fuzzy parts, and the bed smelled just like the real Ziggy.

MARY
I was surprised by the fracas at the front door. Usually they give each other a quick sniff and race to the kitchen. I guess smell matters. More worrisome—Jax had his first accident in the house, and his second, and his third. Cleaning up poop is just part of fostering (sometimes), but it worries me in a dog who has been rock solid on housetraining up until now.

Week 15

JAX
Something is wrong. It hurts to jump onto the sofa, so I have stopped. It feels better to lie on the hard, cold floor, but sometimes when Mary is on the sofa I ask to be lifted onto it. I need to be able to see Mary all the time.

ZIGGY
When Jax and I were running to bark at the postman—like we do every day—I bumped him just a little and he snapped at me.

MARY
Bill is out of town, so I’m walking the boys separately. Jax is hardly barking at anything, and not pulling on the leash. Another couple of formless poops in the house despite the Metronidazole from the vet visit. He’s suddenly clingy. Wherever I am, I can see his big brown eyes watching me.

JAX
My tummy hurts. One of the neighbors gave me a tummy jiggle and I snapped--I didn’t mean to hurt him. When we got home, Mary touched my tummy very gently. Then she cried.

ZIGGY
Mary is feeding Jax chicken and sweet potato, because he won’t eat kibble. Sometimes he doesn’t finish his sweet potato. I clean his bowl. Sometimes he still runs to the door with me. I am careful not to bump into him.

MARY
Jax doesn’t seem to be in distress, but his belly is feeling tighter. I think I feel a mass on the right side of his abdomen. This is not good. I fear he is a very sick dog.

JAX
I’m not very hungry. I’ll eat a little bit of chicken if Mary chews it for me. We went to a vet where they laid me on my back and put goo on my tummy. Then they stuck a needle in. Mary fed me little bits of chicken. I was good. Mary cried.

ZIGGY
I like sweet potato. I’m in my crate a lot, so none of these poops in the house can be blamed on me.

MARY
We had a dinner party. I left Jax uncrated because he enjoys commotion. The last guest to arrive told Bill, “There’s something on your entryway rug that doesn’t look like chocolate frosting.” Another Jax accident. I was too sad to enjoy company, but the distraction was welcome—I think for all four of us.

Monday Jax had an abdominal sonogram. He had a huge right-sided abdominal mass and fluid around his bowels. Liver cancer, liver failure. I alerted the OBG board and made him one last vet appointment for Tuesday afternoon.
JAX
Farewell Jax

Mary loves me. Mary will take care of me. I didn’t mean to snap at Bill when he was helping me onto the sofa.

ZIGGY
Jax is sick. We are sad.

MARY
I spent Tuesday with Jax. He pooped out on the morning walk just a block from home. He didn’t want a whole breakfast, so I slipped him tiny bites of chicken all day. I always wonder if I’m saying good-bye too soon—or too late. Jax roused himself to bark at the postman. But mostly we laid together on the floor. He didn’t want to be touched; he just wanted to rest his snout on my hand. His breathing was quick and shallow. It was time to say good-bye.

JAX
Mary loves me. Mary will take care of me.

MARY
At the vet I lifted Jax very carefully onto the exam table. He started whimpering when the tech took hold of him to start the IV. The tech said Jax was probably just making a fuss because Bill and I were in the room. She suggested they take him into another room to start the IV and then bring him back. I said he’d been a mannerly dog on his last six visits. He was whimpering now because he was in pain. She needed to start the IV without moving him. After the sedative, Jax laid down in frog dog position and put his snout in my hand. Good-bye, sweet Jax.

7 comments:

  1. Mary, Jax was such an inspiration to me and my new adoptee, who is also overweight and dieting. I always looked forward to your blog updates as I tracked my own girl's weekly weight loss. Learning of your loss of Jax was especially hard for me because I also recently lost my previous OBG adoptee after three wonderful years together. Losing a dog to cancer is grueling...the decline comes on fast... but it is messy. I too always grapple with determining when the time is right to say goodbye. A Vet once said to me "better a week too early than a day too late". Sadly, I've learned how true that is.

    Thank you for the wonderful care and love you gave Jax, and for sharing his story with us all.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sandy! Thank you so much for your lovely note. I passed it on to Mary.

      Good luck with your pup's campaign.

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    2. Dear Mary, Bill and Ziggy, and all of Jax's family:

      A little over 2 month's ago, we lost our beloved Katie. She too developed an illness after coming so far in her treatment of Cushing's disease.

      I tell you now, little Jax was as special too you as Katie was to us. These sweet dogs come to us and not only make our lives whole, but they become our whole life.

      We shower them with love and kisses without measure and give them a special home to enjoy and feel safe.

      It is so cruel and unfair that nature changes the rules and robs us of the joys these fur kids bring to our lives.

      I wish I could have some special words to take away the tremendous hurt you feel so deeply, but I do not. I pray for my Katie every day and will add Jax to my list. May the God over all of us, hold these two souls in his mercy. May He give us who grieve their loss, comfort for our spirit, as we now trust Him to protect our precious babies.

      We now have a sacred duty to lead good lives so we can see our beloved friends again. We must honor their lives and hold close their memories until it is our time to meet them at the Rainbow Bridge.

      We loved our kids with all we had and their happy faces we rewards beyond measure. Before they left us, Katie and Jax gave us a very special gift - their paw prints are etched on our hearts forever.

      In shared heartfelt sympathy, we feel your loss too.

      Dave and Janice Lusk

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    3. Hi Dave and Janice. Thank you so much for your kind note. I passed it on to Mary. Arline

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  2. I cried reading this. It took me back to when I went through this with my cocker Harry four years ago. Heartbreaking. So sorry Jax and Mary had to go through this ;(

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Alisha, for your comment. I am still in shock and cannot believe it. I'm so sorry for your loss of Harry.

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  3. I am so sad. I can't thank you enough for taking care of Jax when we could not.....I am heartbroken.

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