Zeke. The Countdown.

zeke-dog-pet-cute

I walk Zeke outside.

He sniffs at the grass, at the plants, at the trace of bunny in the air.

I watch him circle the yard: It’s gone.

The vigorous flourish of the tail. The accelerated gait, his canter. All gone. In its place, the all-consuming lethargy.

The panting is incessant. His barrel chest rising and falling, a steam engine chugging, The Little Red Engine That Could: I think I can, I think I can, I think I still can.

He’s parched, always. His long tongue stretches to lap up gulps of water.

And Dad, “I’m hungry. I’m always hungry. I can’t help myself. It’s those damn white pills you wrap in the lunch meat.”

The steroid dosage has been lowered, his normal surefootedness slipping.  Another stumble up the stairs this morning, his head lunging into the hardwood –and then, a soft, helpless yelp.

Water from a tap drips.

No one is ready for this. No one wants this.

This shot clock is running out.


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Comments

  1. Sounds like Zeke is well loved.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh pal, I can’t ‘like’ this post…Zeke – sweet, funny, adored…my heart hurts..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nice look

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dave, some of the most difficult times in my adult life was dealing with the end of my beloved 3 babies, Abby, Max and Lucky and I’m so deeply sorry for you the family. However I also know that my most happiest times and memories were watching them grow, the unconditional love they gave, the pure joy they brought to our household with every crazy fun thing they did, the warmth of their snuggle the security of their look look that they would protect us and the ultimate and loyal partner they were to us. I remember when you got Zeke, I remember you naming him, a puppy in the snow and all the beautiful memories you have and will make from now until He crosses the rainbow. Soak up every minute and know that you gave him a great life, a great family and you are a great DAD! I pray that Zeke has all the time with you that GOD will provide….and peace and serenity when it is time for Zeke, you and all! Xoxoxo❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m trying to be hopeful but i know better. This is going to really hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so sorry, David. He knows you understand. Our dogs ignite something primal inside us that cuts through all the other crap–ego, masks, fear of connection. They make us better. Holding you, Zeke, and the rest of your family in my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Virtual hugs from Southwest Michigan. It is never easy to say goodbye to a member of the family that loves you unconditionally. Having shared dog stories with you for years now, I’m glad I’m alone this morning so no one sees me slobbering sad. As difficult as it may be to do, I encourage you to be there with him when the clock runs out. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dave,

    It’s one of the toughest thing I have had to do as an adult. They are family so we do what’s best, enjoy the time you have and you will always have sweet memories. I made a video of just being silly with mine before he went over the rainbow bridge. It’s been years, I still watch it sometimes. All the best my friend. I wish they could live forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Christie says:

    It is so hard to see a loved one, decline…hold him close. He knows you love him, dearly…We’ve had our pup out for a hike in the mountains on Friday, he was so excited to go in the car and ride on the console and then the hike..he stopped at about every tree…I’ve noticed him slowing down, he is eight and such a good, sweet boy…he’s my husband first dog…Hugs to you and your family…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. richardkanigan says:

    I can’t say that I like the Like button for this post. I know how you feel and all I can say is just enjoy the time with your wonderful pup.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Just this morning as I was petting Ruby, our older springer spaniel, I felt the lump on her chest, hoping it hasn’t gotten any bigger. Then I realized she’s almost 10, and I should brace myself. The time is coming. But until then, I’m going to enjoy her company every day I can. It’s so hard to go through this time with pets. Your Zeke looks lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lou diaz says:

    David
    Sorry to read about Zeke, it is hard to let go, just think of all the memories, we will too,
    Seek is loved by many

    Liked by 1 person

  13. As a former dog owner and lover, these are the times most dreaded.
    -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh so sorry to hear this! I know how close you and your family are to Zeke. 😢 Each day will be precious for you. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh no, David. Agony. We went through it for 3 months with Rufus, and I can relate to all of it – the steroids, the pills , the thirst. What really got to us was he tried so hard to cover it up. Finally he gave in and looked at us one morning saying please let me go now. Still cuts me up to think about it. Thinking of you all mister.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s so hard to watch them decline. For us the heart-break came last February when Bumble clearly told us it was time to let him go. Please enjoy the time you have with Zeke. Give him a hug from me.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh no…my heart breaks for your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This hit home David. It wasn’t easy saying goodbye to my father this morning. And like someone up here said “We don’t know if this is the end or a step along the way!

    I wish you all Grace, tons of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You are surrounded with understanding and compassion. Be good to yourself, your companion knows the love that is shared.
    Peace…

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh David, this hurts. Courage…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh, this is so sad. I’ve probably missed quite a few posts about Zeke. What happened? What is wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bad vaccine (related to a regular shot). He immediately reacted badly to it. Steroids are trying to treat it but it doesn’t look all that promising. He’s always hungry, thirsty and hot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is so horrible, OMG. Once again, in an instant so much can change. I hope so much that a miracle happens and Zeke recovers. I have wondered for the last 22 years of my life about vaccines and immunizations. I blame immunizations on Cody’s sudden diabetes as a new baby. He was fine for many months and then overnight he was diabetic after receiving immunizations. I’ll never know for sure, but it is my belief that injecting newborn babies with so many deadly illnesses all at once in an effort to try and protect them…is really too much. Anyway, I feel so awful for Zeke and I’ll be hoping for a miracle. Love to you and your family.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Christie says:

        Bad vaccine, that is awful…Our daughter had a bad reaction to a vaccine when she was under18 months old, in an instant, changed her forever…Again, I am sorry about Zeke, hope he is resting comfortably today…

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Crying. Feeling the love for Zeke, feeling Zeke’s love for you, as he tries to stay present for you. Our golden Henry did the same. Kept on going, even though the going was so difficult. Henry’s been gone now for over 2 years, but he still visits occasionally (and TRULY, he does). I discovered that they have such strong spirits, they remain with us forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh, DK, I hate this for you.
    I’ve been in your situation too many times. I wish I knew the RIGHT way to do it, but all we have is our gut and the communication we’ve nurtured with our animal. All I can offer is: Trust yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. my heart breaks for you. Zeke is so noble looking….

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Ahhh, pal, like Mimi, just cannot bring myself to hit the ‘like’ button. I know in my deepest heart what an integral part of your family this beautiful boy is, and having been down this road several times myself, I know the gaping hole that they leave when they go. I still have moments when I am hit by a memory of one of my canine companions and just weep. Love Zeke all ya can in the time that you have, and as Sandy says, trust your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. he is such a lovely dog and family member, cherish every moment –

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Oh, David, I’m so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Can’t think how I found you. Through my network, somehow. Interesting posts. This one really grazes a nerve. We have an old Lab and his days are numbered. His energy reminds me of what I’m reading here of your own sweet Zeke. Otter tail still thrashing, arthritic paws bedamned, still up for walkies, no matter. He stumbles occasionally which doesn’t seem to faze. When a strong spirit keep them alive, we count our blessings. Sending you fond thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Never lose hope, my friend. No matter what!

    Liked by 1 person

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