this morning at 12:30 AM, Roxy and
I lost our best friend. To anyone who
has read The Journey the past 3 1/2 years,
they too have lost a friend...if only
through their computer screen. Shizzle was
in 25 videos throughout the years, dozens
of pictures and over one hundred mentions.
He laid by my side as I built the
guest-house, as I edited my videos,
as I dealt with my divorce, and was
single-pawedly the reason I fought so
hard to keep my house. For Roxy of course
they were never apart. Every walk,
every meal, just every second. Shizzle
affected everyone he met with his "lap dog
love" at 125 pounds, and I have never been
closer to an animal in my life.
show that bond, and that
for the sake of truth and documenting what happened,
that's the end of the memorial. So wipe your eyes
after watching that video (easily the saddest
video I've ever posted) and prepare yourself for a
pretty unfortunate story that absolutely has to be
told. I highlighted this part of the story in red so
if you want to skip it you can. It will greatly upset
you. Hell who am I kidding, the whole thing is
upsetting, but this part will simply infuriate
When I last
left the story I was waiting for the test
results. They showed he had a very low platelet count,
his white blood cell count was high and something
irregular with the liver. They said keep him on the
steroids for the platelets, they had some anti-biotics
as the high white blood cell count showed infection,
and some liver meds I could pick up. I went
immediately to get them. On the way there I was a
bit frustrated as it seemed his bleeding was a bigger
issue as it was now coming out of his penis because of
their stupid urine sample mistake. I was gonna give
him every shot though...
...and then the
pills were close to $300. ?! I was so frustrated.
I pulled out my phone and proceeded to call
EVERYONE I could think of for advice. Then I
talked to another doctor who said, really - he needs a
blood transfusion more than anything. So I went
home without the pills and thought I'd give him one
day on the steroids. If they improved his bleeding
I would go full-boar. Otherwise, I just
didn't think it was realistic to have him in a
hospital getting a blood transfusion and IV
although his nose seemed to stop bleeding and his eye
even seemed to get better - he was going downhill
quickly. That night he was puking blood, the following
morning he couldn't even keep water down and at that
point to "help" him I would need to put him
in the hospital for a good week for the transfusion,
the fluids, and an IV for the meds...
...and I almost
did it. He had so much fight in him. Even though
he was delirious at times he seemed to want to fight
and it killed me that he could be dying of a simple
infection. But again, he couldn't keep water down and
I just couldn't risk what could be a 5 figure
solution when I had no idea what to expect. I
called to make the appointment and they were booked so
I made it for this morning at 11:30 AM. I called
2 more times however on Sunday and they just couldn't
squeeze him in - I was kinda pissed about that,
but I didn't imagine he would be in much more
pain for another 12 hours...
deadly wrong. By 11 PM I was calling emergency
hospitals, only to be told they would charge me
TEN TIMES what a normal vet would to put him
down. I thought we shoudl wait, but Shizzle just
couldn't. It got ugly. I'll spare you the
details but suffice to say, it was as bad as you can
imagine because he fought soooooooo hard. His 3 year
old age showed. He fought and fought and fought.
I wept and wept and wept. It was so painful and
so traumatic for me, Donna, and Roxy - I just can't
express it in words. The anger comes in right about
replaying the events that happened to lead us here.
Let me tell you the exact timeline of things that
happened on Friday.
in and he was in good spirits. Doin' tricks for
treats, lickin' my face. Not his normal hyper self,
but still Shizzle. They said it was serious and
they needed said he should watch him overnight.
I told the doctor I just wanted to see the
blood results first and then go from there. She
said fine. They took him back to draw blood and get
a urine sample.
pass and they ask us to leave the room and go to
the waiting room. Another 15 minutes pass and
I even mentioned to Donna: "How long
does it take to draw blood?". The doctor comes out
and is much more concerned and wants to make sure
we don't want him to stay overnight. I again
said, I really want to see the blood results
before I take a course of action.
minutes pass and still nothing. I ask to speak
to her in another room and she tells me she can
keep him at the vet until they close at 7, to watch
him without charging an overnight stay.
I agree to that.
-We get a call
from her that he is perky and we can pick him up
aroud 5:45. When he comes out Donna notices his
stomach is completely swollen. I ask the lady
at the desk what happened and I demanded to
talk to the doctor again immediately. They took him
back again. Another 15 minutes we wait and they
bring us into a room. 2 doctors this time proceed
to tell me that when they tried to take his urine,
blood filled his stomach. It wasn't a big deal it
would absorb over time into his body. I believed
them and went home.
-The next day
as I mentioned before his eye started to clear
up and his nose bleed stopped, I assumed
thanks to the steroids, but the night before his
penis was bleeding and he was completely listless.
We know how the rest went.
It's clear to me
that they caused severe internal bleeding. They
admitted as such. Now granted, it doesn't mean they
did anything wrong - but his platelet level was so low
that a routine proceedure caused massive internal
bleeding. It begs some huge questions:
Why they would
do that proceedure when it was obvious he had a
blood clotting problem?
Why did they
hide it from us when they knew right away that
something went wrong?
Why did we have
to demand an explanation for something so OBVIOUSLY
Why would they
allow him to BLEED INTERNALLY without advising
us to put him down? He suffered for 2 days because
And the biggest
aggrivation of all? It looks like the steroids were
actually working. Had it not been for the internal
bleeding, it looks like he would've pulled though.
I would've stopped the bleeding by Sunday and
been able to give him the anti-biotics and liver meds
and he had a pretty healthy chance at making it. So
I'm pretty frustrated to say the least. A final check
of the back yard revealed bloody stool and vomit and
it was clear he was suffering from internal bleeding
for 2 straight days until he died an extremely violent
and painful death.
another way to look at this. I did everything
I could do with the info I had, and they did
everying they could do with the info they had. They
had no reason to suspect a routine proceedure would
cause the massive bleeding it did. What is completely
unforgiveable is that they weren't up front with me
and didn't allow me the decision to put him down when
it was obvious he could never recover from that
bleeding. I mean not only was his stomach bloated - it
was hard. Something was seriously wrong and
again - they admitted their "prick" to his bladder is
what caused that, but it took me demanding to speak to
them to understand that and they were remarkably vague
about what had occured. There is however the issue of
I can't draw this
out. I just can't. I am having a difficult
time even writing this entry. My hands hurt from
digging a grave, I'm emotionally and physically
exhausted, I have so much I have to do this
week for CBS and to have to re-live this all day in 7
seperate phone calls and then this has pushed me to
the edge. Then the video? Oh fuck me. I can't do it
anymore. I can't sue these people, not because they
don't deserve it, but because I can't emotionally
take it. Yes, I believe had they not caused the
bleeding he would be alive and doin' alright.
Unfortunately there was NO WAY I could've known
that allowing them to get a urine sample (which
I easily got the next day the old fashioned way)
would lead to this. So I truly did everything
I could do. I have to accept that and let
go... to a degree. When this has passed for a few days
we'll see where my fight is, but right now it's all
I can do to just finish the story. Your advice on
the boards will be much appreciated.
So when he finally
passed, the kitchen turned into a certain episode in
Season 4 of The Sopranos: The clean-up. Because of
this show I knew to get out the bleach, get the
garbage bags, I used terms like: "hide the
body from the neighbors"...it was a bit of comic
relief. You just go into "that mode" because you have
to. Donna was extremely helpful and we were able to
get Shizzle prepared for the next day. Ironically it
started raining the second we put him outside. Poetic
I guess is more like it. And Roxy unfortunately
was freaked out. She whimpered around him a few
times near the end knowing he was dying which just
ripped me apart and when he finally did pass, she was
just hiding in her dog house. Frightened to no end.
She did see him when he was dead, but wanted nothing
to do with it. The smell was pretty horrific too. Poor
girl. Then of course, bright and early the next
morning it was time to go to work.
There was no
way they were taking my dog. I wanted my dog
on my property and with a burial that I could see
every day and remember him by. I understand that in
recent decades most cities have outlawed burying your
pets but I just couln't stand to have someone dispose
of my best friend in some land fill and saw no reason
for cremation. He belonged in his yard no matter how
difficult and unpleasant the process was.
and I dug a pretty impressive grave.
It was 5 feet long 3 feet wide and 4 1/2
feet deep by the end. We went through 2
rock layers, dirt, sand...it was one
helluva long process and as you can see
from the picture there were a LOT of
rocks. I spent a good deal of time wading
through it with my hands to save the rocks
for future use.
we got to the point of having to lower
Shizzle down into the grave and poor Roxy
knew exactly what was going on. The smell
was certainly hard to forget.
got the first layer of dirt over him Roxy
just stood over the grave and stared.
Although horrendously sad, it was also very
interesting. I was detached enough to be able
to take a picture as it was just
extraordinary to me that she really knew who
was in there. She was very concerned and very
serious as she walked around the grave,
sniffing and staring. I thought it was best
to allow her to do this as long as she wanted
so she could make the connection. Although
I affectionately call her "Box of Roxy"
as she tends to be on the dense side, her
instinct certainly came out here. She knew
her best friend had died.
And that's what it
really comes down to. We can fight the particulars, we
can get caught up in what could have been but in the
end you have to know in your heart you did
everyting you could. Also know that in their hearts
the vets had no intention of hurting Shizzle and were
only hiding what happened because of this maddening
sue happy society. Malpractice is so high now that
they can barely do their jobs or even give you
adivice. Of course this is me talking the day Shizzle
died, we'll see what I think in a couple of
I used the rocks
to make a nice little design. I can't imagine
that will be feasible to keep forever considering
leaves fall 12 months of the year but for the time
being it will bring a smile to my face everytime
I see it.
all dressed up a la The Cosby Show and
Keith even gave a humorous eulogy in his
pajama bottoms and his appropriate
"Scooby-Doo" tie. I had already cried
so goddamn much that the
"ceremony" was really just to have
something to smile about. Roxy in a tie is
cute as hell.
course I get to try to piece my life
back together and deal with the issues
that were at hand what seems like a month
ago. Again, I do appreciate your
advice on how to handle the vet situation
as I'm so emotionally exhausted I may not
be in a position to make the appropriate
choice. I will be pretty grief stricken
for awhile. Shizzle meant the absolute
world to me and a part of me really is
Rest in peace
sweetie. I'm sorry I couldn't help your suffering the
last 2 days. I love you.