Today is day 65 since Brandon's second stroke. He is still improving, little by little, everyday with therapy sessions 3 times a week for 2 hours per session. Our hopes remain high for continued improvement. But, life continues to march on.
Brandon has 6 dachshund dogs. Last Sunday, that number increased by 5 as Sophie had her litter.
|Five brand new puppies|
These 5 will find good homes in about 6 to 8 weeks. This is not Sophie's first "puppy-birth". She gave birth about 1 1/2 years ago to a litter of 5. One of those puppies had a tough birth. While he was only partially delivered, Sophie surprisingly got up and began to walk away. This caused damage to the puppy as it was literally hanging on for dear life. Brandon stopped Sophie from walking and helped the puppy complete its birth. The puppy would stop breathing and Brandon pumped its little chest until it would start breathing again. Eventually it began breathing on its own and Sophie began cleaning it as she had done the others. Jack was the name Brandon chose for that puppy.
As Jack matured, you could tell that everything was not right with Jack. He had difficulty walking, barely able to run if at all and could not fully bark. Against all hope, his condition did not improve over time, in fact it had been on a continual decline since his birth. Without getting into his complete medical condition, a decision was going to have to be made soon because pain was creeping more and more into Jack's life. His favorite position was on the warm concrete patio where the heat seemed to give him some relief.
Brandon was faced with a difficult decision and he needed to make it quickly. This type of fateful decision was not new to Brandon. Anyone who allows dogs to share their lives must face this decision eventually and Brandon has made it a few times. It doesn't get any easier, no matter how many times it happens. He made that decision less than a week after Sophie gave birth. The beginning and ending of life within a week; not good.
Jack rode in Brandon's lap in the car and in his wheelchair. He seemed to sense what was ahead for him and was facing it head on. Three of us were there; Brandon was within inches of Jacks face and bravely comforted him by looking straight into his eyes while telling him it will be OK until Jack slipped away from this world for a place where he could run and play as complete dog, free from pain. It was a sad day.
|Brandon with Jack a few minutes|
before the end. We were there to
see Jack take his last breath knowing
he was finally getting some relief.
The following poem has always provided me with some solace at times like this.
The Last Battle
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this -- the last battle -- can't be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close -- we two -- these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.
Ya'll take care of each other. Cya you down the road.