Thursday, 11 October 2012

TYLER - an obituary - November 2000-October 2012

We had Tyler put to sleep yesterday, Wednesday 10 October 2012, after 11 months with us.

Tyler was my mother's dog. Since she had suffered from series of massive strokes and a heart attack, and gone to live in Selwyn Village's hospital, he had been under the benign neglect of my father.

When dad broke his kneecap in December 2011, he and Tyler came to live with us while dad recuperated. Tyler was in a sorry state. The first thing we did was send him to the grooming parlour, and get rid of the 2" matt of fur and muck:

We took him to the vet and got him vaccinated for the first time in two years, and also got his diet changed to Hills Joint Diet. Tyler suffered from severe osteo-arthritis in his hind quarters, and the stairs he had been climbing up and down at Bill's house had not done him any good.

He thrived. He stopped barking incessantly - I think he had been bored senseless. He settled in, and once the cats had learned he couldn't catch them, they reached a state of truce. His weight dropped from 34kg down to 28kg - a huge strain taken off his bones.

By the middle of this year, however, his arthritis had got worse, and the vet put him on Pentosan (I think that's what it's called). It definitely seemed to help. But over the last couple of months, the pain got worse. Then he got a tummy-bug and a sky-high temperature. We had weeks of diahorrea. Change of diet to Intestinal biccies. Painkillers. More diahorrea. Tyler spending quality time outside. Because he slept very heavily, the pain in his back end, and his struggle to get to his feet when he realised he REALLY needed to go, his bowels and bladder would often start releasing before he got out the door.

He could no longer put any weight on his left rear leg, and his right rear leg wasn't much better. He would have to literally 'unwind' to lay down on the floor, and getting up was a real struggle. He could only curl up in one direction - hence nearly identical photos - onto his right side.

Then another tummy-bug struck a couple of weeks back. The final straw was coming home from work earlier this week, after Becca had done a wonderful job vacuuming the floor, to find Tyler had gone again. The following morning, following the sound of smashing crockery (the border), I came out to find her having walked thru Tyler-shit, tracking it thru the house.

Tuesday night dad came round to say goodbye. He'd grown more affectionate towards Tyler since he hadn't been looking after him, but there wasn't much love there.

Yesterday morning I took all three dogs for a final walk along the reserve. Tyler hop-skipped along, eating lots of catshit, and generally having a great time. On the way back (and this is only about a 200m walk) he fell over 3 times. He sat on the wet grass, looking a bit bewildered and embarrassed, before struggling to his feet and continuing.

When David and I got him down to the vet's, Gary was shocked at how bad Tyler's pain actually was, and put up no resistance to our request to have him put to sleep.

Once the drug was inserted in his vein, it was over very quickly.

We cried. He was a pain in the behind, and we never really loved him, but he had been part of our family for a year.

Rest in peace Tyler. No more pain buddy.

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