My heart is broken and I’m not sure it’ll ever be repaired.
If you follow me on social media or subscribe to my weekly Hot Sheet, then you’ve seen hundreds of pictures of our fur-babies over the years. Harley, Heineken, Zeus and Stella as as much my children as my own flesh and blood. For those with fur-babies of your own, you understand that they are family members in every sense of the word. This year has been exceptionally difficult for us.
On June 9th, we lost our sweet Harley. And one week ago, on August 10th, we had to say goodbye to our sweet boy, Zeus.
The loss is astounding, the pain overwhelming. The tears still fall, my heart still aches.
Originally, Zeus wasn’t supposed to come home with us. We had been looking for a German shepherd puppy so Harley would have a friend and came across a breeder here in Texas who had recently had a litter of puppies. I noticed Zeus almost instantly, but the family was excited about a white one, so we actually decided to get his brother. I think my heart was always set on Zeus.
By the time the litter was ready for adoption, Zeus’s picture had been pulled from the website and I wanted to know what happened to him. We were told he wasn’t going to make it, so they had removed him from the list of available puppies.
Not going to make it? That was unacceptable to me. I knew I couldn’t leave him behind, so I asked if I could have him anyway. I was going to do something to ensure he did make it.
We took him and his brother home that day and never looked back. I named him Zeus because I wanted him to be strong and powerful and he needed a name that would suit him.
From the very first day we brought Zeus home, he battled health issues. Nothing we couldn’t handle, we thought. Sure, we accrued some veterinary bills, but we were confident that we could get him as healthy as his domineering brother. It took a few months, and Zeus pulled through, strong and healthy.
We thought the worst was over.
Around the time Zeus turned 3, we realized something was wrong. Something serious. We took him to the vet, then took him to specialists, but no one seemed to know what the problem was. They told us his liver enzymes were off, but no one could pinpoint the problem. Unfortunately, due to his other health issues, any sort of invasive surgery to explore would’ve done more harm than good.
Zeus turned 5 on June 9th of this year and a few weeks after his birthday, we took him in because his belly had bloated. It was then that he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and it was in the late stages. We were toldd he had 1 – 5 months to live. That was in July.
Although we didn’t want to accept this news, we weren’t given much of a choice. So, we scheduled a beach vacation and took Zeus to see the ocean for the first and last time. The last few weeks of his life were filled with love and adventure and we have memories that will last a lifetime.
Unfortunately, his condition worsened rapidly. The vet told us the toxins were filling his body because his liver was no longer processing them. His poor belly became three sizes too big for his body and he was showing signs of confusion. His pain was obvious, so the decision had to be made. Even though we knew it was coming, that didn’t prepare us for the pain that came with saying goodbye.
Zeus and Harley will forever be in our hearts and one day I know the pain will lessen, but until then, I’m trying to cope.
My heart is broken, the tears won’t stop. I’m not sure we’ll ever be the same.