Friday, January 5, 2007
Video of Muki receiving acupuncture from Dr. Molly Rice at Coastal Holistic in Half Moon Bay, California. Dr. Rice was our vet until we sold our car and were less able to travel out of San Francisco. She was known to slip Muki some dried anchovies as a reward; you can see his hopeful interest in this clip. We were lucky to find Dr. David Fong at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists, only a short cab ride away.
On Thursday, January 4, 2007, Muki made his last trip to his vet, Dr. David Fong at the San Francisco Veterinary Specialists. In many ways we were fortunate: both of us were both able to be present, our favorite vet Dr. Fong was on-duty and available, and Muki's end was calm, quiet, uncomplicated, and relatively painless.
On Wednesday Muki had been relatively good, ate well if not much, seemed alert and responsive. At 2 am he vomited, went out for a difficult walk. At 7 am we found him in the kitchen near his food bowls, where he had collapsed. We put him in his hallway bed, one of many he had in the flat, and then took him for a difficult walk at 9 am. He could barely stand or move, seemed semi-comatose, and was generally uninterested in being out. Paul placed him back in his bed, Marianne covered him with blankets to keep his arthritic body warm, and we hoped for the best.
Marianne was able to stay with him, as she was working from home this day. She called Paul home from his office when Muki became less responsive, and we made our final somber cab ride to the vet. We hoped for a miracle: maybe an IV or pain relieving injection? But we understood this might be the end. Muki lay still on Paul's lap throughout the ride, breathing slowly, with only a slight head rise when bright sun hit the window. Paul carried him directly into the clinic, and up to a familiar exam room.
Dr. Fong examined him thoroughly. Muki's heart was strong, but his neurological system was almost completely unresponsive. Dr. Fong recommended euthanasia, and through our tears we agreed. It seemed pointless and cruel to hospitalize him for testing, and the prognosis wasn't good. Whatever minimal time Muki might have had managed he wouldn't enjoy. The procedure was calm and painless. Both of us assured Muki how much he was loved and how much he would be missed.
In future posts, we will offer happier images. Muki lived long, he lived well, and he was much cherished. He loved adventure, wherever it was, city, forest, mountain or beach, and he had many outings throughout Northern California. He died in his 15th year of life--an indication of how loved and well-treated he was--with both his parents present. We were very fortunate to share his life. He was a sweet, beautiful soul. And he will be greatly missed.