Our beloved family dog, Sky, affectionately known as Mr. Sky and Sky Dog, passed away last month. He was just shy of 11 years old.
We thought for sure we would have more time with him. But from the moment we found out he was sick, we had just about one more week with him. It was very sudden.
Which on one hand was nice, because he went out without being deaf, blind and in pain for years like most dogs. But on the other, it was very hard to handle and process.
He had a pancreatic tumor that was so large (the size of a melon) and it was pushing all his organs into his rib cage and causing him pain. That tumor could have been removed, if we hadn’t found cancer in other areas of his body. Sky also had cancer on his liver and lungs.
The tumor could rupture at any moment causing him to hemorrhage and pretty much die an awful death. The vet said we could gamble and maybe get another week, even a month out of him, but he recommended putting him down immediately. We could tell Sky was in pain and did not want him to suffer in the slightest, and of course did not want to run the risk of a hemorrhage and traumatic death. We made the decision to put him down right away, and got to enjoying our last few days with him.
We wanted to make his last days very special for us all. We took him to the beach twice and cooked him steak. We loved on him, let him sleep in bed with us and on the brand new couch. We got to hug and play and say our goodbyes.
We were lucky that our vet came to our house to put him down. It was horribly sad, but very comfortable and peaceful. I am grateful. The living room in which my daughter came into the world is the same living room that Sky left the world. I wish that all humans and pet humans can be born and die in the peace and comfort of their own home.
Penelope did not end up being with us when Sky died. I was so torn about having her with us. I don’t want to shelter her or “protect” her from real life. I want her to not be afraid of death, just like I am. I want her to know that is a natural and normal part of life and the cycle of life, although painful at times, is beautiful and of God’s perfect design.
My husband did not want her to be there because he wanted to be able to fully grieve and focus on Sky. I agreed with him that I did not want to divert any attention away from Sky and I just didn’t want to argue with him during such a sad time. So she stayed at one of our good friends in our neighborhood.
I don’t think there is a right or wrong, each family needs to think about many factors when making the decision. When I asked on the M+BL Facebook lots of people said they had their small children in attendance and that it was helpful, some said that as children they were sheltered from it and wish their parents had let them been apart of it, and some parents said they would never let their child be there.
Sky was our first baby. All those years of waiting for Penelope, I had Sky to nurture and love and grow parenting skills. Once Penelope arrived I hated how little attention I gave him. I felt so tapped out that after giving to and taking care of Penelope, my husband, myself, the house there wasn’t much left for him. I so wish I had better patience with him his last years. He was still very well taken care of, but people are not joking when they say things change for the family dog when a baby comes.
Oh Sky was so moody sometimes! If we went on a trip for two weeks (in which we would line up 2 to 3 different caregivers so he was amply taken care of – we never dropped him off at the Vet) he would be pissy with us for a couple of day, to show is disapproval of us leaving him.
He loved laying out in the sun.
This is our new leather couch, that we had gotten a couple of weeks before we found out he was sick. He was always allowed on the couch, because our couch was a piece of you know what and I didn’t care. When we got the new couch, we stopped letting him up on it, but as soon as we found out he was sick, he could lay where ever he wanted to.
These are some of my favorite pictures of Sky over the years.
Good Lord, he hated Halloween, but always was kind enough to allow me to put a costume on him. Even before Penelope arrived, I loved doing family costume themes, above is the year I was queen bee, Peter was a bee keeper and sweet Sky was our baby bumble bee.
He was so good with babies. I was a nanny for years before Penelope arrived and he was always so good and patient. Sometimes he would get too excited, but they could be pulling his tail while he was eating and he never let out a growl. Pit bulls have such a bad rap but they are the sweetest
dogs and the best family dogs.
I love that he was with us when Penelope entered the world. He never left my side the whole labor and when she came out, he was peering over the birth tub and you could tell he really understood what a huge deal he was witnessing. He was also in our wedding and he has been in so many of our big life moments.
I love that picture of the three of us in bed later that morning when Penelope was born. Her first onesie that I picked out was an organic onesie with a screen print of a pit bull on it, in honor of her big brother Sky.
I put the picture of him with the pots of herbs and veggies, because he has been with me since I was 20 years old. Back when I lived in the college ghetto, had plastic green furniture and could only garden in pots. What a huge journey my twenties were, so much growth, change and life experiences, and he was by my side for them all.
We miss you and love you so much buddy. And I know we will see you in heaven one day.