Lucas has moved on.

After some great recovery and improvement, Lucas took a sudden downturn this week.

March 22nd Hike 1
March 22nd Hike 1

He was scheduled for a full blood workup Monday, March 26th, so he had to fast after dinner Sunday night. This kind of testing requires an initial blood draw, then a second after one hour, and a third after another hour.

When we got home from the last round he was famished. He was funny to watch Monday morning before the appointment. He kept going back and forth between me and Jake and all the places where food and treats live – “Surely I have indicated my interest in eating!?”

So he ate a big bowl of food and a little yogurt Monday evening.

March 22nd Hike 2
March 22nd Hike 2

Tuesday morning, he did not touch his breakfast. He did eat a few treats throughout the day. He was happy and smiley at the park and around the house. But Tuesday evening, he was not interested in dinner, neither his dry food nor the yogurt. And throughout the day he was trembling. These were not like seizures, just a constant mild shaking, like when you are too cold. I did get a call in to the vet and the Doc called me back and said that I should just keep an eye on it but not to worry too much unless he did go into a full seizure, and we could reevaluate once the blood work results came in.

Wednesday morning he also did not eat breakfast. He did still eat some treats, but he was not interested in “food”. He seemed otherwise fine throughout the day, but when he was again uninterested in his dinner, I decided to cook him an egg. He ate one scrambled egg and seemed excited and pleased about it, so I cooked him a second egg. This one I put on top of his dry food and he ate that egg and some of the kibble. There was almost zero shaking on Wednesday. But a few hours after the eggs, he threw  it all back up.

Thursday morning he was fine at the park, but would not eat again when we got home. This time, he would not even eat treats. He was getting listless. After I finished cleaning the house and we did a second trip to the park, he did a few things he does not usually do. He went into the backyard by himself – kinda just looking around, then he came back inside and went into every area of the house then just laid down in Jake’s room. It did feel to me even then that he was trying to find Jake to say goodbye.

He threw up again that afternoon. Jake and I spent a lot of time just laying on the floor hugging him. The tremors came back. I busted out the big guns, Chicken Tenders, which are nothing but dried chicken breast. He ate the first one quickly and seemed excited so I fed him chicken tenders until he was not interested anymore. I slept in the living room on the floor with him until about 3 or 4 AM. He vomited twice during the night. He was not moving very well. When I moved to my bed, he followed me in and went to sleep beside my bed – something he does not do very often anymore.

This morning, Friday March 20th, we went to the park and he would not get out of the car. I picked him up and set him down on his feet on the pavement and he walked on in to the park, drank some water, and walked just a little bit. He was really not moving well  at this point. As we moved towards the exit, he stopped and laid down. I had to carry him to the car. When we got back to the house, again he would not get out of the car.

I came inside and got Jake up and told him what was going on and that I was going to the vet, but that he might want to go sit in the car with Lucas for a few minutes, because I was not sure that we were both coming back.

They sat together a minute while I grabbed a few things in case we were there all day. I headed to the vet and Jake met us there about 15 minutes later.

I left Lucas in the car and went in to see if/when someone could see us. They got our vet to come in earlier than he was scheduled, and set up a room in the back that would give me the shortest distance to carry Lucas. When i got back out to the car, there was more vomit. I did have to carry him in, but he stood up a few minutes then laid back down. Jake arrived, the vet came in and we talked for a while, then I asked the vet just to leave us alone to think and talk a bit.

I had told Jake back at the house that I thought this might be it, and that I wanted to hear some options from the vet, but that I did not think I was going to do anything like a few days of IV fluids with Lucas stuck in a cage at the vet. I did not want that to be what his last days were like.

The vet had said that we would not be able to know too much until we did some blood work, and took some x-rays, and maybe did a few other tests depending on those findings. I asked him what kinds of treatments would there be. Without having done the tests first, obviously he could not say for sure, but certainly two to three days of fluids and some medications via IV to get him nourished and stop the vomiting. Again, he could not say for sure until looking more, but from the symptoms and the feel of the belly, he was leaning towards tumors.

Jake and I spent some time alone with Lucas again – just holding him and rubbing him and talking with him. After a while, we decided that it was time to let go. Two techs came to take him in the back to get a catheter put in, then return him to the room with us where the doc would give the final shot. Lucas did not want to get up, so the techs carried him on the comforter I had brought in from the car for him to lay on.

He passed easy and seemed relieved. Very similar to when Guthrey passed, as soon as he could feel the effects he turned his head to me and nuzzled my face.

Reunited in the clearing at the end of the path
Reunited in the clearing at the end of the path

I might say more on this later, for now I just wanted folks to know.

7 thoughts on “Lucas has moved on.”

  1. Lucas was truly one of a kind. Your sister can tell you I’m not one to cry easily, but this has my water works going.

    love from atlanta, brother. take care

  2. Nick, I’ve got nothing. Want to write something profound and comforting, but all I can come up with is that I’m so sorry. Lucas was so lucky to have you to lead him through this. I’m glad you were with him for both of your sakes. Sending love to you.

  3. Nick,

    There’s a hole in my heart with Lucas gone, but there’s also joy in knowing that we had 16 years with Lucas as our guardian angel. He was the most unselfish, loving creature. I treasure the memories with my “pretty friend.”


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