We were devastated when Faust got sick in July, but even more so when he stopped being able to get up by himself on November 6. The following week, on the 10th, we took him to the wonderful Two Hands Four Paws physical therapists to try to help him get his strength back. But before the therapists developed a recovery plan for him, they asked that we have his hips xrayed. After telling the doctors at the animal hospital designated for the xrays that Faust had previous problems with his chest, they took pictures of his lungs to assist in the diagnosis.
This was when we received the worst news possible. It was more devastation - his hips were the same, his lungs were worse. There were completely blocked airways in his left lung and many clouded airways in his right lung. He was diagnosed with chronic lung disease and we were told that there would be nothing more we could do for him other than make him as comfortable as we could, for as long as we could. His hip problems were compounded by chronic lung disease that left him without enough breath, and there fore energy, to support both his hips and his failing lungs. He was in a tremendous amount of pain that he couldn't overcome, even though the only outward sign was his inability to stand up and walk on his own.
Unable to get up, communication with my husband and I was more difficult for him since he couldn't walk to and point at what he wanted. He was frustrated as well as embarrassed when we helped him.
Instead of prolonging his suffering, we made the most difficult choice of our lives. We decided to let him go before all of his problems became even worse and he was a still happy doggie. We didn't want his last day to be spent suffering, lying in a vet's office. Despite all the problems, he was still trying to make us feel better every time he saw us upset. We took our time trying to decide what to do with the time we had and how we would go about it.
In the end his lungs decided for us. On November 15th, he began to develop pneumonia again. He was coughing frequently and we could hear the fluid in his lungs trying to come out with every breathe. While we were hoping to have more time and didn't know it was the last weekend until late Sunday evening, that weekend was filled with amazing and fun "last times" - last time he played his favorite game (blanket monster - gnawing on our hands through our comforter), last time he got in his bean bag, last time he got on the couch (we had to help but it was clearly what he wanted), last howling, last time he got in bed with us, last time we got kisses (he was oh so heartbreakingly sparing with those kisses).
Husband and I made the final arrangements for him on Monday the 16th and said goodbye to him that night. He made such a strong bond with the people who knew him that our friends, from across the US and around the world, called when they heard the news in order to say goodbye to Faust or comfort us.
We gave our sweet boy the happiest time we could that day. We took him to a park to watch people and cars. He took in every little detail, wanting to go catch the squirrels and chase the other dogs. We shared one last meal with him, something he loved - cheese burgers & French fries. Lee and Faust matched each other bite for bite with those burgers and we all had a bit from each bunch of fries pulled from the bag. Faust even tried to take a bite off my sandwich, even though it had no beef.
Faust was the best dog ever. Despite having bad hips and being sick - he was happy until the very end.
Faust Lloyd, also known as:
The Fuzziest Faustinator
Fuzz Miester Faustie
Little Old Dude
The Fuzzy Alarm Clock
Shut Up (as a result of being the fuzzy alarm clock)
King of the Bed
We will love you and miss you forever, Faust - Second in Command for defense of the House of Lloyd, Sounder of all Alarms, King of our hearts, Faithful and Loving Friend, the most beautiful dog to walk the earth.
Rest in Peace
January 9, 1997 to November 16, 2009