Friday, April 2, 2021

Farewell Payton


I just had my cry at 1:00 AM. I had to get it out of the way because later today I have to be the father and husband and rock. We'll be taking our dog Payton to the vet for the last time and saying goodbye.

We got this handsome Beagle/Australian Cattle Dog  5 years ago from a great place here in Erie called The ANNA Shelter. On their paperwork his name was Peyton, but this isn't a Peyton Manning kind of household, we're more a Walter Payton kind of group, so I changed the spelling. They took him in as a stray. He was there for a long time, got adopted and then was dropped back in to the shelter after he got heartworm and his owner didn't want to deal with it. The shelter took care of it and he sat there for 8 months. 

 I took my daughter there to look at some cute little fuzz ball we saw online. An older couple was signing the paperwork for it when we got there. So we went and looked at the rest. All the dogs were barking and going wild. Jumping and wanting attention. Except Payton. He just sat there, against his pen door, shy and quiet. Eventually we took him outside and spent some time with him. He was sweet and timid. We got my wife and son to come with our other dog to meet with him. (This is a requirement they have.) All went well and he came home with us.

He was afraid to go up stairs and it was a couple months before he tried. He was afraid to go on the couches, but once he realized he was allowed, he loved it. And if you got up he was skootching over to where you were, or he was jumping into your spot from another. 

He was terrified of feet. Walking past him, swinging by him, whatever, he was terrified. It seemed clear he at some point was roughed up and abused. He had this one rib that was screwed up and stuck out weird. Oh, and he didn't bark. it was 4 months before we ever heard a peep from him. But when he found it, and saw he wasn't punished for being a dog, he used it. It was powerful with a howl on the end of it. When he got excited and howled it was hilarious because our other dog, Finnegan (a Shih Tzu) wanted to howl too. Eventually Payton taught him how to get his own little howl out.

Payton was always gentle. Always sweet. He didn't know how to play with other dogs or toys. When he finally played with a toy on Christmas, we were all so excited. He saw this and quickly you saw him walk with a little more pride, and lead you to the treats to reward him. 

Payton loved fleece blankets and he loved to curl up on them, build a nest with them, and sometimes, cover only his head with them.

After his first St. Patrick's Day with us, he got very sick. He was having a lot of stomach pain. We went to the vet and they found out he had Pancreatitis. The Corned Beef did him in. He took some medicine and we watched his diet, and cut out people food. Then this past holiday season we noticed him losing weight but still eating a lot. he was having accidents and always thirsty. They diagnosed him with Diabetes, which is commonly brought on by the Pancreatitis. They also diagnosed him with serious arthritis in his hind legs.

So I've been giving him his two insulin shots a day but things didn't get better. He kept losing weight and was always hungry. Constantly hungry. The Vet's office kept harping on "he needs 600 calories a day" and were somehow missing what we were saying about how much he was eating. Then I gave them a tally of exactly what we were feeding him. Well over 3000 calories a day, and in 4 months he lost 25 pounds. 

We've spent a bunch of money on vet visits and test and medications and enzyme powder to add to his food to help him keep it in and retain some calories. But he would eat and immediately go outside and crap it out. His organs have just stopped doing their jobs. Over the last couple months his vision has been going and in the last few days, he pretty much gone blind. The Vet let me know we have exhausted all of our options for treating and preventing the only guarantee about life...That it ends.

That's him, in his favorite spot...Where ever Mom is, snuggled with her.

It was clear that the first eight years of Payton's life were hard on him. I hope being part of our family the last 5 years washed some of that away for him. I'm glad he got some of the love he deserved. He gave us all the love he had. You'll always be my handsome boy Payton. I'll miss dearly.

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