I am trying to get through this to let you know what happened, please bear with me. This is the most difficult post I have ever written and considering she should be the one writing this, not me.
At the BlogPaws conference, Carma was doing fine. She would tire easily but thankfully we had the wagon that I bought a few days earlier. She loved that wagon. Her face showed that.
After we got home we were all worn out. It is normal to feel rundown after any conference, even non-disabled people get the rundown blues afterwards. After a couple of days of rest, we went on doing what we needed to do but Carma continued to lay around. She slept longer and wasn't able to get up and down easily.
After a few more days, she needed help to get to her feet. One day I stood her up and she fell back to the bed. She wasn't able to stand on her own and she was starting to cough a lot. I took her to the vet and they took a few x-rays of her chest to see what was going on.
It showed that her bronchial tubes were enlarged and her left lung looked like it was starting to collapse at the bottom. She was already on an antibiotic for the infection she had on her leg where we had cut a huge growth off. This is why some of the photos that were shared of us at the conference, she had a wrap on her leg. I didn't want any foreign stuff getting in it especially with her laying on a hotel floor.
For a couple of days, it seemed she was getting worse. We noticed she seemed to be getting bigger but wasn't eating anymore. I called the vet and he told me to bring her in because he suspected it was edema. When they saw her, the staff and he all agreed she looked puffy. He gave her a shot to help her since she wasn't wanting to eat, I didn't want to stress her out by pilling her more than I needed. The shot would last 24 hours and I would have to take her in the following day for another shot. The shots worked.
We put pee pads under her because she was wetting herself. We had to keep reassuring her that she was a good girl and it was okay. One night she was trying to get up by herself and I thought maybe it was because she needed to move her bowels. She hadn't moved them in a couple of days but she hadn't eaten anything either. It isn't uncommon for a pet who doesn't feel well not to eat for a couple of days. As hard as she tried, she couldn't. I picked her up and carried her outside and held her up. She stood there and looked up in the sky but wasn't able to do anything. I carried her back and tucked her in. I have always kissed her goodnight, told her I loved her and she would kiss me back. That one kiss was the world to me.
On Wednesday she seemed to be doing okay and acted like she needed to go out to try to move her bowels again. I picked her up and took her outside. I held her up while she stood there. She couldn't do anything but she was on her 3rd day of not eating. I stood up to reach for the door and lost my grip on her. She fell over with a huge plunk right on a pile of freshly given dog poo! I don't know who allowed their dog to poop that big pile in our yard but they should know that poop really STUNK! I had to pick up my poopy 70 pound poodle and carry her up the 2 steps into the house. I could have sworn I heard her laugh. I got her cleaned up the best that I could and deodorized her. After changing clothes I went to sit down and she started staring down the hallway. She would look at me and then down the hallway. She wanted to be in her own bed.
I picked her up and on the way down the hallway my legs and back started giving out. I braced on the wall and we slid down as graciously as I could. When my butt hit that hardwood I think I shook the house a little. We sat in the hallway for a hour. I held her the whole time. I told her how much I loved her, shared stories of our adventures together, how she was an angel sent from heaven to take care of me and how she did that job better than I could ever imagine. She taught me more about myself than anyone ever could. I told her everything would be okay.
She gave me a kiss. I got to my feet and I got her to her bed. I went outside and balled my eyes out. I don't know if you believe in God but I do. I talked to him and told him I needed more of a sign if this was it. I just couldn't bare to make that decision on my own. I couldn't end her life if there was any chance that she would get better.
Friday I volunteer at the vet's office. I took her and Scooby in with me. She was in her wagon and Scooby settled on the dog bed beside her. I kept a check on her and then I would take patients to the room to be seen by the vet. I checked on her at 12:10 and gave her a drink of water. She was using my purse as a pillow and I went back up to the desk. A few minutes later, out of the corner of my eye I saw Scooby standing on the wagon looking in it. I thought maybe she spilled her water. I went to check and she didn't respond to my touch. Things go blurry there. I remember seeing the vet check for a pulse.
My girl was gone. Carma Poodale died at 12:25 PM. She went peacefully in her sleep. God didn't force me to make the decision.
Carma Poodale was cremated. She is now home with me.
Carma Poodale will always be a Poodle with a Purpose. I hope I can continue to fulfill her mission. She inspired me to look for beauty in the world around us and to share smiles with all that we meet. She will forever live in our hearts.
Some have asked me if I would be getting another service dog. I would love to train another dog for service work but I can't even think about looking for a replacement right now. I am working on getting past the chickyum aisle at the grocery store without breaking down.
I put that in God's hands too. I trust he will lead me in the right direction. I have faith.