This morning my husband and I made the decision to put Cyrus down.
I’m going to back track to yesterday to tell the events leading up to our decision. Yesterday, Cyrus woke up like usual barking and making a fuss at 5 am. He ate a lot and actually went outside immediately on his own. Then he went back to sleep. This is what we had been waiting for; he was getting used to the routine of sleep, eat, and repeat. I came home at lunch time to check up on and feed him and got the delivery I was so excited about. A small security camera so we could watch him while we were away. I set it up and headed back to work. I don’t think this was very productive, because every 10 minutes I was checking to see if he was still asleep, making a mess, or in some sort of other trouble. He woke up once and wailed to be let out of his crate one time, but went back to sleep within 15 minutes.
I came home and Cyrus seemed to be in good spirits as he ate, roamed the back yard, and went back to sleep. He then seemed to take a figurative step back. He started pacing towards the end of the night to no end. My husband gave me a break from Cyrus duty and helped watch him all night. I woke up, well rested, to the assumption that he slept the entire night. Not the case. Cyrus was up all night pacing and bumping into things. My husband was forced to move every single thing from the room to stop smashing his head. It seemed like his disorientation had gotten extremely worse. I sat down to try and call him to me and the sight I saw terrified me so deeply. His eyes were sunken into the back of his head which made it look like he had no eyeballs at all. **Disturbing pictures below**
Still in pajamas, I ran out of the door with him to LVC as fast as possible. Cyrus was so scared. He was blind, disoriented, and devastatingly terrified. He kept wailing like he was in pain and there was nothing I could do to comfort him. When I got to LVC, which they are amazing I might add, they rushed me back to a room for him. The vet came in and gave him an exam and told me she had never seen a dog with his eyes like this before. If you didn’t consider his eyes or weight it seemed like he was a healthy dog; his blood and exam looked really good. However, since the beginning we suspected he may have a brain tumor. His lack of vision and disorientation that I explained before mixed with this latest development definitely pointed in that direction. Our vet explained that she could refer us to a specialist where they could do a full neurological work up and it would be approximately $3,000. I wasn’t concerned about money as we got Cyrus knowing that a severe problem could be lurking beneath. However, the vet continued. She said a lot of the tests that specialists preformed required sedation, and that even if they did find a brain tumor Cyrus was so weak and frail that he would not survive either. Honestly, deep down I knew the decision we would have to make before I brought him into the office, but I wanted to exhaust every effort to make sure there was nothing we could do.
Meanwhile, Cyrus is so unbelievably out of it. His body knew to keep going and to still pace around the room. He kept getting stuck in places and was crying with I expect to be pain and fear. This was no way for him to live. When we made the decision to try and get Cyrus healthy we made this promise to ourselves; we would try everything we could to get him to live a healthy happy life; however, if he showed no signs of that, we would not keep him alive just for us. We vowed not to let our hearts be so selfish to put him through more than he could handle. I called Anthony and told him that we needed to let him go.
The vet got us a fluffy blanket and Cyrus finally started to smell who I was. It seemed like he was fighting as hard as he could to come back to us. He let me pet him, rub his ears and eyes, scratch his neck, and give him endless kisses. He finally stopped pacing and laid down. I knew Cyrus was ready even though we weren’t. The torturous detail that kept nagging at me was that he hadn’t eaten that morning. All the suffering of starvation and now he was going to go out on an empty stomach. I wasn’t having that bullshit. I got a bag of treats and it finally piqued his interest. I made him eat the whole damn thing. There was no way that this poor guy was going out hungry. Anthony showed up to be there for Cyrus and myself. He felt so guilty. He thought that this was a result of something that he did and that if he did something differently Cyrus would still be returning to life instead of death. I explained to him everything the vet told me and that this was probably brewing long before we got him. We did absolutely everything possible.
Cyrus had his head pressed into my chest and let me massage his ears and face. I truly believe, that despite all the pain and terror he was going through, he knew who we were. I told him all about how he was going to take a long nap and that when he woke next time he would be a bouncy troublesome puppy again. He could finally play with all the toys that he could only sniff before. He would never again have to go hungry or be scared. He could wrestle with all the puppies he wanted and get into so much trouble that no one would be angry. He was going to be comfortable and pain free at last.
Anthony and I stayed with him through the sedation process through to when they took him out of the room. Cyrus’ last week, thanks to everyone who donated, was probably the best he’s had in years, maybe ever. He had unlimited food, comfy blankets, got to visit with another dog, and enjoy love from people, which he may have never known in his life.
Cyrus will stay with us forever. He has inspired us to create a non-profit called Saving Cyrus. We want to help dogs in extremely neglected states back to help and then re-home them to families that will love and spoil them rotten. We knew Cyrus was special from the beginning, but we just wish he would have been able to spread this work with us.
Again, thank you for all your emotional and financial support. We plan on updating this site once again when we get the non-profit started. In the mean time we will be healing with the help of our other mutts.