Dog destroys stuffed toy
Possibly the last time I saw him truly happy: destroying one of Waffles’ stuffed animals

I have spent the last week looking for words more elegant than “I feel like someone ripped a hole in my heart,” but I haven’t found any. Perhaps there aren’t any.

Last fall I shared a bit of the experience we had been going through with Sirius Black. After he went blind, it was initially diagnosed as SARDS, a poorly understood condition, but one that has few side effects besides the blindness itself. Over time, he should have adjusted to the blindness and generally resumed generally normal activity.

He didn’t.

Over the last few months, his condition gradually deteriorated. He could walk less far and became confused more often. Eventually, he could not walk or even respond at all. Looking back, we can even spot signs of deterioration in June of 2016 or possibly earlier; before he showed overt signs of blindness.

Frequent vet visits and repeated tests brought us no closer to a firm diagnosis, while gradually eliminating possibilities that promised cure or at least treatment. By Monday, February 13, his condition had deteriorated significantly and we had eliminated the possibility of any treatable condition. It was time to say goodbye.

I have spent the last week crying. I have cried at home, at work, in a restaurant. I still look for Sirius every time I walk into the house. I start making plans for him.

Sirius in 2015, enjoying a walk on the mall

Every time I go for a walk, I think was how much the Sirius of two years ago would have liked it. I know I will think of him every day for some time, and sometimes forever. He wasn’t always an easy dog, but those who knew him will understand how wonderful he was.

I don’t have any insights to end this post. Only that the best we can do is love and care for our animals as best we can while they live and keep them in our hearts when they are gone. That will have to be enough.

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