Monday, November 12, 2012

Obi-Wan Kenobi XXXI

Once upon a time, I got mono.  I don't know if you have ever had mono, but I do NOT wish it upon anybody.  It really screws with your body as far as sleep, energy, weight, and everything else you can imagine it screwing with.   Lucky me, I got it in August, and was getting married in October.  YAY

Good news!  I survived the wedding and everybody else survived me.

It had been a few months, and I was technically on my way to recovery, but it was still near impossible for me to function if I didn't get like 10+ hours of sleep at night.  Being in school, this made getting to class one of the hardest tasks of my day.  On top of all the sleep I couldn't avoid, I was gaining a lot of weight.  With mono you aren't allowed to exercise because it might cause your spleen to rupture, and when you finally are allowed to exercise, you can't over-do it in fear of causing the mono to flare up again.  I was all depressed about gaining weight and not being able to exercise or wake up, so that in turn caused me to gain more weight (pretty sure I am an emotional eater...confirmed by this whole situation).  In short, I was depressed and tired and tired of gaining weight.

Along came Obi.

Our first family pic.  The night we picked him up :)

We didn't get Obi with the idea of him helping me heal, but boy did he help the process.  Scotty has to wake up and go to Air Force stuff in the early mornings, so when Obi was a puppy and potty training, guess who was the only one home to wake up and take him out?  Yup, it was me.  As hard as it was, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.  I had somebody else to wake up for and take care of and if I didn't do it, I would be cleaning up the mess he left me later.

First time @ the park.  mmmm Pinecones!
I was finally getting my sleep schedule back on track.  I hadn't been able to wake up before 8 a.m. (usually 10) in months.  Now I was regularly up around 6 and I can't tell you how grateful I was to start feeling normal again.

Obi holds a special place in my heart because of the emotional and physical support he gave me--without even knowing he did it.

Just enjoying the dog park!

Because he was such a LOVING dog and LOVED to meet new people, we decided to put Obi into training to become a service dog.  Intermountain Healthcare has a program called Intermountain Therapy Dogs and we wanted to get Scotty and Obi involved.  To prepare, we registered Obi with the national service dog registry and Scotty took him places with his service vest.  Obi did so well everywhere he went, that we knew without a doubt that he would do fantastic as a therapy dog.

We couldn't enter the program until Obi was 1 year old, however, and around that time Scotty had major surgery.  The nurse told us Obi could come visit Scotty in the hospital since he had a service vest.  Scotty literally cried with joy when the nurse gave us the O.K. to bring him in.

Jump ahead to more recent events:
We took Obi to get his booster shots at the end of September.  He was a bit "laggy" after he got them last time, so we figured the same would happen this time.

Well, he was laggy, but it lasted A LOT longer than it should have.  Like, DAYS.  We thought he was having a bad reaction, so we took him to the vet & the doc gave us some dog ibuprofen.  We took him to the vet after the pills were gone because he did good on the pills, but without them he didn't feel any better; this time they said he had too much bacterial overgrown in is stomach and they put him on antibiotic to kill the bad bacteria, and pro-biotics to make good bacteria.  A week went by and he didn't get any better, so we went back.  At this point he had lost about 10 pounds because he was not eating hardly anything.  They ran a whole bunch of tests on him: blood-work, the whole nine yards.  They couldn't figure out what was wrong.  All the tests were coming back good.  FINALLY (I don't know why it took so long to do this) they took an x-ray.  The vet told us she thought his diaphragm had ruptured and it was pushing all his organs against each other and out and that is what made it hard for him to eat.  She said we were lucky he was still alive and sent us immediately to an emergency vet in SLC for surgery.

The emergency vet did their own x-ray, because they had a better digital machine--they weren't convinced it was his diaphragm.  They came back and said it wasn't his diaphragm and they were calling their specialist in from Park City to do a cat scan.  After the cat scan we were told that Obi has lung cancer.  It had spread to both lungs and is extremely baffling, because he is only 1.5 years old.  The best explanation we have is that he was born with it.  For his age, it had to be something genetic.  We could spend lots of money to try and keep him alive, but with all the money in the world and a lot of suffering, his best prognosis was still only 6 months.

They told us we could take him home, but we needed to not wait very long to take care of the situation.  If we were to wait, he could go into respiratory arrest and suffocate.

Ellie could tell something was wrong. She would try and make him feel better all the time.

We took Obi to see Scotty's parents that night and everybody else came over the next morning to say goodbye.  Our appointment was set for 4:30 the afternoon of October 23, 2012.  He was really tired, and I think he was relieved that he finally got to lay down and sleep without feeling yucky or having trouble breathing. 

Our last family photo with Obi.  10/23/2012

Obi will never know the joy he brought into our lives or how much he helped me overcome the obstacles I was facing in my life.  He was the best dog I have ever known and will be missed every day.  I am glad he feels better now and can't wait to see him again. 

Snuggled up in the van camping & waiting for the rain to stop.
 The place that cremated his body gave us the following poem with his remains:

There is a bridge between heaven and earth. 
It is called the rainbow bridge because of its many colors, and our side of the bridge is a land of meadows hills and valleys if lush green grass to run, fresh clean ponds to swim and the most perfect of mountains to explore.
When a beloved pet dies, it goes to this beautiful place. 
There is always the best of food, clean water and the most perfect weather. 
The old and frail are young again, those that were maimed are made whole. 
They are all the best of friends and play all the day long with each other.
There is only one thing missing, their special person who loved them on earth. 
So they run and play happy as can be until the day comes when yours suddenly stops playing and looks up. 
Their nose twitches, their ears perk up, their eyes are staring, and suddenly runs from the group.
You have been seen, and you run to meet your special friend, you take him into into your arms and embrace. 
If you though your friend was happy to see you come home from a long day of work, imagine the greeting you will receive here. 
Your face is kissed again and again, tails are wagging buts are shaking with delight, and you look once more into the eyes of your beloved most loyal and trusted friend.
You then stand cross the rainbow bridge together, never to be separated again.

To end this post on a lighter note, I want to share some of the happy memories we had with Obi over this lat year.  He is such a goofball.

We threw Obi a birthday party when he turned 1.  Yes, I know it is a bit silly, but it was loads of fun!  Check out the star wars cupcakes!

Delicious cupcakes!  (Not for the dogs)

Birthday Buds!

Everybody in the car :)  We had many fun car trips!

Wrestling @ the park

Hiking in PG

Hi-5!  This pic has been used a lot by The Greenies Brand on facebook!

First outing with dad.  Fishing!

Obi finally figured out the sunroof :)

Look how well he posed for this pic!  SO pretty.

These two were a pretty legit pair.  Don't mess.

I found him like this when I came home from school one day.  What a spaz.

Shifty eyes.  10 points if you know what I think of when I see a shifty eyed dog!

One of my favorite things: He would get this BIG goofy smile on his face if you could scratch him right.

The Force will be with you.  Always.

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