Earlier today, we said goodbye to our friend, Squid.
Squid lost the use of his right hind leg last summer due to nerve damage in his spine. Our vet believed that this was a result of an infection. Luckily, we caught it before it spread to the other leg. Now partially paralyzed, we were able to raise money to buy him a wheelchair, which he used for seven months. However, with the start of this summer we saw a decline in his mobility; he no longer wanted to go to the dog parks. By September, the disease was spreading to his left hind leg, and he was showing signs of arthritis in his front legs. It wasn’t long after that that he could no longer stand or walk on his own.
I met Squid in 2006 when I returned from living in Europe. He was two years old by then, and was living with my mom and dad. But he decided that I was his human, and so he came with me to Peterborough, Ontario in 2008 when I started my undergraduate degree. He left me nine years later, departing the day after I finished my PhD.
Squid made friends around the country as I chased my graduate degrees. While he was born in Fort William First Nation (Ontario), he ended up living in places like Victoria, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon, where he ended his journey. He touched the lives of people wherever he went. He taught me how to forgive myself.
Squid spent his last days doing the things he loved most. Despite no longer being able to walk, he was able to go swimming in a local therapeutic pool for dogs; to take a trip to the beach; to enjoy our regular visits to the park where he chewed sticks and his favourite ball. He also ate like a king, munching on steak all week. And in his final hour he enjoyed his favourite taboo treat: buttermilk blueberry muffins from Starbucks.
Squid died surrounded by the people he loved: Sarah, my mom and I, and his little brother Emmett. We were with him to the end. He died in my arms.
(Family photo at top by Nadya Kwandibens, March 2017)
Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2017