Friday 29th of May, 2015 – Føyke, our dear Alaskan Husky went peaceful to sleep.
We adopted Føyke ( ‘snow drift’ in Norwegian ) when she was 4 years old. We do not know much about her past but she was very insecure at the beginning, wouldn't eat much, and it took a while before she adjusted and understood that she now had a permanent home.
|Føyke, May 2015|
At the time we had four young children, three cats, birds, a hamster and lived in a tiny little house in the center of town. Thinking in retrospective, the decision to adopt a dog was maybe not thoroughly thought through.
I had been looking at adds on the internet and was drawn to a photo of a beautiful, slim husky lying down, and looking slightly to the side, she was described as a nice and sweet tempered dog, perfect for a family. I called, and on my birthday in 2009 a lady came to our house, presented me with a vaccination book, a bag of food, and a leather leash with a dog on the other end. I paid the adoption fee, and introduced the dog to our household. Our oldest cat was not impressed, the kids were a little unsure, and our female cat welcomed her to the home by jumping on her rear with claws drawn. Føyke put up with the abuse from Princess cat, and went on to become best pal with Emilie, tolerated by the older cats and adored by the two kittens we got within the next years.
I had no idea that Huskies were so active, disobedient, and prone to running away. Within two months she managed to escape and appeared in the local newspaper after she showed up at the town hall and had been taken in by the receptionist. Once when shopping, I was surprised when a man loudly called in the shop, asking for the owner the dog who was running around the traffic with a piece of a garbage can dangling behind… that was the last time I casual tied her to anything without making sure it would not come apart.
She was famous for pulling hard when on walks, and stealing food. She was ravenously hungry and would devour anything that was left within her reach, including once pulling an entire pizza from the dinning room table- probably one of the reason she developed a liver problem in her later years.
It was about autumn last year when we noticed she had started to slow down a bit, by Easter I knew something was wrong. She had lumps on her abdomen, was losing interest in doggy activities such as long walks, and chewing bones, she had also become melancholic. I took her to the vet, and it was no surprise when she was diagnosis with canine breast cancer ! She was now about 10 years old, or 75 in dog years and a blood test also revealed a damaged liver. The vet of course offered surgery, but it wasn’t just our purse who held us back- surgery is not always kind to old dogs, and there was no guaranty that it would improve the quality, nor the length of her life.
I took her home, told the children and decided to make her last days comfortable and happy. She quickly took a turn for the worst, the tumors grew, and her stomach became bloated, she drank more than usual and was just not ‘around’ anymore. She slept more and more, refused to walk further than the absolute next street and lost the gleam in her eyes. She started to get clumsy, and stumbled going up stairs. I researched the internet, then called the vet, hoping to hear that there was still time…. Sadly the vet confirmed what I already knew, she was not enjoying life any longer, it was time to let her go !
This was the hardest phone call I ever made, crying over the line I made the appointment for Friday- it would give us the weekend to mourn and let the reality sink in.
On Friday I came home from work to say ‘good bye’, I found Føyke on Emilie’s bed sleeping, cuddled up against our youngest cat, this was a first and it felt like the kitty was saying farewell in his own way. My husband drove her to the veterinary clinic where she was quickly, and peacefully put to sleep.
Putting a beloved pet to sleep is very hard, especially as it is nearly impossible to decide when is the right time, often it is a matter of ‘a day too soon, before a day too late!’
Our pets give us so much unconditional love, it is our responsibility not to let them suffer. When you know they are probably hiding pain and discomfort, when they are old, or terminally ill, it might be best not just for your dog/cat, but for yourself, and your family not to sit and watch your friend fade away. It is painful to accept, but pets do not have the same lifespan as us, and there is no comfort in prolonging an inevitable end.
|Thank you Føyke for 6 wonderful years as a most faithful, gentle and loyal family dog !|
|Emilie giving Føyke a little belly rub before the national day parade|
|Sweet, old Føyke|
|Føyke's last hours were spent napping with her favourite cat - Moumousse.|
|Jarlsberg Avis, February 11, 2010. A younger, naughtier Føyke featured in the local newspaper after a little escapade.|