Over the last week I am sure I must have shed enough tears to fill a bath, if we had had one!
Last weekend whilst Tony was in the UK for his mum's funeral (if that wasn't bad enough) Xali started to appear a little off colour. Over the weekend his condition deteriorated and despite offering him his favourite foods he still wouldn't eat. I feared the worst. Cuddling him Sunday evening my heart started to tear apart.
On Monday we were the first into the vets. They took some blood for tests and gave him an anti-inflammatory injection, and some special food. The vet suggested that it may be a problem with his kidneys. My ears pricked up at this - it is one of my biggest fears for anyone I hold dear.
During the day on Monday Xali picked up a bit and fairly wolfed down the tin of special food. He then tucked into his own food like normal. My heart soared as he appeared to be returning to normal. The vet called later to tell us that the blood tests they had carried out showed he did have a kidney problem and that he was anaemic. suggest that he may have contracted Lashmaniasis and wanted our permission (because it would cost) to send off some of the blood to Barcelona for further testing. No issue there we agreed and Xali seemed to be going from strength to strength.
For the next two days Xali was OK. Not strong enough to go for his usual walkies but well enough to trot around the house and even steal some of my food. By Wednesday night though he started to falter again. We spoke to the vets and they told us it was not Lasmaniasis, but that I should call in for some pills for his kidneys. I did so and agreed that we would come back the following day (Friday) for another anti-inflammatory injection.
During the night on Thursday Xali got progressively worse, and by the morning was almost too weak to stand. I was beside myself. I spent the night cuddling him and crying. First thing on Friday I called the vets and we took Xali to see how he was. I already knew in my heart. We swaddled him in a blanket to take him there. He looked so frail and old, it broke my heart. I could hardly drive for the tears. (And can hardly type now for the same reason).
The vet told us he had a high temperature and was weak. He told us that he could give him something to bring his temperature down and we could then see how he was after that, but advised that his condition would slowly worsen. Not a great prognosis. again I held the life of one of my babies in my hands. I had already reached a decision on the way to the vets, that if things were bleak I would have to let him go. I would not allow him to suffer more, even though I wanted to keep him with me. I nodded and signed the forms.
Holding Xali tightly, crying and whispering to him how much I loved him and would never let him go the vet administered the final injection. Slowly and without drama he fell asleep in my arms. The vet left us with him for a moment. I wanted to howl, but cried and held him for the last time, before wrapping him in his blanket for his journey.
Since then there have been so many happy and painful reminders of my little man, and I embrace them all. During his life he made me smile and cry, laugh and shout, so why not now he has passed. IN my dreams he is running in Hilly fields (Brockley, London) with his big sisters, Chasca, Bobbie, Samm and Spike, where they are waiting for me to come play some day.
Xali was a wonderful dog, a part of the TulStig Clan and loved with such depth. He returned that a thousandfold, even when we didn't deserve it. I miss him and will always miss him, but I remember him with so much love. Sometimes I ask myself why I set myself up for such heartbreak, but the reason is clear and heartwarming - the incredible love devotion and pleasure they give us.
From Battersea to Barcelona, the last of our London babies has gone. "Run Xali run."