February 5, 2013 was a very sad day for the Howard house. We said good-bye to our beloved lab, Cash.
Back during the extreme cold spells of winter, we would notice from time to time that Cash would have a rough sounding cough, but it would always get better within a couple of days. We figured it was due to the ups and downs of the weather so we really didn't think a lot of it. Then, Darren started noticing that Cash wasn't eating much and when I say not much, I mean it could be 2-3 days before Darren could even notice much difference in the amount of food that was in his bowl.
When Darren let him out on the 4th to clean out his pen, Cash barely even looked up at him and for those of you that have been around Cash very much at all know this is sooooo out of character for him. Usually, he's practically bouncing off the walls to get out of his pen, but this time was much different. After calling him several times, he finally got Cash to get up and come out. Before he was completely out though, he hiked his leg to pee on the fence and Darren said it looked like pure blood. At this point, I could tell it was probably pretty bad because between the 2 of us, Darren is definitely the laid back one and to see him in semi-panic mode, I knew something bad was wrong. We tried to feed him some cooked chicken and chicken broth and he barely nibbled at it. While I was outside with him, he hiked his leg again and just like before, it looked like there was lots of blood. At this time of the day though, there wasn't much else we could do. We petted him and went inside to bed and hoped he would make it through the night.
The next morning, he seemed to be a bit better when I peeked out at him before leaving for work. Had I known at the time how the day would turn out, I would have gone and loved on him much more than I did. Anyway, I knew Darren was going to get him to the vet that day so I just went on like normal. I sent Darren a couple of texts that day to check and see if he had heard anything, but he kept brushing things off. I guess I should have picked up on that sign, but I really didn't think much about it. We got home that evening and I knew Cash wasn't there, but still wasn't sure exactly where things stood. I asked Darren after supper how he was and once again, he brushed me off and said we would talk about it later. Well, of course, I couldn't let it go at that so I asked if he was gone. Darren hesitated a bit and looked at me and I just knew and I just lost it. I have never been one to do well when losing a pet and this case was no different. It just breaks my heart, which is why I would be perfectly fine if we never had another pet, ever.
Cash was taken over to the farm at Crump, where he was buried next to Darren's folks' old cocker spaniel, Scooter. I was really worried about how the kids would react, but Isaac took it exceptionally well. He had never really been close to Cash because he was always so wound up and hyper so it went much better than expected.
As for now, I am perfectly content living in a pet-free home.