Saying Goodbye

A few weeks ago we had to say goodbye to sweet Yukon, our first”kid”.  Yukon joined our family while we still lived in Anchorage, way back in 2002.  He was the best dog we could have wished for.  Great with the kids, he didn’t bark too much, didn’t chase the chickens, and was always so patient when I didn’t have time to walk him.  He was a great jogging and hiking partner, I’ll always remember the night we spent together in a tube tent, in the rain, up in the Uintahs,  I’ve never heard thunder so loud in my life. Yukon was a happy dog, and a great part of our family.

Yukon decided to take himself for a walk late one night and was hit by a truck.  We took him to the urgent pet care were it was determined that he had two herniated disks in his back.  – Other than that and a puncture wound in his armpit, he was fine.

Unfortunately the ruptured disks  left him unable to move his hind legs.  For five days we carried Yukon in and out of the house or garage into the yard(no easy task – he weighed 89 lbs),  came when he whined and tried to figure out what he needed.   Food?  Water?  More sun?  Too much sun – more shade?  We waited, hoping that with time he would be able to walk again.

Finally we made an appointment with the vet, knowing that if after examining him the Dr. thought it unlikely he would recover, we would have to let Yukon go.

We talked to the kids about what Yukon liked to do, run around, go for walks, pee on bushes…  chase his ball, and tried to explain that he wasn’t happy when he couldn’t do any of those things.

This is the kids with our sweet friend before heading to the vet.  The Dr. told Clark that it wasn’t likely that Yukon would improve at all.  So we said goodbye.

That was such a difficult decision to make.  It was so hard to take care of him the way he was, but at the same time it’s not like he was dying.  Just paralyzed.  He was so unhappy though, unable to move around, having to go to the bathroom on his blanket, unable to scoot away from his mess.   I am glad that the experience is behind me, the decision made and that Yukon is not suffering anymore.

But I still miss my friend.

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6 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. I’m so sad that Yukon is gone. I cried reading your post. I will never forget when we had to put down Scott’s dog Lou. Her hips had gone out and she couldn’t lift her legs up anymore to walk. We went up to his mom’s house to find blood all over the driveway from her dragging her legs and paws behind her. Scott decided that he needed to put her down so she wouldn’t live such a miserable life anymore. Taking her to vet that day was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. She is buried down in the field just east of Doug Witney’s property next to the creek. I hope that you are finding comfort right now- I totally understand what you are going through. (((HUGS)))

  2. Sweet Lillie! It is so hard to say goodbye to our furry family members. I’m sorry that Yukon isn’t with you anymore. Love and Hugs…

  3. Oh Lillie and family! I’m so sorry about Yukon. In 2005 we said good-bye to our “first kid” Kody (named Kodiak, Alaska even though we were living in Oregon at the time). All 6 of Kody’s people family were with him at the end, our mountain of used kleenex nearby as we wept and comforted him and each other though that very hard thing. It’s curious that we are called upon to make that kind of decision so often for our pets! My heart goes out to your family. You’ll ALWAYS remember Yukon and you’ll use his name a lot when you talk to all your future dogs! My guess is that Yukon will be yours in heaven as we hope Kody will be ours.

  4. So sorry for your loss, what a hard experience for you guys. I’m not even a tiny bit of an animal person, but am still moved by your story and pictures. Yukon was a beautiful dog and you’ve got such great pictures and memories of him!

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