May 17, 2015: Jelly

I was on set Tuesday night when I received a text from Akemi:  “Jelly’s very very sick.”

That was one “very” too many.  I jumped in the car and rushed home, bundled Jelly up and delivered her to the emergency 24 hour animal hospital.  There she remained, overnight, while they ran a battery of tests.  The following morning came the bad news.  Jelly was suffering from a host of maladies: extreme arthritis, internal bleeding, antibiotic-resistant infection,dehydration, and kidney failure.  She was not going to get better. Euthanasia was recommended.

May 17, 2015: Jelly

Akemi and I went into visit her that night after work.  She was atypically quiet. Her appetite was non-existent.  A second doctor who also examined her informed us that she wasn’t going to get any better and that we should consider euthanasia as the humane option.

May 17, 2015: Jelly

We visited her the next night and she was still unresponsive, lethargic, and not at all interested in eating.  Over the past months, she’d been going downhill and had all but lost the ability to walk, managing the briefest of carpet runs (covering the distance from our apartment door the elevators in a blazing five full minutes) with the assistance of a harness for her gimpy hind legs – but I held out hope because she seemed to be in good spirits and she was still enjoying her food.  But that was no longer the case.  And so, after much agonizing, I made the decision.

May 17, 2015: Jelly

Word had gotten around set and the response was swift.  Melissa (TWO) texted me, Marc (ONE) called, and I even received an unexpected hug from resident Dark Matter bad boy Anthony (THREE).  It was all very touching – but, of course, didn’t make what I was about to do any easier.

I picked Jelly up after main unit wrap on Friday night and brought her home for her last weekend with us.  But I had decided that I would make it her best weekend ever!  Akemi got her ground beef and vanilla ice cream and, Saturday, she joined us for a patio brunch and enjoyed mini blueberry muffins and the attention of a dozen passersby who stopped to shower her with attention.

May 17, 2015: Jelly

May 17, 2015: Jelly

May 17, 2015: Jelly

I looked up a mobile veterinary service that would come to the house so that Jelly could leave us surrounded by the comforts of home (away from home).  I was ready.  Akemi was ready.

May 17, 2015: JellyHowever, Jelly, it turns out, was not.  She rallied.  Like the Boston Red Sox in the ALC Championship series, she came back from certain death.  She perked up.  Her appetite returned.  And suddenly, miraculously, she was back to her normal self. Today, she spent the afternoon sunning herself and chowing down on fresh chicken breast.

May 17, 2015: Jelly
Hey, what’s all the fuss?

I’m sure she’s still suffering from the arthritis and the kidney failure and who knows what else – but so long as she’s clearly happy, why not let her enjoy her ground beef, blueberry muffins and vanilla ice cream just a little longer?

She’s in no hurry to go anywhere so who am I to rush her?

47 thoughts on “May 17, 2015: Jelly

  1. Seeing the subject line of your tweet made me fear the worst. So happy Jelly is still with us! Sweet little girl. Please give her extra gentlest hugs and scritches from me and my furkids.

  2. Aww…poor Jelly. I’ll admit, I did tear up initially reading this blog. I completely understand the deep love and devotion for a family pet and the tough decisions we all have to make sometimes.

    I am glad to read that Jelly’s appetite returned and her regular behaviors returned. She is a tough one for sure. Perhaps try to take videos of her when you can.

    I’ll keep Jelly in my thoughts.

  3. Joe my thoughts are with you and Jelly. Such a hard decision. A fews years ago I had to make a very difficult decision with my 13 year old cat. He was lethargic and not eating. After a battery of test the diagnosis was inconclusive. He would need more test which I could not afford. The vet of course told me the humane think would be to euthanize him. I couldn’t because there was still a sparkle in his eye. So I decide to bring him home. He like Jelly rallied for a few days. and then one morning when we got up the sparkle wasn’t there and I knew it was time. Joe, sorry this doesn’t have a happy ending, but basically in my non eloquent way is you and Akemi will know when it’s time. I truly hope for a good outcome for all of you.

  4. ((BIG HUGS )) I can relate. When my cat was sick, wobbling about ,plus walking in circles. He claimed it was neurological.
    Vet wanted to euthanize him but my gut felt it wasn’t what he thought it was.
    I said give him high calorie food and antibiotics. Because if he eats, he’ll get better. It turned out the cat had an ear infection, bounced back and is awesome.

    Can the vet offer some sort of medicine for the arthritis or kidney issue?

  5. Oh dear. I was sobbing as I read the post. I am not ready either for when it happens. I think it is hard when there is not some clear indicator. When we had to put Maddie to sleep because of her cancer, it was very, very clear to me it was time. She was suffering. She would give me her teeth when I approached her to move her on the floor. She had a hard time getting up to go to the bathroom and she had stopped eating (except for the treats we showered her with the evening before she was put to sleep). With Buddy, it was not so obvious. He was old. He had problems walking. He was deaf. He had congestive heart failure but he seemed happy and was eating well, etc. Deciding the “when” was not so easy. He collapsed on his way back home from the shortest of walks to go to the bathroom (a place where I can see out my office window so it wasn’t far at all). With Sam, we didn’t know anything was wrong with him except for the day he died he was acting very strange and I was going to take him to the vet as soon as Patrick got home from school. But he went to my side of the bed and died. I was with him when he passed (but at first I thought he was just having a seizure).

    Don’t envy the position you are in. I don’t know how much longer you have in Toronto before you head back to Vancouver, but my first thought is can she actually make the trip? And once you go back, will you be heading to Japan? Maybe even if she is eating well and seems happy, you might want to consider it so that you and Akemi are there for that moment. I know you had similar concerns about Maximus.

    Sending you and Akemi hugs and most everyone on the blog loves Jelly very much, too.

  6. Jelly deserves a montage- I’m suggesting Rocky songs.
    Nothing worse than having to put down a good dog. Best wishes.

    1. I agree about the Rocky songs montage .:-) It fits the attitude that is “pug”. A dog breed that has character.

      Joseph, have you and your wife considered a second opinion?

  7. Animals are incredible. I just lost my 16yr old cat, Ripley almost a year ago. She was a spry girl who never acted her age until she got a tumor and went downhill pretty quick.

    We decided to wait until she took a turn for the worse before making a final decision on euthanasia while we could still get her to eat. We spent a week in the sun on the balcony, eating sushi, drinking milk, anything she wanted. While we knew the outcome was inevitable, the time we had with her really helped us make that final decision. In fact, it was the most emotionally balanced I’ve ever felt making that decision.

    Sounds like you’re doing the same with Jelly. What a sweetheart. All the best, Joe.

    Nicole (@lonejaguar)

  8. What a sad, then beautiful read!? One thing Jelly has is a huge amount of love. Glad she’s getting more time to bask in it.

  9. As I was reading I had tears! But am so glad Jelly is doing better. Hopefully it stays that way for a while.

  10. So glad Jelly has perked up – my heart was sinking further with every paragraph and picture. Wishing you all many more happy days together!

  11. Ah, Joe, I dreaded reading read your post after I saw the title. But I’m so relieved Jelly has rallied. It’s difficult to know how much time she has left, but the photo of her on the pink bed certainly doesn’t look like a dog who is ready to move on yet, especially when you see the light in her eyes. You and Akemi have taken amazing care of Jelly, and I know the love you have for her is helping to keep her going. I will put all three of you in my prayers. Hugs to you and Akemi and especially, Miss Jelly.

  12. That was very upsetting to read, I’m glad to hear that she has perked up again though. My thoughts are with you both in what has to be a very hard time. Take care guys!

  13. I’m trying to find the computer keys through the tears… There is nothing sadder than saying goodbye to a loyal friend/baby. Jelly has had a longer life thanks to your excellent care and love. Sounds like she wants to enjoy you just a little while longer. Praying for you, Akemi, and little Jelly.

  14. I have been in your shoes on three occasions. Nothing more personally horrifying than having to be faced with, let alone making that decision. Jelly is a member of your family. Good for you that you decided to give her a last weekend 😉

    *fingers crossed*

  15. There are no words to offer for your situation.
    IMHO – you’re doing the right thing for Jelly and for you and Akemi. Seriously, as you say “She’s in no hurry to go anywhere so who am I to rush her?”

    When the time comes…you’ll know and really, that is “soon” enough.

    Keeping you all in my thoughts, cause like the others have said…difficult to type through tears.

  16. When I saw the title of your blog I thought OH NO. Reading it took me a little while having to wipe the tears and blowing my nose dreading the worst. But so glad to hear that Jelly rallied back

  17. 😲😞😐😓😢😠😲😄😊😊
    Your post took us on quite a journey there. Glad jelly is feeling better.

  18. The next time I feel like I’m on death’s door I am SO coming to your house for the weekend! Just as long as you promise to make the blueberry muffins gluten-free. 😉 Give that Jelly girl a big kiss for me! 🙂

    das

  19. Great joy that Jelly continues to be with us & happy. Never underestimate the old lady robust bad health.

  20. Awwww, poor Jelly. I was about to start bawling until about the time you wrote she rallied. So happy she did. She is obviously not ready to go. Please give her a kiss from me.
    Having to put down a pet is not the decision I look forward to making when we get to that point with our dog (hopefully not for a long time). But for the time being. I am happy Jelly is hanging in there.

  21. You and Jelly are super-troopers. Thanks for keeping us updated on your grand old girl.

  22. Sending big hugs to Jelly, you and Akemi. I had tears in my eyes reading the first part of the post, and I guess I had been expecting something like it sooner than later. When the time comes, I’m sure that Jelly will know, and so should you, that she has had a life filled with caring and love. In the meantime, it’s one day at a time!

  23. Doing a happy dance now (I’ll spare every one the pics). 😅 Please give “Princess Jelly ” a big hug from all of us! 👑❤️

  24. I’m traveling in Detroit and woke up to this post this morning.

    I was sad to hear Jelly was sick, but glad to hear she was feeling better. Maybe a second opinion is called for?

    I’m praying for Jelly and all you all.

  25. Like everyone else I feared the worst when I saw the title & started reading. I’ve sensed her health was deteriorating. Tears streaming I carried on reading, identifying with your predicament. The first time I made this decision I was 14. Our cat Maxine had suffered a stroke.

    Almost two years ago my cat Sasha was sick with the beginnings of kidney disease and passed soon after. She saved me that decision.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Akemi, jelly, Bubba and Lulu. Take care of each other.

    xoxoxoxoxoxo
    Chev

  26. Jelly knows you love her and she’ll tell you when she’s ready. I’ll be praying for you all.

    2cats
    Basil and Stash

  27. Sad to hear about Jelly’s near departed status.

    It reminded me too much of my family’s last canine pal. The current state of affairs will not last long. The end was quite abrupt and bad. Believe the vets just got the timing slightly off, take their advice.

    Will miss the future vids of Jelly & company frolicking.

  28. I have to agree with some of the others. When I saw the post so simply titled, my heart sank a bit and I said “Oh no” out loud, remembering what you went through with Max. It’s great to see that she responded so well to the love and extra attention you gave her this last weekend. She knows she’s loved and she has had a VERY long life with some of the best dog parents any dog could ever hope for. You’ve gone over and above for your dogs on multiple occasions, so it makes complete sense to me the way you’re handling what might be Jelly’s last few days. Let’s hope and pray that things continue to get better for her so she can make the trip home to Vancouver and truly be at peace for whatever may come. Either way, we know you’ll do what’s best for her.

    -Mike A.

  29. Hugs to you all. I was reading your post last night through tears. I hope you all enjoy her little rally!

    I’m not making this about me, but we’re going through the same thing right now with my 20 year old kitty girl, Maggie. Having gone through it almost 2 years ago with my then-20 year old Siamese, Mei Mei, I know the signs. I’m pretty sure she’s into renal failure, plus she has hip and spine issues, and dementia as well.

    We have an appointment with the Animal Communicator tomorrow at 11 because I want to see what Maggie has to say and what she wants to do. Then, we may call the vet and have him come by on Wednesday. I think she’s going to need the IV fluids like we gave Mei Mei and like we gave Tiger (who died at 24 about 7 years ago), just to make her comfortable. It’s hard to say, though. Mei Mei liked the fluids and didn’t really want to ‘go’ until the convulsions got really bad. BUT Mei Mei didn’t have the spine and hip issues and the dementia that Maggie has. Maggie seems horribly stressed and in pain, crying a lot. However, she has always been my little drama queen. She Maggie always been my sweet girl, very loving and very trusting. I just want to do what is right and what she wants me to do.

    Keep us up to date and hugs to all of you!

  30. I was in tears as I read this, but I am so glad I kept reading and learned that Jelly is OK. I’ve been through it twice, with our beagle and our pitbull. Making the decision to euthanize a pet is so difficult. All the best to you, Akemi, and your wonderful doggies.

  31. Hello Joe I’m in a similar situation with my best friend “Catcher”. Catcher is my 12 year old Golden Retriever who is at the last legs of a great dog life.

    A year ago we brought Catcher in to our Vet for a follow up after Catcher had visited the 24Hr Emergency Care Center for Animals. What we were told is Catcher had a sever urinary track infection but possibly Catcher might have something more serious than just a urinary track infection. Our Vet ran a number of tests including a through ultrasound of his bladder/kidneys and general lower G.I. area. To our horror our Vet (who is the kindest gentlest person/Vet ever) found what he suspects to be bladder cancer. About 3/4 of Catchers bladder contained a large tumor which was most likely a cancerous tumor. The news crushed my wife and I. Our vet gave our Catcher maybe a month, he gave us an anti inflammatory that was known to shrink but not eliminate tumors and some pain pills to help comfort Catcher. We chose to avoid any surgery and chemotherapy as we didn’t want to put our Catcher through that level of surgery and the associated pain and stress of cancer fighting drugs. Well that was a year ago and my best friend is still with us, his tumor hasn’t gotten any larger and his quality of life continues to be good. We always said when Catchers quality of life got to a low level we wouldn’t continue to let him suffer, he deserved better and it was up to us to ensure Catcher would never suffer.

    So we continue to move towards that ending and will make the call when it’s Catchers time but right now I think our boy has some good times left, how much I don’t know but given a year ago we had less than a month I’d say our odds are good we still have a good amount of time left.

    Like others have said you’ll know when it’s time, Jelly will let you know when it’s time. You’re a good kind man Joe and Jelly is so fortunate to have you and you in turn are fortunate to have Jelly, it’s been a wonderful relationship. All the best to you and your family.

    phil

  32. Well Jelly is part baby seal (look at the plush fur and big eyes!) so she does have selke magic on her side.

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