The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I had to do something I had been dreading and crying about for weeks. I had to put down my 13 year old Pit Bull, Lyla.
Lyla came into my life about two years before, and had been passed around from owner to owner, until I finally gave her her forever home. At 13, she still had a lot of spunk left and it devastated me that I had to make that decision.
The last few months of Lylas life, she started acting oddly and couldn't hold her bladder. Being a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, I knew that a sudden behavioral change without an obvious reason wasn't normal. Lyla absolutely adored my son; sometimes annoyingly so. She wouldn't just give him kisses-she would Drench him in them.
So when she started acting oddly at night, going into his bedroom and just staring at walls, and trying to call her out of the room didn't give me any response, I knew something was up. The final episode where I knew I needed to make a decision was when she was walking around the living room one day, went up to my son, walked away and then came back and tried to nip him. I knew Lyla was most likely suffering from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), which was a dogs version of dementia. She was literally losing her mind.
Not a lot is known about CCD and there are very few treatment options available. So, I made an incredibly hard decision, but what I believed was best for her.
On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, after having made the appointment with Dr. Morris, I walked into Clear Lake Animal Hospital a huge mess. I had cried so much the night before and wasn't ready to accept what was going to happen. Immediately after walking in, I was met with a warm, empathetic smile by the office assistant. She asked if my dog was Lyla. I shook my head and turned away so she couldn't see the tears that were welling in my eyes. She told me that we could go sit in one of the exam rooms and that the Dr. would be with me shortly. She walked out after petting Lyla on the head and told her what a good girl she was. Dr. Morris came into the room, and we briefly chatted about Lyla and what brought me to this decision. I told her that I was a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and have researched CCD and told her about Lylas symptoms. She was extremely empathetic and spent lots of time answering my questions about the procedure. Even though I had already given Lyla anything she wanted to eat in the past week, including a Burger King Sausage Breakfast meal that morning, she offered me more dog treats and wet food to give to her. Lyla happily scarfed it down and she told me to take as much time as I needed to say goodbye.
After I was finished saying my goodbyes, she took Lyla to the back room to put in an IV. Lyla came back to the room, happy as ever to see me, wagging her tail and giving me kisses. Dr. Morris laid down a soft blanket for Lyla to lay on and then performed the procedure. I won't go into details about it, but I can say that Lyla passed away peacefully as I could have ever hoped for. Dr. Morris immediately said her condolences and petted Lyla on the head. She told me to take as much time as I needed and to call her back in when I was done.
After I was finished with my goodbyes, she apologized multiple times and said she knew how much I loved Lyla and how hard this was for me. I was still extremely upset, so I just nodded and thanked her.
Later that night, I emailed her and wanted to thank her. I've taken my animals to a lot of different Vets in my life, but haven't experienced the kind of care and compassion she illustrated. She immediately emailed me back thanking me for the kind words and told me how sorry she was. A week later, she sent me a sympathy card in the mail.
Dr. Morris will be my go to Vet from now on. I truly can't thank her enough for being so caring during what was a really awful time for me.
I recommend all my clients to her, and really, anyone who needs a compassionate caring Vet. Her prices are more than affordable, and she truly is in the Veterinary field to help animals. Dr. Morris and her staff at Clear Lake Animal Hospital are amazing. For more information about Clear Lake, you can Visit www.Vetinpalmbeach.com.