White Dog and the rest of the White Dog Army sat respectfully. Steve and I held Taiko in our arms. Candace had her arms around us. In a moment it was done and Steve gently laid our Tender Hearted One on the blanket. White Dog walked over and sniffed. She was followed by each of the others who sniffed or nuzzled or kissed their brother.
Then White Dog started a low sorrowful keen. One by one the others joined her until the Howling Song of Passage filled the house and started tears flowing.
Taiko The Tender Heart, Oh Yes! Another White Dog, had begun his journey across the bridge.
Many of you know we have struggled the past weeks to find a balance in his meds that had suddenly all stopped working. Yesterday we spent the afternoon with Dr. Julia running xrays and doing tests to no avail. Tai was nearly comatose and not eating or drinking...this in just 24 hours. The work all showed that Taiko had no issues with his spinal cord or bones or heart, chest or lungs. His brain did not exhibit signs of trauma or tumor. Finally in frustration and in hope of finding a clue that might point us in a direction we did a complete blood panel.
None of us was prepared for the results.
Taiko was in the final stages of pancreatic cancer, insulinoma. A sneaky, nearly symptomless, mean, aggressive, painful monster. Suddenly the neurological issues and trouble walking and anxiety all came together. Too late...not that this disease has any true treatment or survival rate. Our precious boy never seemed able in his life to get a break.
So here we are, at home, where our homebody boy loved to be, with a huge chunk of our hearts ripped out, paying our last respects. I cannot bear te thought that very soon we will remove Taiko's collar and tags and return his spirit to the stars.
Always. Taiko. We will love you always.