I’ve been talking about my dog, Tycho, a lot since he passed away on January 4th. I can’t help it, he was the best dog I could have ever asked for and I am completely gutted. He was my reason to get out of bed most mornings and the way that he captivated complete strangers into falling in love with him…well, it filled my heart. He became a part of my identity. I was never alone, I’ve been a girl with a dog since I was 18. He was my first and biggest responsibility.
Everything about Tycho was perfect, except his death. Ever since he was a puppy, I was emotionally trying to prepare myself for what would inevitably happen. In the end though, a brain tumor took him away from me quickly, without any warning, while I was stuck in Germany begging to bring him into the country.
I sent 58 emails in 5 months, trying to get Tycho into Germany, which barred me from initially bringing him with less than 2 weeks notice due to COVID restrictions. I kept trying to think positively, “oh well this means I can get settled and find us a place before he gets here and he won’t get shuffled around too much…”. They originally told me that it would be only a month or two before they lifted the restrictions, allowing him to join me, but they were wrong.
Tycho’s bed, bowls, and toys were laid out and I was ready for him when I got the call December 3rd that the restrictions had finally been lifted after 5 months. Given the holiday schedule and the new lock downs that were stopping me from going home for Christmas, we decided to have him fly out the first week of January. But things did not go as planned…
Having to spend Christmas alone is not ideal. Being in a country on lockdown, where I do not even speak the language, meant that I was REALLY alone. And the people that I did know did not want to see anyone, because they were trying to quarantine before the holidays so that they could see their families safely. And on December 24th, I got the first call of many, saying that Tycho was sick and on his way to the hospital.
Tycho’s first visit to the hospital was not too concerning because the doctors felt that he had gotten into something toxic, despite any lack of evidence we could find. They treated his symptoms and he was released about 26 hours later. However, he was not recovering well. While staying with family, they noticed that once he got back he was sluggish and hardly eating. He slowly started to improve over 3 days, but then he started to have seizures.
Even with the seizures, the doctors tried to inform me that this was nothing urgent and in most cases common in older dogs. It wasn’t until a few days later, when he became stiff and couldn’t move that the doctors realized something else was going on.
I got the call from my mom at 7 am on January 4th that they were taking him to the emergency room. By 9:20, I was off the phone with the vet and by 9:30 I had booked my flight home, not knowing if I would be able to get back into the country if I left. I had 20 mins to pack and made my 12:10 departure just in time for my 16 hour flight.
During my layover, Tycho’s MRI was done and the doctors were telling me that he could have a few days or another month or two, but nothing was certain. And hopped on my second flight and Tycho passed away 20 mins before my plane landed.
Sometimes you see those crazy people, taking their dogs for a walk in wagons because their dogs can’t walk anymore…I was going to be that person. Tycho was in a lot of pain the last few weeks of his life and he is, of course, much happier now. But I was prepared to take care of him and his passing made me so angry that I was not able to. In some strange ways, I was really looking forward to those times where I could comfort him and go above and beyond for him to make him comfortable and happy. So now, it feels like I have all this love to give him and I have no one to give it to.
Tycho lived such a good life and I have had so many people to thank for that. I am so fortunate that I have such great family, who took care of him when I couldn’t. And I am lucky that I was able to be there in person to say goodbye and bring him on one last adventure…to finally bring him to Germany.
What does one do with unused love? I have a feeling there is a song somewhere that will tell me.