(The condition that Sushi was diagnosed with was IMT, Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia. Basically what happened is her platelets were being consumed by her white blood cells, her blood was clotting, and it was causing her heart to not function properly. The loss of movement in her back left leg (which was my first clue something was wrong when we went to the ER) was most likely caused by pain the IMT/heart condition was causing; dogs can sometimes lose functionality in the hind end when they have pain radiating from the chest area. This is something that dogs can be treated for, however it can require blood transfusions and high doses of steroids, both of which would've been brutal with uncertain results for an elderly dog.)
Thank you guys for your sweet words and notes to me about Sushi. I really appreciate them. Our sadness is still around, but my overwhelming need to sob is subsiding. I can now think about my little Sush with maybe just a couple of tears in my eyes instead of breaking down. At least that's what I feel I've progressed to so far this morning.
The Little Guy and I are waiting for the memory stone we've started to cure completely so that we can add a bit of colorful paint to it. Once that is complete, and we have it in place, I'll share a picture with you.
Axel seems to be handling the loss well, too. I let him sniff Sushi quite a bit while we were getting her settled in her little spot. I've always believed that dogs learn where you've been and what you've been up to by smelling your legs and shoes, so Axel gave me and The Little Guy a good sniffing when we got home. I also wanted him to see Sushi so he wouldn't think she had disappeared, just in case the sniffing didn't explain everything.
He was there when we buried her, and he continues to go over and sniff around the little temporary fence we've put up around her grave. He walks up to the fenced area gingerly with his head low to the ground, like he does when he's investigating something. He and I talk about Sushi pretty regularly. Rather, I talk and he listens.
I'm still not ready to move her little bed out of my room yet. I keep hoping for her little spirit to visit me and curl up in it, or curl up next to me as I sleep. Maybe she already has. Maybe she's busy running and playing with friends and family who greeted her. And, that's ok, too. I'm content to know her suffering is over.
Thanks again for all of your sweetness, my friends. It really means so much.